Back to Top

c. 1950s-60s

Liberace and his mom

He was the highest-paid entertainer on the planet. She was his #1 fan.

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.

At a press call in London’s Savoy Hotel (Fox Photos/Getty Images)

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. 

During his visit to Southampton in 1956 (Staff/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)

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.

At a press reception at a Soho restaurant (Hulton-Deutsch Collection//Corbis/Getty Images)

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.

At the premiere of his movie “Sincerely Yours” in Hollywood (Getty Images)

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.

Liberace, age 34, with his mother (Getty Images)
Preparing for his entrance to Madison Square Garden (Getty Images)
Attending a premiere, circa 1960 (Pictorial Parade/Archive Photos/Getty Images)
Mother and son, 1955 (Archive Photos/Getty Images)
At the Hollywood Palace, 1965 (ABC Photo Archives/Getty Images)
The pair and a candelabra (Bob Haswell/Getty Images)

See Also: The Retronaut archives

Watch this

How to care for loved ones from a distance

see more from
More