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Article updated: 5/22/2013 11:15 AM

Michael Douglas, Matt Damon dramatize Liberace's affair

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Michael Douglas, right, as Liberace, and Matt Damon, as Scott Thorson in "Behind the Candelabra," premiering Sunday on HBO.

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The idea of Michael Douglas playing Liberace might seem nearly as outrageous as Liberace himself. Liberace, forever hailed as "Mr. Showmanship," was the excess-to-the-max pianist-personality whose onstage and offstage extravagance were legendary, and who wowed audiences in Las Vegas and worldwide. By contrast, Michael Douglas is a 68-year-old movie star known for he-man performances and morally ambiguous roles. And he was no piano player. But Douglas now dazzles as Liberace in the new HBO film, "Behind the Candelabra," including lavish musical numbers where he tinkles the ivories and flourishes his jewel-and-ermine finery.
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