Already established as a nightclub singer and musical theatre actress, she first attracted critical acclaim for her dramatic performances in the movies The Sterile Cuckoo (1969), and Tell Me That You Love Me, Junie Moon (1970); Minnelli then rose to international stardom for her appearance as Sally Bowles in the 1972 film version of the Broadway musical Cabaret, for which she won the Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role. She later co-starred in Arthur (1981), starring with Dudley Moore (in the title role) and Sir John Gielgud.
While film projects such as Lucky Lady, A Matter of Time and New York, New York were less favorably received than her stage roles, Minnelli became an entertainer in television, beginning with Liza with a Z in 1972, and on stage in the Broadway productions of Flora the Red Menace, The Act and The Rink. Minnelli also toured internationally and did shows such as Liza Minnelli: At Carnegie Hall, Frank, Liza & Sammy: The Ultimate Event, and Liza Live from Radio City Music Hall.
She starred in Liza's Back in 2002. She had guest appearances in the sitcom Arrested Development and had a small role in the movie The OH in Ohio, while continuing to tour internationally. In 2008/2009, she performed the Broadway show Liza's at The Palace...! which earned a Tony Award for Best Special Theatrical Event.
Minnelli has won a total of four Tony Awards, including a Special Tony Award. She has also won an Oscar, an Emmy Award, two Golden Globes and a Grammy Legend Award for her contributions and influence in the recording field, along with many other honors and awards. She is among the few entertainers who have won an Oscar, Emmy, Grammy, and Tony Award. In 2000, Minnelli was inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame.
NBC Television. Liza Minnelli from her 1973 Liza With a Z television special.
Scout Previews. Mikhail Baryshnikov and Liza Minnelli for Baryshnikov on Broadway, 1980
Minnelli has been married (and divorced) four times. Her first marriage was to Peter Allen (full name Peter Allen Woolnough) on March 3, 1967. Australian-born Allen was Judy Garland's protégé in the mid-1960s. They divorced on July 24, 1974.
About her marriage to Peter Allen, Minnelli told The Advocate's Editor In Chief, Judy Wieder in September 1996, "I married Peter and he didn't tell me he was gay. Everyone knew but me. And I found out...well, let me put it this way: I'll never surprise anybody coming home as long as I live. I call first!"
Later that year, she married Jack Haley, Jr., a producer and director, on September 15, 1974. His father, Jack Haley, was Garland's co-star in The Wizard of Oz. They divorced in April 1979.
Minnelli was married to Mark Gero, a sculptor and stage manager, from December 4, 1979 until their divorce in January 1992.
She was married to David Gest, a concert promoter, from March 16, 2002, until they divorced in April 2007. (They separated in July 2003.) In a 2003 lawsuit Gest alleged that Minnelli beat him in alcohol induced rages during their marriage. Minnelli's attorneys said Gest tried to shun the singer from her three siblings- Christiane Minnelli, Lorna and Joey Luft, and evict her step-mother Georgette Minnelli from one of Minnelli's properties.
Minnelli also had relationships with Rock Brynner, Desi Arnaz, Jr. (the son of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz), Peter Sellers, and Martin Scorsese.
Minnelli has no children; one pregnancy left her with a hiatal hernia as a result of the medical steps taken to try to save the baby.
Minnelli has long suffered from alcoholism, and has been addicted to prescription drugs, originating from a Valium prescription after her mother's death. Minnelli left her 1984 musical The Rink to enter the Betty Ford Clinic. Her use of recreational drugs in the 1970s was noted by Andy Warhol, who in a 1978 diary entry recalled Minnelli arriving at Halston's house and imploring the host to "Give me every drug you've got." Along with Warhol and Bianca Jagger, Minnelli made frequent appearances at New York City nightclubs during the late 1970s.
Minnelli has, throughout her lifetime, served various charities and causes which she considers very important. She served on the board of directors of The Institutes for The Achievement of Human Potential (IAHP) for 20 years, a nonprofit educational organization that introduces parents to the field of child brain development. In a 2006 interview with Randy Rice at Broadwayworld.com Minnelli said that she was the person who told Elizabeth Taylor about HIV/AIDS while talking about their mutual friend, Rock Hudson. She has also dedicated much time to amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, which was co-founded by Taylor. In 2007, she stated in an interview with Palm Springs Life magazine, “AmfAR is important to me because I’ve lost so many friends that I knew [to AIDS]”. In 1994, she recorded the Kander & Ebb tune "The Day After That" and donated the proceeds to AIDS research. That same year she performed the song in front of thousands in Central Park at the 25th anniversary of the Stonewall riots.
Under the Rainbow: The Real Liza Minnelli by George Mair
Hardcover: 248 pages
Publisher: Birch Lane Pr; First Edition edition (November 1996)
Amazon: Under the Rainbow: The Real Liza Minnelli
The author of Oprah Winfrey: The Real Story recounts the singer's private life, including her conflicts with her mother, her dependency on drugs, her abortive marriage to Peter Allen, and her public sexual affair with Mikhail Baryshnikov.
More LGBT History at my website: www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Persistent Voices
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