Liza Minnelli

BIOGRAPHY

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LIZA MINNELLI

Biography

A genuine all-rounder, Liza Minnelli epitomises the trials and tribulations of showbiz.

 

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Born to singer and actress Judy Garland and Oscar winning movie director Vincente Minnellion March 12th 1946, Liza began her life in the limelight, she had her first role at just 14 months old in the movie 'Good Old Summertime'.

Her parents divorced and in 1952 her mother married Sid Luft. Her siblings, Lorna and Joey, were born shortly after.

From 1956 she began to make guest appearances as a performer on a variety of unremarkable TV shows.  She made her stage debut in 1961 in the musical 'Wish You Were Here' and performed in 'Take Me Along' and 'The Diary of Anne Frank' but her real break came in 1963 in the play 'Best Foot Forward' for which she received the Theatre World Award.

A year after Liza's success in 'Best Foot Forward', her mother, Judy, invited Liza to join her for a show at the London Palladium. The show was a sell out and was the turning point for Liza's career. It was here that Liza met her first husband Peter Allen, a friend of her mother's.

In 1965, aged nineteen, Liza headlined the musical 'Flora, The Red Menace'. Not only did the musical mark her first collaboration with songwriters John Kander and Fred Ebb, she also won a Best Musical Actress Tony Award for her performance. 

She was nominated for her first Academy Award for the role of Pookie Adams in 'Sterile Cuckoo', in 1969 in the same year her mother died of an overdose. Five years later Minnelli provided the voice of the role made famous by Garland, Dorothy, in the 1974 film 'Journey Back to Oz'.

Undoubtedly her greatest screen role was playing Sally Bowles in 1972’s 'Cabaret', which earned her the Oscar for Best Actress. This, however, was the last of Liza's major successes.

Liza was directed by her father, Vincente in 'A Matter of Time', which was not a great success. She was also having difficulties with her personal life - she divorced husband Allen in 1974, and not long after married Jack Haley Jr, a filmmaking executive. This was a rocky marriage and, ended, again in divorce just 4 years later in 1978.

During the 1980s, Liza enjoyed some box office success, the biggest being her role in 'Arthur', as Dudley Moore's love interest.

She remarried for a third time in 1979 to sculptor Marc Greco, this relationship lasted throughout her film career in the 1980s and early 1990s, largely bit-parts -cameo roles- in movies like 'The Muppets Take Manhattan', 'Rent-a-Cop' (for which she won a Golden Raspberry –in the same year she won another for ‘Arthur 2’) and 'Stepping Out'.

Liza tackled some more dramatic roles on TV and scooped a Golden Globe as the mother whose son is coping with muscular dystrophy, in 'A Time to Live', as well as giving emotional performances in 'Parallel Lives' and 'The West Side Waltz'.

In 1995 and 2000 she was required to have surgery for complications to her hip, in 1997 she underwent throat surgery and in 2000 was hospitalized with encephalitis. Liza has worked hard to combat alcoholism and, like her mother, has endured a succession of relationship issues. In 2002 Liza married for the fourth time to producer David Gest. But, after just 16 months, the couple split up.

In 2004 and 2005, she appeared in the award-winning show 'Arrested Development', before making a guest appearance the following year on the NBC show 'Law and Order'.

In 2006, Liza featured as a guest vocalist on the My Chemical Romance album 'The Black Parade'. She can be heard on the track 'Mama'.

She returned to the stage in 2008 with a solo show at the Palace Theatre on Broadway, 'Liza's at The Palace…!' ran for a month and was popular with audiences and critics alike. It was later released on DVD.

Liza has remained busy in recent years, completing a tour in 2009 and making a cameo appearance in the 2010 film 'Sex and the City 2'. She also appeared on NBC's 'The Apprentice' later that year.

Her latest album 'Confessions', her 11th, was released in 2010. Liza revealed that she was forced to record some of the record in bed because she couldn't walk for six weeks following a knee replacement.

In many respects Liza is the last of her kind, a multi-talented performer with a genuine connection to old-school Hollywood.

 

 

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