We Love You Too, Lee: Liberace Salutes San Francisco on His TV Show in 1956

Steven Soderbergh is directing a biopic of Liberace for HBO, and pictures have started to emerge of its stars more or less in character: Michael Douglas as Wladziu Valentino Liberace (“Lee” to his friends), and Matt Damon as Liberace's lover, Scott Thorson (“Lee's driver and nothing else” to Liberace's friends). Obviously, the film is about his relationship with Scott Thorson in the '70s and '80s, as well as Liberace's increasingly futile attempts to keep his homosexuality a secret and his eventual death from AIDS, because that's where the drama is.

I've read Thorson's tell-mostly-all memoir Behind the Candelabra: My Life With Liberace, as well as Darden Asbury Pyron's essential biography Liberace: An American Boy, but I've always been more fascinated with Liberace's career as a syndicated television pioneer in the 1950s. Every episode of his hit show Liberace had a theme — we looked at the Liberace Christmas episode last year — and after a concert at the San Francisco Opera House in 1956, he did a show about San Francisco. From his studio in Hollywood, but still.

Tags: , , , ,

Related Stories