For decades, Liberace was known for his music, pianos, candelabra, charisma, rhinestones, and dazzle.
Liberace acquired an astounding array of prestigious awards, including Instrumentalist of the Year, Best Dressed Entertainer, and Entertainer of the Year. He also earned two Emmy Awards, six gold albums, and two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's highest paid musician and pianist. Best of all, he was known and loved throughout the world as "Mr. Showmanship."
Born in West Allis, Wisconsin in 1919, Walter Valentino Liberace was one of four children of Salvatore and Frances Liberace. His Italian father played the French horn and was a member of the John Phillip Sousa Marching Band. His Polish mother played the piano. Liberace's brother George and sister Angie were also musically talented.
In 1940, his nightclub dates took him to the Persian Room in New York's Plaza Hotel as an intermission pianist. Seven years later, he returned with his own oversized grand piano and his first trademark, a candle lit candelabra. Liberace dropped his first two names in 1950, opting to use the elegant "Liberace" exclusively. In 1955, he opened in the Las Vegas Riviera Hotel as the highest paid entertainer in the city's history. His final performances were at Radio City Music Hall. Liberace passed away on February 4, 1987, just a few months before his 68th birthday.