Liza Minnelli

Liza Minnelli

Infobox actor
name = Liza Minnelli

imagesize =
caption = Liza Minnelli in 2008 at The Heart Truth Fashion Show
birthdate = birth date and age|1946|3|12
birthplace = Hollywood, California, U.S.
spouse = Peter Allen (1967-1974)
Jack Haley, Jr. (1974-1979)
Mark Gero (1979-1992)
David Gest (2002-2003)
yearsactive = 1949-present
occupation = Actress, vocalist
academyawards = Best Actress
1972 "Cabaret"
baftaawards = Best Actress in a Leading Role
1972 "Cabaret"
emmyawards = Outstanding Single Program - Variety and Popular Music
1973 "Liza with a 'Z'"
goldenglobeawards = Best Actress - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
1973 "Cabaret"
Best Actress - Miniseries or TV Movie
1986 "A Time to Live"
goldenraspberryawards = Worst Actress
1988 "" ; "Rent-A-Cop"
grammyawards = Grammy Legend Award
1990 Lifetime Achievement
tonyawards = Best Leading Actress in a Musical
1965 "Flora the Red Menace"
1978 "The Act"
Special Tony Award

Liza May Minnelli (born March 12, 1946) is a legendary American actress and singer. She is the daughter of actress and singer Judy Garland and Garland's second husband, film director Vincente Minnelli. In 1972, Liza Minnelli won an Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in "Cabaret" and two of her records have been certified gold.


Minnelli was born in Hollywood, California into a well-known artistic family; her maternal lineage had entertainers in the family going back six generations. [ A Star is Reborn] 14 June 2003] Her famous mother, Judy Garland, had legendary success in film and in music, and her aunts had been part of a singing group, "The Gumm Sisters", with her mother. Her father, also from a theatrical family including circus performers, was acclaimed MGM film director Vincente Minnelli. Liza Minnelli's first film appearance was at the age of three in the final scene of the 1949 musical "In the Good Old Summertime", starring her mother and Van Johnson.

Although Minnelli and her mother shared a warm personal relationship, during the London Palladium performances, Garland recognized Minnelli's talent and felt a sense of competition. Minnelli recalled a time where she was singing on stage: "I was onstage with my mother, but suddenly, she wasn't Mama ... she was Judy Garland.".

As a teenager with two younger siblings, Minnelli bore the brunt of Garland`s substance abuse issues and instability, and often had to take responsibility for her mother and siblings.Minnelli's half-siblings through her mother and husband Sid Luft are sister Lorna Luft and brother Joe Luft. She also has a half-sibling Christiane Nina Minnelli (nicknamed Tina Nina) through her father's second marriage.cite web|url=,,2272373,00.html|title= Lunch with a legend|accessdate= 2008-04-12|author= Emma Brockes|date= 2008-04-12|publisher= The Guardian]

She has also been portrayed in the Australian musical The Boy From Oz starring Hugh Jackman. On Broadway, she was portrayed by Broadway star Stephanie J. Block. The show received four Tony nominations.

She is also known childhood friends with Mia Farrow, Candice Bergen, Tisha Sterling, Natalie Cole, and Katy Manning.

Public life

Her well-publicized struggles with substance abuse have made inevitable parallels and comparisons to her mother's personal and career challenges. Minnelli has been in rehab for her substance abuse numerous times.


Minnelli has been married (and divorced) four times; her husbands have been:
# Peter Allen (real name Peter Allen Woolnough) (March 3, 1967–1972). Australian-born Allen, who died of complications from AIDS in 1992. Allen was Judy Garland's protégé in the mid-1960s.
# Jack Haley Jr., (September 15, 1974–1979), a producer and director. His father, Jack Haley, was Garland's co-star in "The Wizard of Oz."
# Mark Gero (December 4, 1979–1992), a sculptor and stage manager
# David Gest (March 16, 2002July 25, 2003), a concert promoter.

Separation and subsequent divorce proceedings from Gest in 2003 had been fraught with controversy. Minnelli and Gest signed an agreement in January 2007 to end all pending lawsuits against each other, and to proceed with a no-fault divorce. Prior legal matters were either resolved or dismissed.

Minnelli has no children, having had three miscarriages; one attempted pregnancy left Minnelli with a hiatal hernia as a result of the medical steps taken to try to save the baby.



Minnelli began performing professionally at age 17, in 1963, in an Off-Broadway revival of the musical "Best Foot Forward", for which she received good notices, and her first award -- The Theatre World Award. The next year, her mother invited Minnelli to perform with her at the London Palladium. The audience loved her, launching her future concert career. She returned to Broadway at 19, and in 1965 she became the youngest person ever to win a leading actress Tony Award for "Flora the Red Menace".


Her first film role was as the love-interest in Albert Finney's only film as director and star, "Charlie Bubbles" (1967).

