Everyone loves their mom, right? Well, y’know, not everyone, sure — but most people. There are some individuals, however, who take this relationship to a different level. Marcel Proust, for one. And, more recently, Liberace.
Born in 1919, Władziu Valentino Liberace was a piano prodigy right out of the gate, first playing at the age of four. The result — he became the highest-paid entertainer on the planet.
By 1955, there were 200 Liberace fan clubs across said planet, with a combined membership of 250,000. The star himself was taking home $55,000 every week — and this was in 1955.
The critics were not quite so enamoured. Wrote one: “It’s almost all showmanship topped by whipped cream and cherries.” Liberace laughed all the way to the bank. His TV show was watched by an audience of 30 million. And at every performance, his mother was in the front row. The two even shared a house.
The self-proclaimed “one man Disneyland,” Liberace billed himself as “the most amazing piano virtuoso of the present day.” But to his mother, Frances Zuchowska, he was just Walter. His body is entombed at Forest Lawn, Hollywood Hills Cemetery — with his mother.
Enjoy these photographs of Liberace and his biggest fan.
See Also: The Retronaut archives