Now some say Chico Marx was a great pianist and entertainter.
Others will say Victor Borge was the greatest. Now, for me, hands down Liberace was the greatest, not only in piano but in flamboyance. Serious, the guy had some major costume changes between piano sets, but sit him down in front of 88 keys? Enchanting music from such a talented performer.
Not many people know that In 1953 Liberace was named by Ripley's Believe It Or Not as "The Fastest Piano Player In The World" for playing 6,000 notes in 2 minutes. Also, not many people know that he was the first perfomer to demand and receive US$50,000 per week to play in Las Vegas.
His career was music-centric. He had a few movie flops like when he starred in Sincerely Yours in 1955 with Dorothy Malone, playing 31 songs throuhout the entire film. He was also a villian in the Adam West Batman television show of the 1960's, playing Chandell.
Alas, he had some ups and downs in his career during the late 70's. His career finally was starting to pick up again in the 80's, but he ran into some health issues. People noticed the weight loss, and asked questions. The response was he was on the new "watermelon diet."
The truth of the matter, was he was dying of AIDS. He died on February 4, 1987 at his winter house in Palm Springs, California.
Liberace did enjoy one last meal before dying. According to his personal chef, Liberace went out with a bland meal of
Cream of Wheat cereal with half and half and brown sugar.
And to think he did it wall for his brother George...