Liberace's Las Vegas Mansion in Foreclosure
The much anticipated HBO movie Behind the Candelabra starring Michael Douglas as legendary entertainer Liberace and Matt Damon as his young lover captures the over-the-top opulence of Liberace's life.
No one could compete with the so-called guru of glitter, but, sadly, that glitter is fading.
The Las Vegas estate once owned by Liberace is in shambles. A "No Trespassing" sign was plastered to the door. The mansion is actually in foreclosure, the walls are stained, and the once beautiful landscaping is now just dirt.
The property is now a sad site, with a decaying awning above the once elaborately decorated home.
Wallpaper is crumbling, and wiring is exposed. A real estate mogul bought the home for $3.7 million dollars at the height of the housing boom, then was unable to make the mortgage payments.
But the estate still features traces of Liberace's grandeur. Above the sunken marble jacuzzi tub is a portrait of a grinning Liberace.
Antique Grecian marble pillars and Baccarat crystal sconces adorn the home. A $1.5 million ceiling painting that mimics the Sistine Chapel is above the master bedroom.
Realtor Dan Humeston hopes the home can be restored to its original splendor.
When asked who would potentially be interested in purchasing the property, Humeston said, "There will be an array of people that are interested in a Liberace home. Ultimately, I hope it's a fan. I hope it's restored back to it's original beauty."
Where did all of Liberace's bejeweled possessions go? Many ended up just a mile away from the Vegas mansion at the Liberace museum. The museum also has a sad story to tell, too. The museum was closed because of financial problems.
INSIDE EDITION got exclusive access to more of Liberace's treasures not seen by the public for years.
Melanie Coffee works for the museum. She wears white gloves to protect the priceless items, which are kept in protective storage boxes. One of Liberace's favorite costumes, embellished with beads, pearls and jewels was in one of the boxes.
"This jacket matches the piano," Coffee said. Liberace actually painted a piano blue and gold to match his outfit.
For Liberace, when it came to showtime, the flashier the better. Liberace wore a flashy gold jacket to create more sparkle on stage. "It was his first foray away from the tradition tuxedo look," Coffee said.
Even more extravagant were Liberace's one-of-a-kind cars. "Liberace loved to have fun. He actually picked up visitors up in his own custom London taxi.
Liberace's rare mirrored Rolls Royce limousine is featured in the new HBO movie, which will hopefully renew interest in the flamboyant entertainer and bring life back to the legacy Liberace left behind.
When Liberace died in 1987, he was worth a reported $115 million. Some of that fortune went to the Liberace Foundation which provides scholarships to musicians. The museum tells us they hope to reopen next year.