In 1969 she appeared in Alan J. Pakula's first feature film, "The Sterile Cuckoo" (1969), as Pookie Adams, a needy, eccentric teenager. Her performance won her her first Academy Award nomination. She played another eccentric character the following year in "Tell Me That You Love Me, Junie Moon", directed by Otto Preminger. In 1972, Minnelli appeared in perhaps her best-known film role, as Sally Bowles in the movie version of "Cabaret". She said that one of the things she did to prepare was to study photographs of classic actresses Louise Glaum and Louise Brooks and the dark-haired ladies of that time.cite web |title=Liza Minnelli: be "strange and extraordinary," her father once told her. She listened - Interview |first=Ingrid |last=Sischy | |url= |date=2004-02 |accessdate=2008-02-25] Minnelli won the Best Actress Academy Award for her performance, along with a Golden Globe Award, and was featured on the covers of "Time" and "Newsweek" Magazines simultaneously.

Hot off the success of the movie, Fosse and Minnelli teamed up for what was to become a groundbreaking show in several departments. "Liza with a 'Z'", a filmed concert later aired only two times on TV until the somewhat "accidental" recovery from the vaults and first public release on DVD in 2006. In the concert, filmed in one non-stop performance, Minnelli danced and sang in several daring and censor-challenging costumes designed by famed costume designer Halston. Several awards were the reward for what is regarded by both critics and public as a piece of show business history.

Following a string of less successful feature movies and ventures into television, she finally got the chance to work with her father, director Vincente Minnelli, in the 1976 fantasy-musical "A Matter of Time", co-starring Ingrid Bergman. After severe editing and cutting, done at the request of the producers, the film was neither a commercial nor a critical success.

Her appearance opposite Robert De Niro in the 1977 film, "New York, New York" however, gave Minnelli her best known signature song. Frank Sinatra released a successful cover version (for his "" album) two years later and used it as his signature song as well, sometimes even duetting with Liza live on stage.

After her performance as leading lady to Dudley Moore in 1981's hit film "Arthur", Minnelli made fewer film appearances although she returned to the big screen in 1991 for "Stepping Out," a feel-good musical comedy.

Later career

Minnelli's career has been known to be filled with highs and lows.Fact|date=May 2007 In the beginnings, however, she recorded several studio albums for A&M and Capitol Records. The Capitol albums "Liza! Liza!", "It Amazes Me" and "There Is A Time" have recently been reissued on a two CD compilation, for the first time in their entirety. In 1989 Minnelli collaborated with the Pet Shop Boys on "Results," an electronic dance-style album. The release hit the top 10 in the UK and also charted in the US, spawning four singles ("Don't Drop Bombs", "Losing My Mind", "Love Pains" and "So Sorry, I Said"). This also gave her a chance to film promotional videos for the songs and resulted in a long-overdue comeback in the music business. Initially released on a VHS tape titled "Visible Results", the clips were later issued on a bonus DVD included in the 2005 remastered and expanded edition of the album. Later that year she performed "Losing My Mind" live at the Grammys ceremony before receiving a Grammy Legend Award, making her one of only 12 other entertainers, in a list that includes Whoopi Goldberg, Barbra Streisand, and Mel Brooks among others, to win an Emmy, Grammy, Tony, and Academy Award, even though she is sometimes discounted since her Grammy was a special award and was not won in a competitive category.

She returned to Broadway in 1997, taking over the title role in the musical "Victor/Victoria", replacing Julie Andrews. In his review, "New York Times" critic Ben Brantley commented, "her every stage appearance is perceived as a victory of show-business stamina over psychic frailty... She asks for love so nakedly and earnestly, it seems downright vicious not to respond."

After a serious case of viral encephalitis in 2000, Minnelli was in very bad shape; her family and friends were seriously worried, and even an estrangement with half-sister Lorna was buried. Doctors predicted that she would spend the rest of her life in a wheelchair. However, she refused to accept this and with the help of dance lessons, which she still takes daily, managed to recover and returned to the stage "Liza's Back" in 2002 performing to rave reviews in London and New York City

After this success, the world was again made aware of Minnelli's entertainment capabilities and she continued to tour the world and received offers from several fields in the business. In 2004 and 2005 she appeared as a recurring character on the critically acclaimed TV sitcom "Arrested Development" as Lucille Austero, the lover of sexually and socially awkward Buster Bluth and also the lover of Buster's brother GOB.

In September 2006, she made a guest appearance on the long-running NBC drama "". "Masquerade", the Halloween-themed episode. This was written by Gina Gionfriddo and broadcast on Tuesday, October 31, 2006. [ [ Minnelli to guest star on 'Law & Order'] October 1, 2006] She also completed guest vocals on My Chemical Romance's 2006 concept album "The Black Parade," portraying "Mother War", a dark conception of the main character's mother, in the song "Mama".

