MAE WEST had a close friend for awhile in Liberace, who also forged a public relationship with actress Joanne Rio.
• • While the flamboyant, diamond-loving entertainer pursued male lovers in private, Liberace's record company churned out press releases describing him as "the perfect all-around man any woman would be thrilled to be with" — — and his cookbooks featured recipes for "Liberace lasagna" (showing off his Betty Crocker side).
• • In case you need a refresher course, Wladziu Valentino Liberace [16 May 1919 — 4 February 1987], better known by only his last name Liberace, was a famous American entertainer and pianist of Polish and Italian descent. Liberace, known as "Lee" to his friends and "Walter" to family, was born in Wisconsin to Frances Zuchowska, a Polish American, and Salvatore ("Sam") Liberace, an immigrant from Formia, Italy.
• • Las Vegas was an excellent platform for Mae West and those casino audiences in the Nevada desert made Liberace a huge star during the 1970s and 1980s.
• • Now two Hollywood heavyweights — — Michael Douglas and Matt Damon — — are set to star in a no-holds barred bio-pic that will depict the long hushed-up homosexual affairs of the over-the-top keyboard king, who succumbed to AIDS at age 67 in 1987.
• • Militant about his myth-making, Liberace always denied he was gay, successfully suing the Daily Mirror in 1957 over a Cassandra column that described him as “fruit-flavored."
• • However, Scott Thorson, who claimed to have been Liberace's lover for five years, sued the pianist in 1982 for $60 million alimony after a bitter break-up. Actor Matt Damon will portray Mr. Thorsen.
• • Helming the motion picture is director Steven Soderbergh.
• • Get ready for the "Brokeback Mountain" of the piano sphere.
• • Come up and see Mae every day online: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
• • Photo: • • Mae West • • 1950s • •