TVparty - Classic TV Las Vegas Legends


"Your review hurt me! I cried all the way to the bank!"
- Liberace


DID YOU KNOW: When Liberace appeared as a villain on the Batman TV series they were the highest rated nights for that show.

"Ripley's Believe It Or Not" named Liberace "The Fastest Piano Player In The World" - he could play an astonishing 6,000 notes in 2 minutes.

Frank Sinatra

Dean Martin

Sammy Davis Jr Story

Dean Martin Live in Las Vegas

Frank Sinatra
with Dean Martin

Playing with The Rat Pack 1960s & 70s
with Dean Martin

Las Vegas in 1977

John Oliver: Las Vegas Is the Worst Place on Earth!

Jerry Vale

More Jerry Vale

George Burns

Don Rickles' Last Carson Appearance

Joan Rivers vs Johnny Carson

Angie Dickinson

Remembering Bobby Darin

Who Killed Elvis?

Viva Las Vegas!

Sammy Davis, Jr.

Las Vegas1967


Las Vegas in the 1950s

MORE Las Vegas in the 1950s

Lola Falana

Don Rickles

Don Rickles' Last Show

Don Rickles vs Merv Griffin

Sonny & Cher

The Supremes

Steve Allen and Jayne Meadows

Edgar Bergen & Charlie McCarthy

Louis Prima

Pat Cooper

Johnny Carson

Mort Lindsey


TV's The Las Vegas Show

Red Buttons

Ernest Borgnine on Frank & Dean

Harlan Ellison vs Frank Sinatra

Demond Wilson on The Dean Martin Roasts, Las Vegas, and Walking Out on Sanford & Son

Liberace, Frank Sinatra, and Jackie Gleason Attempted an Intervention on Elvis in Las Vegas

What Las Vegas Looked Like Under Lockdown

Sammy Davis Jr.'s Home Was Looted!

Very Revealing Interview with Sammy Davis Jr.

Las Vegas in the 1940s

Frank Sinatra's Last Major Interview

Portrait of Frank Sinatra in 1959
Frank Sinatra in
Monte Carlo 1959

Drummer Hal Blaine on Recording with The Rat Pack

What Was Frank Sinatra Really Like?

Home Movies of Las Vegas During The Strip’s Golden Age

Donny & Marie Are Calling It Quits

Totie Fields

Sinatra's First Palm Springs Home

Phyllis Diller: An Appreciation

Steve Allen

Rich Little

Betty White on Don Rickles

Elvis' Background Singers

Wayne Newton

George Carlin

Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme

Redd Foxx

Las Vegas & The Mob

Henny Youngman

Rodney Dangerfield

How Las Vegas Has Changed Since the 1970s

How Las Vegas Has Changed Since the 1960s

More on How Las Vegas Has Changed Over the Years

Vegas Fashion

Joan Rivers

Las Vegas Postcards

TV's The Magician and Las Vegas

BONUS: Garry Shandling in Las Vegas


Liberace / Las Vegas Headliner

"I didn't get dressed like this to go unnoticed."
- Liberace

Who can explain the phenomenon that was Liberace? He sold millions of albums, was loved here and abroad... and he became a glittering Las Vegas icon. He had a way with the piano that few before or since have mastered, whether it was playing the classics or contemporary works. The music he created was stunningly gorgeous. Liberace was a frequent guest on TV variety shows and had his own TV series and yearly specials.


Liberace set a salary record by earning $50,000 a week to open the Riviera in 1955. By the early 1970s he was bringing down $300,000 a week, that's $1,500,000 in today's money. He was, during that period, the highest paid performer in the world. The appeal stemmed from his beautiful lush orchestrations and the outlandish outfits he always wore - fur coats and bejeweled outfits were the norm, even on a night out on the town.


Liberace was very popular with Mr. & Mrs. Middle America who happily flocked to Sin City to see this larger than life entertainer. They crowded the hotels and dropped a lot of money in the casinos when Liberace's name was on the marquee.

He was so big the Liberace museum was a top Vegas attraction... in fact, it was the only museum in the city for decades. Here's a tour of Liberace's home, when the performer was alive in 2013:


Well into the 1980s Liberace was seen live at the Las Vegas Hilton and in Lake Tahoe where he also had a home. Two CBS TV specials in 1978 and 1979 were filmed at the Vegas Hilton, 'Leapin' Lizards it's Liberace' and 'Liberace: A Valentine Special'.

He was undoubtedly the most flamboyant queen on the planet but maintained until the end that he wasn't gay (though he was). He even sued a journalist in England for implying he was queer - and won!

Unlike Elvis, Sinatra and Dean, Liberace's legacy has not endured. His fabled museum is no more, it had been the third most popular attraction in the state of Nevada. His opulent home in Las Vegas fell into disrepair and then into foreclosure.

Liberace told his manager in 1986, "If my fans or the public ever found out that I'm gay or that I have AIDS... that's all they'll ever remember about me." And he was right, he's likely to be redefined for the modern age by the excellent 2013 HBO movie starring Michael Douglas as the famed pianist. The film was based on Liberace's lover Scott Thorson's tell-all book 'Behind the Candelabra'. Matt Damon played Thorson.

Scott Thorson sued the entertainer for $113 million shortly before his death in 1987 but settled for $95,000.



"The difference between men and boys is the price of their toys."
- Liberace

YOUR GO-GO HOST: Billy Ingram

So how DID a piano player like Liberace become an international superstar and a legend of the Las Vegas Strip?



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