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Possible foul play suspected in death of comedian found in Strip hotel room

Updated February 28, 2022 - 1:53 pm

The man behind Beacher’s Madhouse says he was very much a father figure to Donny Davis, who died on Tuesday.

“Even though it’s weird, because Donny’s my age, but you know, he’s like my son, because he’s little,” Jeff Beacher said during a phone chat Thursday afternoon. “I’ve literally had to treat him like my son, taking care of him when there’s been no one there for him. He was family, he was my best friend, my talent, my producer, my concierge, he was everything to me. That’s why this just (expletive) hurts.”

Authorities suspect possible foul play in the death of the 43-year-old actor and comedian, who died in a guest room at Resorts World Las Vegas. Las Vegas police were called at 5:30 a.m. Tuesday to hotel room 7276 at Resorts World, 3000 Las Vegas Blvd. South, after a report of an unresponsive man, according to a report from the Metropolitan Police Department released Thursday.

The man, identified as Davis, was turning blue and biting his tongue, according to the report.

“FD personnel advised they thought there might be foul play due to the number of other subjects in the room and having trouble getting any information from them,” police said.

Davis died later that morning at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center, police said. The Clark County coroner’s office had not yet released Davis’ cause and manner of death as of Thursday morning.

Beacher hired Davis to perform at Beacher’s Madhouse, which ran at The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel from 2005-2008, and later moved to MGM Grand from 2013-2015. Davis was fired out of a prop cannon, took on the role of an Oompa Loompa, a leprechaun, The Joker and a WWE combatant. He also performed in such side acts as Mini-Kiss, Mini-Bon Jovi and as the lead dancer in a Mini-Kombe African dance number.

Always eager to pose and post, Davis was a magnet for all fans, especially celebrities, hanging with Miley Cyrus, Steven Tyler of Aerosmith and Britney Spears, among others. He was cast in Spears’ “Piece of Me” show at Axis Theater (now Zappos Theater) at Planet Hollywood from 2013-2017.

“He was a dear dear friend and I’m devastated by his passing,” said Larry Rudolph, former manager of Spears and Cyrus who currently manages Tyler. “I loved him and so did Britney, Miley and everyone else who knew him.”

Davis also toured with Joe Jonas and hosted private parties by such stars as Mariah Carey and Demi Lovato.

And though he was likened to Beacher’s little brother, Davis was entrusted with high-level responsibilities in the Beacher’s Madhouse empire.

“He ran my tour, he ran the show at the Roosevelt Hotel,” Beacher said, referring to his show in Hollywood.

Beacher said Davis was especially proud of being cast in director Michael Bay’s 2013 action-comedy “Pain & Gain.” Davis co-starred with Donnie Wahlberg, Ed Harris and Tony Shaloub.

“Donny was really proud of being in that movie,” Beacher said. “That was favorite thing, because he loved Michael Bay.”

Beacher last spent time with Davis on Monday at a dinner in L.A. before Davis left for Las Vegas. When asked of the circumstances around Davis’ death, Beacher said: “What’s in the news is in the news. Everything else is hypothetical. I don’t want to (screw) up any investigations, is the real answer.”

Two witnesses told police Davis went upstairs because he was denied service at the hotel bar for being too intoxicated. When the two witnesses came upstairs, they told police Davis looked pale and his hands were cold.

One of the witnesses put a card between Davis’ teeth to keep him from biting his tongue and said his jaw was “frozen,” police said. It was unclear if criminal charges were being pursued as Las Vegas police declined to comment further on the case.

Beacher was asked if he would plan an event to celebrate Davis’ life.

“Yeah, yeah, but I just haven’t figured it out yet,” the famed producer said. “Right now, I am just trying to deal with all the crying. It’s been a nightmare.”

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

Staff writer Sabrina Schnur contributed to this story. Contact her at sschnur@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0278. Follow @sabrina_schnur on Twitter.

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