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Nom de naissance Władziu Valentino LiberaceNationalité Etats-UnisNaissance 16 mai 1919
à West Allis (Etats-Unis
)Mort 4 février 1987
(à 67 ans) à Palm Springs (Etats-Unis
Władziu Valentino Liberace (May 16, 1919 – February 4, 1987), mononymously known as Liberace, was an American pianist and entertainer.
A child prodigy and the first generation son of working class immigrants, Liberace's career spanned four decades of concerts, recordings, television, motion pictures, and endorsements.
At the height of his fame from the 1950s to the 1970s, Liberace was the highest-paid entertainer in the world, with established residencies in Las Vegas, and an international touring schedule. Liberace embraced a lifestyle of flamboyant excess both on and off stage, acquiring the sobriquet "Mr. Showmanship".
Liberace was recognized during his career with two Emmy Awards, six gold albums and two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Liberace also released a book on his life, and performed 21 sold out shows at Radio City Music Hall which set box office records a few months before his death in Palm Springs, California on February 4, 1987.
Throughout his career, Liberace publicly denied his homosexual orientation and successfully sued both The Daily Mirror newspaper and Confidential magazine, who reported some of his gay relationships, winning damages and legal fees. Toward the end of his life, his former chauffeur and lover, Scott Thorson, unsuccessfully sued him for palimony, slander and conversion of property. Liberace's death remains controversial because there had been rumors prior to his death that he had contracted HIV, which his management, publicist, friends, and even Liberace himself denied. Against the wishes of his estate, the Riverside County coroner ordered an official autopsy and determined that Liberace had died of an AIDS-related illness, making him the second major celebrity after Rock Hudson to officially succumb to the illness during the early days of media frenzy surrounding the disease.
Worth over $110 million at the time of his death, Liberace bequeathed the bulk of his estate to his scholarship foundation. His official museum closed its doors in 2010 due to an economic downturn. In November 2013, a few dozen of his famous costumes and cars went on display for a six-week period at the Cosmopolitan Las Vegas in an exhibition titled "Too Much of a Good Thing Is Wonderful", Liberace's unofficial motto, and an often-used one liner from his act.
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