Liberace: His Life and Fabulous Times

The HBO biopic "Behind the Candelabra" peeks into the private life of entertainer Liberace. Take a look at the flashy costumes and glittering appearances of the performer who was known as much for his lavish spending as for his music.

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WireImage
Liberace performs at Radio City Music Hall in 1985 in New York City. (Photo by L. Busacca/WireImage)
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WireImage
The HBO biopic "Behind the Candelabra" peeks into the private life of flashy entertainer Liberace. He's shown here performing at Radio City Music Hall in 1985 in New York City. Take a look at the over-the-top costumes and glittering appearances of the performer who was known as much for his lavish spending as for his music.
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ASSOCIATED PRESS
Liberace playing the piano on the Johnny Carson Show night of Sept. 5, 1984.
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AP
Liberace, left, is shown with his brother George Liberace, center, and Elvis Presley, at the New Frontier Hotel in Las Vegas on April 30, 1956. The entertainer often quoted Mae West, saying, "Too much of a good thing is wonderful!"
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WireImage
Liberace was the highest-paid performer at the height of his fame: making $1 million per year in public appearances, $50,000 per week performing in Las Vegas, and thousands more as a spokesman for everything from banks, insurances companies, to canned tuna. Here he performs at Radio City Music Hall in 1985 in New York City.
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AP
Entertainer Liberace walks down the stairs from the balcony area outside his Beverly Hills home in California on June 17, 1961. The home reportedly had 28 rooms.
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Getty Images
Liberace was known for using the phrase (to his critics), "Thank you for your very amusing review. After reading it, in fact, my brother George and I laughed all the way to the bank." Here, reclining on a yellow sun lounger, circa 1965.
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Liberace was known by many names, including "Mr. Showmanship," "Lee," and "The Glitter Man." He's seen here sitting at a piano, wearing a gold lame suit, 1950s.
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AP
Before Prince, Madonna or Lady Gaga, there was Liberace. He could never be accused of understatement when it came to choosing his performance costumes. He is seen here in 1987.
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AP
Here, Liberace is seated at his organ in his Beverly Hills home in California on June 17, 1961.
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AP
Liberace, wearing a seashell-inspired outfit in 1987.
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AP
Muhammad Ali (l.) shown with Liberace, Hulk Hogan (r.) on March 29, 1985 at Madison Square Garden for Wrestle Mania in New York City. Ail refereed the match while Liberace performed the duties of timekeeper.
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ASSOCIATED PRESS
Liberace performs in a court jester costume for an act called "Come as You Were" at the Hotel Riviera in Las Vegas, Nev., where he opened April 24, 1956.
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Musician Liberace gives entertainer Cher, in character as "Laverne," a tour of his Hollywood Hills mansion for an episode of "The Sonny And Cher Show" in January 1974 in Los Angeles, California.
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ASSOCIATED PRESS
Sock it to me! Liberace performing at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas on May 27, 1971.
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ASSOCIATED PRESS
British singer Tom Jones, centre, blows out candles at a surprise birthday party at Caesar's Palace, Las Vegas, June 6, 1974. Guests include, from left to right, Joan Rivers, Sonny Bono, Jones, Debbie Reynolds, and Liberace.
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AP
Bette Midler, right, accepts the Entertainer of the Year award at the Conference of Personal Managers West at the Beverly Hills Hotel, along with Liberace, Nov. 1, 1980.
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CBS via Getty Images
Shown here from a TV special called "Leapin' Lizards, It's Liberace!". Image dated 1978.
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AP
American pianist Liberace (pictured here in 1977 in London) displaying his jewelery. At the time, the rings on his fingers are worth around 110,000 Pounds Sterling, and his wrist watch in gold and diamond in the shape of a grand piano is worth 14,000 Pounds Sterling. Nearly all the pieces were presents to him.
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AP
This film image released by HBO shows Michael Douglas, right, as Liberace, and Matt Damon, as Scott Thorson in a scene from "Behind the Candalabra," a film being shown at the Cannes Film Festival.
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