Liberating Liberace. How clever.
What a swell man, embodying a prime example of secrets and denial.
This is my favorite depiction of Liberace. Watch the whole clip on YouTube.
Here is an image that his fans may be more fond of.
Reading through his many, many biographies I found it difficult to find papers that critiqued his performances. Many may discuss the court case against London newspapers regarding the publication that discussed his sexual orientation. I concluded that Liberace fits well within the conformist attitude prevalent during the 1950’s quite well despite his uncommon flashy style, pizzazz, and efforts to give the world a ‘trademark’ image; he conforms to the attitude of changing the self in order to please the public.
In relation to my current reading of Simulations by Jean Baudrillard, Liberace profusely demonstrates putting a simulated, untrue you compared to the real self.
One may question, "How does one know the true self?" I think in Liberace's case its a bit shallow in the sense of this comparison to the self (his self) and projected self (his stage presence). He has one engagement to a woman that lasts two years, but it called off. Betty White in a 2011 interview claims she served as his 'beard.' Everyone has a different way of living their lives and different standards of doing so, but denial is also a prevalent action when someone's career and fame are at stake.
He is a borderline drag queen and a role model to Elton John. Many specualated he denied accusations of being gay to avoid losing his largest fan base of middle-aged women.
Liberace's, Scott Thorson (professional title to Liberace: personal friend and companion), sued Liberace after he was fired following the London trails. Scott was thought to be his shack-up buddy of 5 years. Liberace funded his clothing and plastic surgery. There is a new film, Behind the Candelbra, based on a novel about their relationship.
Tragically he died of AIDS, which at the time was incorrectly thought to be most prevalent in homosexual men.