MINNELLI, LIZA MAY (1946- )
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American actress, singer and dancer. Known for her commanding stage presence and powerful alto singing voice, Minnelli is among a rare group of performers awarded an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony (EGOT). Minnelli is a Knight of the French Legion of Honour.
SP – Signed Photograph: early (circa 1980s) black and white publicity still, boldly signed. Undedicated.
Daughter of actress and singer Judy Garland and director Vincente Minnelli, Minnelli moved to New York City in 1961 where she began her career as a musical theatre actress, nightclub performer and traditional pop music artist. She made her professional stage debut in the 1963 Off-Broadway revival of Best Foot Forward and won a Tony Award for starring in Flora the Red Menace in 1965, which marked the start of her lifelong collaboration with John Kander and Fred Ebb. They wrote, produced or directed many of Minnelli’s future stage acts and TV shows, and helped create her stage persona of a stylized survivor, including her career-defining performances of anthems of survival (New York, New York, Cabaret and Maybe This Time). Along with her roles on stage and screen, this persona and her style of performance added to Minnelli’s status as an enduring gay icon.
An acclaimed performance in the drama film The Sterile Cuckoo (1969), marked a film breakthrough for Minnelli and garnered her a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress. She rose to international prominence with her portrayal of Sally Bowles in the musical film Cabaret (1972), for which she won the Academy Award for Best Actress. Most of her following films, including Lucky Lady (1975), New York, New York (1977), Rent-a-Cop (1988) and Stepping Out (1991), were panned by critics and bombed at the box office, and she had no more major movie hits except Arthur (1981). She returned to Broadway on a number of occasions, including The Act (1977) for which she earned a second Tony Award, The Rink (1984) and Liza’s at The Palace…. (2008), worked on various television formats and has predominantly focused on music hall and nightclub performances since the late 1970s. Her concert performances at Carnegie Hall in 1979 and 1987, and at Radio City Music Hall in 1991 and 1992 are recognized among her most successful. From 1988 to 1990, she toured with Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr. in Frank, Liza & Sammy: The Ultimate Event.
While Minnelli is known for her renditions of American standards, her early-1960s pop singles were produced to attract a young audience. Her albums from 1968 to 1977 contained contemporary singer-songwriter material. In 1989, she ventured into the contemporary pop scene by collaborating with the Pet Shop Boys on the album Results. After a hiatus due to serious health problems, Minnelli returned to the concert stage in 2002 with Liza’s Back and was a guest star in the sitcom Arrested Development between 2003 and 2013. Since the 2010s, she has mostly avoided huge concert performances in favor of small retrospective ones.