Liberace

QUESTION:  In 2013, director Steven Soderbergh directed a TV movie about Liberace called Behind the Candelabra. Who starred as the famous pianist?
A)  Matt Damon
B)  Michael Douglass
C)  Andrew Robinson
D)  Scott Bakula
ANSWER BELOW

His was the great American success story!  Wladziu Valentino Liberace was born in West Allis, Wisconsin to an Italian immigrant named Salvatore and to Polish-American Frances Zuchowska in 1919. His father was a lover of music who made ends meet working in factories or working with his hands. Sal insisted that his son be surrounded by music, but Frances saw it as an unnecessary luxury when times were hard - and they often were. It turns out they had a child prodigy on their hands, and the young Liberace first sat down at the piano when he was four. By eight, he was playing in front of audiences, and as a teenager he helped the family financially by playing in bawdy houses and cabarets. 

Liberace's introduction to music was, no surprise, the greats of classical music. But he changed up the songs, jazzed them a little, made them poppies. Incorporating his dazzling personality into his performances, He became well known by the early-1940's, and began appearing in films as Walter Liberace before dropping his first name. He dressed flashier and, as he famously explained "I don't give a concert, I put on a show." Liberace became a huge success, one of the highest-paid performers in Las Vegas due to his garish performances. His personal life was a little scandalous, and he filed lawsuits and made great effort to defend himself against accusations of being homosexual. Tragically, he died from AIDS-related illness in 1987 at the age of 67. Now, you may be wondering why a blog about Liberace, one of the most famous pianists of the twentieth century. He makes a few appearances here at the American Treasure Tour. Most memorably in a portrait he actually signed, that is on display. And, perhaps more subtly, in a newspaper article advertising the wonderful Deagan Una-Fon. 

ANSWER:  B)  Michael Douglass.  Andrew Robinson starred in the 1988 TV movie called simply Liberace.