Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Liberace's Light Bulbs
Driving home from work down Beverly Boulevard in Los Angeles in the 1980s I would pass by Liberace's penthouse condo at the top of a nondescript (from the street anyway) brick building, about 3 or 4 stories up. It was very close to CBS Television City, across the street. It's depicted in the HBO drama 'Behind the Candelabra.'
It was kinda odd because his far east window facing south on Beverly was always open and you could see the top row of the enormous bulbs surrounding his makeup mirror, the kind you see backstage. And they were always on during the day and evening. Don't know why I found that interesting but it was a bit sad when the entertainer passed way in 1987, a few weeks later the curtain was pulled on that window.
If you're so inclined 'Ultimate Liberace' is a 3 DVD collection with his glitzy specials. I wasn't a fan, I never understood what his appeal was, a clearly gay man holding on to the fantasy that he was straight? He failed spectacularly at bonding with his TV guests or hosts. I was always left with no understanding of who this Liberace person was - but he could play the hell out of those 88s. What he did well was step back in a deferential way and allow other performers to shine.
Here's a camp teaming of Liberace and country comic Minnie Pearl from his 1969 special.
More Las Vegas Legends!