Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Snooping around Liberace's Las Vegas mansion

Last week Mike and I watched Beyond the Candelabra, the HBO movie about the last 10 years of Liberace's life, based on the autobiographical novel by Scott Thorson, his much younger lover.  Okay, Mike watched only the beginning of it--nothing will make a heterosexual dude run from a room faster than a depiction of man-on-man action in the sack.  Am I right?  Even if one of the guys is Matt Damon.

I held out, mainly because the Emmy Awards are Sunday night and I wanted to see it so I'll know who to root for.  Michael Douglas and Matt Damon each give truly amazing performances, no doubt about that.  But other than the acting, I can't recommend the movie. It seems like something that just didn't need to be made.  It was sad and icky, and it sure as hell wasn't entertaining.  Liberace is not at all portrayed in a favorable light; he comes across as little more than a demented old, controlling queen.  I can't imagine a fan appreciating this film too much.  I could be wrong.

Anyway, last Sunday Mike took me to see Liberace's mansion at 4982 Shirley St. here in Las Vegas, not far from McCarran Airport.  Mike has lived in Las Vegas since 1966 and remembers riding his bike past Liberace's house when he was a kid.  He couldn't recall exactly where it was, but with the help of my trust iPhone, we found it.

According to this article, the property was purchased at the end of August for $500,000 by a British fan living in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, in honor of his 50th birthday.  In 2006, during the Vegas housing boom, the house sold for $3.7 million (ouch!) and went into foreclosure in 2010.  It sits on a corner lot with no land around it and is obviously in a state of disrepair.

Look beyond the dead tree and imagine Liberace himself, covered in jewels, under the canopied walkway.

Check out the Ls on the front door.

The place looks deceptively small, but in fact, it's a two-story structure with almost 15,000 square feet.  Interestingly, there are ten bathrooms but only two bedrooms. Lots of room for entertaining, but no place for overnight guests.

I looked in the windows and took a few pictures of the inside.


Here's a video I took as we walked around the property.

Sad when you think of how opulent the mansion once was, but it looks like the new owner will restore the house to its former glory.  It will be interesting to see what becomes of it.

Did you see Beyond the Candelabra?  What did you think?


Tara said...

Loved the movie! 3D characters, quite a peek into these lives. The times: sex, drugs, tickling the ivories.

Dawn said...

I have not seen the movie but, I loved the book! The whole damn story is pretty sad if you ask me. Did the movie show his dislike of his mother? I do want to see the movie and see how it compares to the book!

Vegas Linda Lou said...

No, he (Liberace) seemed to really like his mother in the movie. The movie was really well done, but... just so sad. And the whole plastic surgery thing was downright creepy.

Paul Atreides said...

Nothing in the film should've come as any surprise to anyone alive at the time. Liberace was a hell of an entertainer, but spoiled rotten as a lot of celebrities are who surround themselves with "yes" people.

BTW - little-known fact about him: He owned another home right across the street from the Tivoli Gardens restaurant (which he owned) so he wouldn't have to use the public men's room.

Great post, though, Linda! And loved the sneak pictures!! I've always wondered about the inside of that place.

Vegas Linda Lou said...

That's hysterical! I might have to buy a house across the street from my work. This executive suite has unisex bathrooms and some of the boys leave the toilet seats up!

Memphis MOJO said...

I'm like Mike -- I'd rather see his house than the movie.