Liberace's Very Extreme Makeover

Think: grand piano, candelabra and sequined suit. As a new Liberace film premieres, WNYC’s Sara Fishko reminds us of his beginnings in this episode of Fishko Files…

Liberace performing Chopin in the 1950s.

 

Edward R. Murrow interviewed Liberace in 1956 on "Person to Person." On the program Liberace showed off his custom-built home, where he lived with his mother.

"Edward R. Murrow, the newsman celebrated for establishing TV journalism's gold standard, felt such disgust after interviewing Liberace that he 'stalked out of the studio to a nearby bar where he had three scotches before he was able to utter another word.'"
-Darden Asbury Pyron quoting Edward R. Murrow's biographer in "Liberace: An American Boy

 

Edward Rothstein, the New York Times' Cultural Critic at Large, wrote about Liberace in this July 2, 1984 New Republic article, "The King of Kitsch." You can read his article, here

 

For more on Liberace...

  • Liberace: The Ultimate Entertainer box set.
  • Behind the Candelabra premieres on HBO on May 26th. For more information, visit HBO's website.

 

WNYC Production Credits...

Mix Engineer: Wayne Shulmister

Associate Producer: Laura Mayer

WNYC Newsroom Editor: Karen Frillmann