25 Images

Liberace: From the archives

“Mr. Showmanship” takes to the keys of his upright honky tonk piano during a 1983 show at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. (File Photo)
A concert pianist in his teens, Liberace switched to jazz, semi-classics and night clubs. He developed a showmanship that made him an idol. (MCA Artists)
Liberace | 1954
Liberace stands on the keys of the piano-shaped swimming pool of his $100,000 home in Sherman Oaks. Around the pool are members of his family. Liberace lived in the modernistic showplace with his mother.  (Associated Press)
Liberace | 1955
The pianist became a TV star via “The Liberace Show.” (File Photo)
Liberace | 1955
Liberace became a romantic hero on screen. Director Gordon Douglas shows him how to kiss Dorothy Malone in top photo while starring in the movie “Sincerely Yours.” It was his first screen kiss, and it was described at the time as a “lulu.” Below, he kisses Joanne Dru, without the director’s help. (Associated Press)
Liberace | 1955
Liberace’s “Piano Roll Blues” rolls out the red carpet at the premiere of Las Vegas’ new skyscraper Hotel Riviera in 1955. His flashy attire was designed by Dior. (Associated Press)
Liberace | 1957
Bandleader George, right, is assisted by his pianist brother, Liberace, at a Chicago hospital where 16 stitches were required to close cuts on George’s head after an attack by two robbers. (Associated Press)
Liberace | 1957
Actress Maureen O’Hara and pianist Liberace wait outside the Los Angeles County Grand Jury room in May 1957 as the jury began conducting a criminal libel investigation of Confidential magazine. They testified later that the articles in the magazine about each of them were false. (Associated Press)
Liberace | 1958
Liberace, left, Joanne Rio, 22-year-old dancer with whom Liberace had been keeping company, and actor Danny Thomas, center at the Moulin Rouge cafe in Hollywood. (Associated Press)
Liberace | 1958
Liberace with singer Dolores Perry planeside before his troupe of seven boarded the Pan American Clipper for a two-week tour of Australia. (File Photo)
Liberace | 1958
Liberace had a daytime show on ABC in 1958. (File Photo)
Liberace | 1959
The smiling pianist walks past female fans in London, on his way from the British court where he was suing a London newspaper and its columnist who, he said, implied that he was gay. (Associated Press)
Liberace | 1961
Pianist Liberace relaxes in his new Beverly Hills home, which he decorated himself with a white and gold motif. In the left background is his hi-fi set, housed in a piano-shaped cabinet. At far right in the next room is his pipe organ. The house, built by Ann Harding, had 28 rooms and nine baths. (Associated Press)
Liberace | 1962
Original caption:

Mae West and Liberace look over the lobby display after they and other celebrities arrived for the Hollywood premiere of “Les Poipees de Paris,” a sexy puppet show, May 23, 1962.  (Associated Press, Associated Press)
Liberace | 1965
Liberace performs at the Carousel Theatre in West Covina in Aug. 31, 1965. (Nelson Tiffany / Los Angeles Times)
Liberace | 1970
Liberace was born Wladziu Valentino Liberace on May 16, 1919, in West Allis, Wis. (File Photo)
Liberace | 1970
Liberace performs in 1970. (File Photo)
Liberace | 1971
Liberace dances before an audience of 8,000 on the stage of Festival Hall in Melbourne in 1971 in black silk trimmed with gold embroidery.  (Associated Press)
Liberace | 1974
Liberace in 1974. (International Portrait Gallery)
Liberace | 1977
Swathed in sable and chinchilla, Liberace delighted Angelenos with his outrageous brand of fun at the Music Center’s Ahmanson Theatre in 1977. (File Photo)
Liberace | 1978
Liberace in 1978. (File Photo)
LIberace | 1979
He once said, “I’m a one-man Disneyland.” (File Photo)
Liberace | 1979
Liberace in his new museum in Las Vegas on April 16, 1979.  (Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times)
Liberace died in 1987 at age 67. Later, his possessions were auctioned off, including his brass bed complete with fur comforter and embellished with duck heads. (Larry Gus / For The Times)
Liberace’s piano phone was among the items auctioned after his death.  (Los Angeles Times)