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The King of Bling before it was a thing Alan Light/Flickr
When I met Liberace in 1986, I tried to eat his diamond rings. He was making an appearance at Caldors in Riverside, Connecticut, promoting a coffee table book of photos of one of his fantastic homes. My mom tells me he held me in his famously bejeweled hands and we exchanged grins. I was two.
“He was an absolute sweetheart,” Mom recalled the other day. “Beautiful in his ermine sweater. Big dimples, big diamonds.”
I don’t remember the encounter, but as an “older millennial” I have an awareness of who Liberace was: a flamboyant pianist with a taste for furs and jewels who was the butt of many a terrible late-show joke. Wladziu (Lee) Liberace was a child prodigy born of humble Midwestern roots who gained fame by combining exceptional musical talent with personal charm and a flair for showmanship.