Wladziu Valentino Liberace (May 16, 1919 – February 4, 1987), better known by only his last name Liberace (pronounced /ˌlɪbəˈrɑːtʃiː/), was a famous American entertainer and pianist. During the 1950s–1970s he was the highest-paid entertainer in the world.
Liberace's final stage performance was at the Radio City Music Hall on November 2, 1986; the 18th show in 21 days, the series grossing $2.5 million. His final television appearance was on Christmas Day that same year on The Oprah Winfrey Show TV talk show, which was recorded a month earlier. He died at the age of 67 on February 4, 1987 at his winter home in Palm Springs, California, from cardiac arrest due to congestive heart failure brought on by subacute encephalopathy, said by Hank Greenspun of the Las Vegas Sun to be complications from AIDS. Liberace's obvious weight loss in the months prior to his death was attributed to a "watermelon diet" by his longtime manager Seymour Heller. He had been in ill health since 1985 with emphysema from his daily smoking off-stage, as well as heart and liver troubles; and author Darden Asbury Pyron wrote that Liberace had been "HIV-positive and symptomatic" from 1985. Liberace's body is entombed in Forest Lawn - Hollywood Hills Cemetery in Los Angeles.