Her latest project is the imminent release of a collection of songs that her godmother Kay Thompson originated. In 2007 she has added the songs to her latest tour to introduce them to audiences.

It has recently been announced that once she has completed the collection of songs that Kay Thompson originated and also her tour, she will begin filming Katie's Blues, which she is in negotiations with the writers of the movie musical "Chicago" in writing the script. Liza will write, produce, and star in the film.

ignature song

Minnelli had several notable public performances of her signature song, "New York, New York", some of them are:

* At the 1978 Studio 54 party honoring New York City's revival, at which a guest was Mayor Ed Koch;
* The reopening of the Statue of Liberty on July 4, 1986;
* As a duet with Luciano Pavarotti at the 1996 "Pavarotti & Friends" concert in Modena, Italy.
* At a 2001 New York Mets baseball game that was the metro area's first major sporting event after the September 11 attacks;
* At the age of 60, for the "Macy's 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular" televised live, and nationally on NBC on July 4, 2006, she performed the song and received an ovation.
* In February 2008, weeks before turning 62, she performed the song at a televised celebration of Bruce Forsyth's 80th birthday celebration on BBC.
* In June 2008, at the "Opening Night" at the Hollywood Bowl where she was inducted into the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame.
* On October 2nd, 2008, at Trevi Fountain in Rome to promote her next tour of Italy.

Awards and honors

Minnelli's appearance in "The Sterile Cuckoo" garnered the young actress her first Academy Award nomination.

In 1973, she won the Academy Award for Best Actress for the movie released in 1972, "Cabaret".

She also won an Emmy Award for the 1972 TV special "Liza with a 'Z"', a 1989 Grammy Legend Award, and Golden Globe Awards for both "Cabaret" and the 1985 TV movie "A Time to Live".

She has received three Tony Awards to date: a Tony for Best Actress in a Musical in 1965 for "Flora the Red Menace" (and for it still holds the record as the youngest person to receive a Tony for lead in a musical), a special Tony in 1974 for her concert engagement at NY's Winter Garden, and a second Tony, for "The Act" in 1978. She was nominated in 1984 for "The Rink" but lost to her costar, Chita Rivera.

Minnelli has one Oscar and Emmy, three Tony Awards, two Golden Globes, along with a special Grammy. She has the distinction of being one of the few Academy Award winners whose parents were both Academy Award "nominees", and she is the only winner of that award whose parents were both "winners" of it as well.


Minnelli's work in "Cabaret" molded her popular image; the black helmet of hair, huge eyes and extravagant eyelashes have remained her visual trademarks. The perception among many is that she embodies the same characteristics she portrayed as Sally Bowles, that is, a combination of fragility, determination, detachment from reality and hunger for affection. During the 1980s, she softened her image and has kept it ever since. Recently, she has suffered health problems, including having had both hips replaced and other surgeries. Despite this, she stated she will keep on doing what she does best as long as her body allows her to. In an interview session filmed for “Inside the Actor's Studio” in which she provided insight into her career and style, she stated she will continue to be herself.




* "Best Foot Forward" (1963) (Original Cast Recording)
* "Liza! Liza!" (1964) US #115
* "Judy Garland and Liza Minnelli Live at the London Palladium" (1965) US #41
* "Flora the Red Menace" (1965) (Original Cast Recording) US #111
* "It Amazes Me" (1965)
* "There Is a Time" (1966)
* "The Dangerous Christmas of Red Riding Hood" (1966) (soundtrack)
* "Liza Minnelli" (1968)
* "Come Saturday Morning" (1969)
* "New Feelin"' (1970) US #158
* "Liza Minnelli: Live at the Olympia in Paris" (1972, recorded in December 1969)
* "Cabaret" (1972) (soundtrack) US #25 UK #13
* "Liza with a 'Z"' (1972) (soundtrack) US #19 UK #9
* "The Singer" (1973) US #38 UK #45
* "Liza Minnelli: Live at the Winter Garden" (1974) US #150
* "Lucky Lady" (1975) (soundtrack)
* "A Matter of Time" (1976) (soundtrack)
* "New York, New York" (1977) (soundtrack) US #50
* "Tropical Nights" (1977)
* "The Act" (1978) (Original Cast Recording)
* "Live at Carnegie Hall" (1981)
* "The Rink" (1984) (Original Cast Recording)
* "Liza Minnelli at Carnegie Hall" (1987) US #156
* "Results" (1989) US #128 UK #6, produced by Pet Shop Boys
* "Larlo My Love" (1990) US
* "Stepping Out" (1991) (soundtrack)
* "Liza: Live from Radio City Music Hall" (1992)
* "Aznavour Minnelli: Paris, Palais des Congrès" (1995)
* "Music from The Life: A New Musical" (1995) (concept cast album, is featured on "Use What You Got", "We Had a Dream", and "People Magazine")
* "Gently" (1996) US #156 UK #58
* "Dancin' Divas" (1996) This compilation from Sony Music Entertainment featured the song "Don't Drop Bombs" (Disconet Remix))
* "Minnelli on Minnelli: Live at the Palace" (1999)
* "Liza's Back" (2002)
* "The God-Mother and The God-Daughter" (TBC, 2009)
* "Liza Minnelli was featured on the album "The Black Parade "by" My Chemical Romance. "She played the part of Mother War in the song "Mama".

