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Liberace

From Academic Kids

Wladziu Valentino Liberace (May 16, 1919February 4, 1987), better known by the stage name Liberace (and known to his friends as Lee), was an American entertainer.

Liberace was born in West Allis, Wisconsin, in a musical family. He had a twin, who died at birth. He was a classically trained pianist with wide experience playing popular music as a young man. As his classical career developed, he found that his whimsical encores, playing pop songs and marches, were going over better than his renditions of the classical repertoire, so he changed his act from classics with a bit of pop, to pop with a bit of classics. The great pianist Paderewski, a family friend, advised him to follow his own example and bill himself under his last name only.

He had a network television program in the 1950s. His brother George led the band backing up Liberace on the program. He performed successfully for decades in Las Vegas, Nevada. He was known for his extravagant costumes, his personal charm and self-deprecating wit. Liberace's highly coloured style of piano-playing was characterized by some critics as lyrical but technically careless.

In 1957 he sued the British tabloid The Daily Mirror for an article by veteran columnist "Cassandra" (William Connor). The article called Liberace a "deadly, winking, sniggering, snuggling, chromium-plated, scent-impregnated, luminous, quivering, giggling, fruit-flavored, mincing, ice-covered heap of mother love": that is, the article did everything it could to imply he was homosexual without saying so. Liberace sued for libel, and testified that he was not a homosexual and had never taken part in homosexual acts. Liberace won the suit and was awarded damages.

In 1982, Liberace's live-in boyfriend of some five years, Scott Thorson, sued the pianist for $113 million in palimony. Liberace still denied being homosexual. In 1984, most of Thorson's claim was dismissed. He received a $95,000 settlement. [1] (http://www.bobsliberace.com/decades/1980s/1980s.html)

Liberace died of AIDS at the age of 67 in Palm Springs, California. His obvious weight loss immediately prior to his death was attributed to a "watermelon diet" by his longtime and steadfast manager Seymour Heller. He is interred in Forest Lawn - Hollywood Hills Cemetery in Los Angeles.

For years Liberace had joked "I don't mind the bad reviews, but George [his brother and business partner] cries all the way to the bank." The £8,000 ($15,145) damages he received from The Daily Mirror led Liberace to alter the catchphrase to "I cried all the way to the bank!" [2] (http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-cry1.htm)

There is now a Liberace Museum in Las Vegas, containing many of his stage costumes, cars and lavishly-decorated pianos, along with numerous citations for philanthropic acts.

External links

sv:Liberace ja:リベラーチェ

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