Liberace

Pianist, Variety show host, Actor
The highest-paid entertainer in the world for nearly two decades, Liberace earned the title "Mr. Showmanship" for his crowd-pleasing act, which blended masterful piano playing with witty banter and over-the-top glamour ... Read more »
Born: 05/16/1919 in West Allis, Wisconsin, USA

Filmography

Actor (15)

Leo & Liz in Beverly Hills 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Actor

National Off-The-Wall People's Poll 1984 - 1985 (TV Show)

Actor

Special People 1984 - 1985 (TV Show)

Actor

Lily -- Sold Out 1980 - 1981 (TV Show)

Actor

Leapin' Lizards, It's Liberace 1977 - 1978 (TV Show)

Actor

The Tom Jones Special 1970 - 1971 (TV Show)

Actor

The Loved One 1964 (Movie)

Mr Starker (Actor)

When the Boys Meet the Girls 1964 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Keefe Brasselle's Variety Garden 1962 - 1963 (TV Show)

Actor

Sincerely Yours 1955 (Movie)

Anthony Warrin (Actor)

The Red Skelton Revue 1953 - 1954 (TV Show)

Actor

Another World (TV Show)

Actor

Batman (TV Show)

Actor

South Sea Sinner (Movie)

Maestro (Actor)
Music (6)

Sleeping With Other People 2015 (Movie)

("Moonlight Sonata Liberace") (Song Performer)

Cecil B. Demented 2000 (Movie)

("Ciao") (Song Performer)

Celebrity 1998 (Movie)

("Fascination") (Song Performer)

Alice 1990 (Movie)

("O Tannenbaum" "We Wish You a Merry Christmas") (Song Performer)

New York Stories 1989 (Movie)

song performer "I'll Be Seeing You"(("Oedipus Wrecks")) (Song Performer)

Sincerely Yours 1955 (Movie)

(Theme Song)

Biography

The highest-paid entertainer in the world for nearly two decades, Liberace earned the title "Mr. Showmanship" for his crowd-pleasing act, which blended masterful piano playing with witty banter and over-the-top glamour. Classically trained and rising through the supper club circuit, Liberace became a top draw in the 1950s, notching $50,000 a week for his Vegas shows. His TV series "The Liberace Show" (syndicated, 1953-54) cemented his massive popularity with women, who responded to his gentle nature and rhinestone-soaked flamboyance. While he never ignited as a film draw despite his star turn in "Sincerely Yours" (1955), Liberace remained an incredibly popular television figure whose shameless self-promotion and shilling of products only endeared him more to fans, who appreciated his up-by-his-bootstraps pluck. Plagued by rumors and hit with a 1982 palimony suit for $113 million by his limo driver/bodyguard and alleged lover Scott Thorson, Liberace steadfastly denied his homosexuality all his life. He died at the age of 67 on Feb. 4, 1987 due to AIDS-related complications, although he never publicly admitted being sick. Thorson's 1987 tell-all Behind the Candelabra: My Life with Liberace revealed colorful details about the entertainer's life, inspiring a feature film of the same name (HBO, 2013), directed by Steven Soderbergh and starring Matt Damon as Thorson and Michael Douglas as Liberace. Although modern audiences may not have appreciated just how massively influential and popular he was during his lifetime, Liberace singlehandedly wrote one of the most impressively outrageous American Dream stories of all time, conquering the world in his inimitably glamorous style.

Relationships

Angie Liberace

Sister
Born Dec. 11, 1914 Died Nov. 22, 1996

George Liberace

Brother
Born July 31, 1911; worked with brother during early days of his career as bandleader of Liberace's orchestra, featured violinist, and comic foil Died Oct. 16, 1983

Rudy Liberace

Brother
Born June 29, 1930 Died April 30, 1967

Frances Liberace

Mother
Born Aug. 31, 1892 Died Nov. 1, 1980

Scott Thorson Actor

Companion
Met 1976 Thorson was Liberace's chauffeur and live-in lover for years He sued Liberace 1982, but case settled out of court 1986 Thorson wrote book about their relationship Behind the Candelabra: My Life With Liberace (1988)

EDUCATION

studied under Frances Bettray-Kelly

Milestones

2013

Portrayed by Michael Douglas in Steven Soderbergh directed HBO film "Behind the Candelabra"; Matt Damon cast as Scott Thorson

2010

Liberace Museum in Las Vegas closed

1991

Portrayed by actor Willie Collins in comedy spoof "Hot Shots!"

1988

Subject of two made-for-TV movies, ABC's "Liberace" (starring Andrew Robinson) and CBS' "Liberace: Behind the Music" (starring Victor Garber)

1987

Tell-all book Behind the Candelabra: My Life with Liberace published by long-term bodyguard, limo driver, and alleged ex-lover Scott Thorson

1986

Gave final performance at Radio City Music Hall in NYC

1985

Last TV special, "Liberace with the London Philharmonic Orchestra," a broadcast of 1983 concert filmed at London's Wembley Centre

1979

Opened The Liberace Museum in Las Vegas, NV

1976

Founded the Liberace Foundation for the Performing and Creative Arts

1968

Hosted CBS summer variety series "The Liberace Show"

1965

Returned to films after 10-year absence to play featured roles in "The Loved One" and "When the Boys Meet the Girls"

1955

Played leading role in Warner Bros. feature "Sincerely Yours"

1953

Hosted popular syndicated variety program "The Liberace Show"

1952

Hosted 15-minute summer series "The Liberace Show" (NBC)

1951

Performed on local TV program in Los Angeles area

1950

Made film debut with small role in melodrama "South Sea Sinner"

1944

Changed stage name to Liberace

Popular songs include "Begin The Beguine" and "I'll Be Seeing You".

Began piano lessons at age four

Debuted as piano soloist with Chicago Symphony at 20

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