Popular singles

* "Theme from New York, New York" (US #104, 1977, became a worldwide classic and signature song)
* "Losing My Mind" (UK #6, August 1989) (#11 on US Dance chart)
* "Don't Drop Bombs" (UK #46, October 1989)
* "So Sorry, I Said" (UK #62, November 1989)
* "Love Pains" (UK #41, March 1990) (#40 on US dance chart)


During the early days of Television in the 1950s Liza appeared as a child guest on Art Linkletter's show and in 1959 sang and danced with Gene Kelly on his first television special. She was a guest star in one episode of the popular Ben Casey television series starring Vince Edwards and was a frequent guest on chat shows of the day including numerous appearances on shows hosted by Jack Parr, Merv Griffin, Mike Douglas, Joe Franklin, Dinah Shore and Johnny Carson. During the 1960s she made several guest appearances on "Laugh In" as well as other variety shows including "The Ed Sullivan Show", "The Hollywood Palace", as well as "The Judy Garland Show". Recently, Minnelli has made guest appearances on such shows as "Arrested Development" and "". In the UK she has appeared on the Ruby Wax, Graham Norton and Jonathan Ross shows and in October 2006 participated in a comedy skit on the Charlotte Church Show and was featured on the Michael Parkinson Show.
* "Judy and Liza at the Palladium" (1964)
* "The Dangerous Christmas of Red Riding Hood" (1965)
* "The Carol Burnett Show" 1967 & 1968
* "The Anthony Newley Show" (1971)
* "Liza with a 'Z"' (1972)
* "The Muppet Show" (1979)
* "Goldie and Liza Together" (1980)
* "Baryshnikov on Broadway" (1980)
* The Princess and the Pea (Faerie Tale Theatre episode) (1983)
* "A Time to Live" (1985)
* "Sam Found Out: A Triple Play" (1988)
* " (1989)
* "The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert" (1992)
* "Liza Minnelli: Live from Radio City Music Hall" (1993)
* "Parallel Lives" (1994)
* "The West Side Waltz" (1995)
* "Jackie's Back!" (1999)
* "Arrested Development" (2005)

tage productions

* "Best Foot Forward" (1963) (Off-Broadway)
* "Carnival" (1964) (Paper Mill Playhouse)
* "Time Out For Ginger" (1964) (Bucks County Playhouse)
* "The Fantasticks" (1964) (Tour)
* "Flora the Red Menace" (1965) (Broadway)
* "Liza" (1974) (one woman show, Broadway)
* "Chicago" (1975) (replacement for Gwen Verdon from Aug-Sep. 1975, Broadway)
* "The Act" (1977) (Broadway)
* "Are You Now or Have You Ever Been?" (1978) (Off Broadway}
* "The Owl and the Pussycat" (1979) Martha Graham Ballet, London West End & Lincoln Centre, New York City
* "By Myself" (1983) one woman show, Los Angeles and London
* "The Rink" (1984) (Broadway)
* "Victor/Victoria" (1997) (vacation replacement for Julie Andrews) (Broadway)
* "Minnelli on Minnelli" (1999) Broadway
* "Liza's Back!" (2002) Broadway


Minnelli has served various charities and causes throughout her lifetime which she considered very important. She served on the board of directors of the The Institutes for The Achievement of Human Potential (IAHP) for twenty years, a nonprofit educational organization that introduces parents to the field of child brain development. She also dedicated much time to amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research. In 1994 she recorded the Kander & Ebb tune "The Day After That" and donated the proceeds to AIDS research. The same year she performed the song in front of thousands in Central Park at the 25th anniversary of the Stonewall riots. Minnelli claimed that amfAR was especially important because she had lost so many friends to AIDS. [ [ Palm Springs Life ] ]

See also

* List of persons who have won Academy, Emmy, Grammy, and Tony Awards


* Schechter, Scott. "The Liza Minnelli Scrapbook". Citadel Press / Kensington Publishing Corp. 2004.

External links

* [ The Official Liza Minnelli website]
* [ Genealogy]
* [ "The Muppet Show": Liza Minnelli episode]

NAME= Minnelli, Liza
SHORT DESCRIPTION= Singer, actress
DATE OF BIRTH= March 12, 1946
PLACE OF BIRTH= Los Angeles, California, U.S.

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