Liberace was born on May 16, 1919. He was an American pianist, singer, and actor born to parents of Italian and Polish origin. He was quite active for four decades and was involved in concerts, recordings, television, motion pictures, and endorsements.
Between the 1950s and 1970s, Liberace was the highest-paid entertainer in the world and he lived quite a flamboyant lifestyle on and off the stage.
His parents were Salvatore, an immigrant from Formia in the Lazio region of central Italy and Frances Zuchowsk who was born in Menasha, Wisconsin, of Polish descent. It must be noted that Liberace had an identical twin who unfortunately died at birth. He had three siblings; a brother George (who was a violinist), a sister Angelina, and younger brother Rudy.
Liberace started playing the piano at the age of 4 and by age 7, he could memorize difficult pieces. He learned the technique of the Polish pianist Ignacy Jan Paderewski and met him in person when he turned 8.
Later, Liberace had a speech impediment but regardless of all the difficulties, he focused on playing the piano under the tutelage of music teacher Florence Kelly for 10 years.
Liberace Cause of Death
It was reported that in August 1985, Liberace was secretly diagnosed HIV positive by his private physician in Las Vegas. He kept his diagnosis away from the public with the exception of his long-term manager, Seymour Heller, and a few family members and associates and did not seek any medical care.
He died on the late morning of February 4, 1987, at his retreat home in Palm Springs, California.
He died at the age of 67. Prior to his death, he was hospitalized for pneumonia at the Palm Springs County Hospital. He was at the hospital from January 23 to January 27, 1987.
According to his press agent, Liberace died as a result of pernicious anemia, emphysema, and heart disease. His physician also indicated that he died of heart failure caused by subacute encephalopathy, a degenerative brain disease.
Reports from the Riverside County coroner who performed an autopsy on Liberace also stated that the cause of death of Liberace was cytomegalovirus pneumonia, a frequent cause of death in people with AIDS.
He also confirmed that Liberace was HIV-positive, had pulmonary heart disease, and calcification of a heart valve at the time of his death.
Liberace’s body is entombed along with those of his mother and brother at Forest Lawn, Hollywood Hills Cemetery in Los Angeles.
While alive, Liberace received two Emmy Awards, six gold albums, and two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. It must be noted that he also performed 56 sold-out shows at Radio City Music Hall, which set box-office records a few months before his death.