Liza May Minnelli (born March 12, 1946) is an American actress, singer, dancer, and choreographer. Known for her commanding stage presence and powerful alto singing voice, Minnelli is among a rare group of performers awarded an Emmy, Grammy (Grammy Legend Award), Oscar, and Tony (EGOT); which includes Helen Hayes, Rita Moreno, John Gielgud, Audrey Hepburn, Mel Brooks, Mike Nichols, Whoopi Goldberg, and Jennifer Hudson. Minnelli is also a Knight of the French Legion of Honour.
Daughter of actress and singer Judy Garland and director Vincente Minnelli, Liza was born in Los Angeles, spent part of her childhood in Scarsdale, New York, and 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 received the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical 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 television series 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 contributed to Minnelli’s status as an enduring gay icon.
Minnelli’s first film role was an uncredited one in Robert Z. Leonard’s In the Good Old Summertime (1949), with Garland, Van Johnson, S.Z. Sakall, Spring Byington, Clinton Sundberg, and Buster Keaton. She had her first feature credit in Charlie Bubbles (1968), with Albert Finney (who also directed), Billie Whitelaw, and Colin Blakely. She received her first Academy Award nomination for Best Actress for Alan J. Pakula’s The Sterile Cuckoo (1969), with Wendell Burton and Tim McIntire.
Minnelli won the Academy Award for Best Actress for Bob Fosse’s Cabaret (1972), with Michael York, Helmut Griem, Marisa Berenson, Fritz Wepper, and Joel Grey. Other films of the 1970s include Otto Preminger’s Tell Me That You Love Me, Junie Moon (1970), with Ken Howard, Robert Moore, James Coco, Kay Thompson, Fred Williamson, and Pete Seeger; Stanley Donen’s Lucky Lady (1975), with Gene Hackman, Burt Reynolds, and Robby Benson; A Matter of Time (1976), with Ingrid Bergman, Charles Boyer, and Isabella Rossellini; and Martin Scorsese’s New York, New York (1977), with Robert De Niro.
Other notable films include Arthur (1981), with Dudley Moore and Gielgud; Rent-a-Cop (1987), with Reynolds, James Remar, Richard Masur, Bernie Casey, John Stanton, John P. Ryan, Dionne Warwick, and Benson; Arthur 2: On the Rocks (1988), with much of the previous cast, plus Kathy Bates, and Paul Benedict; Lewis Gilbert’s Stepping Out (1991), with Shelley Winters, Bill Irwin, Ellen Greene, Julie Walters, Robyn Stevan, Jane Krakowski, Sheila McCarthy, Andrea Martin, and Carol Woods; and The Oh in Ohio (2006), with Parker Posey, Paul Rudd, Mischa Barton, and Danny DeVito.
Minnelli won a Golden Globe for Best Actress – miniseries or TV movie for A Time to Live (1986), with Jeffrey DeMunn, Swoosie Kurtz, Scott Schwartz, and Corey Haim. Other TV movies include Sam Found Out: A Triple Play (1988), with Louis Gossett Jr., Ryan O’Neal, and John Rubinstein; Parallel Lives (1994), with James Belushi, James Brolin, LeVar Burton, Lindsay Crouse, Jill Eikenberry, Ben Gazzara, Jack Klugman, Moore, Gena Rowlands, Ally Sheedy, Helen Slater, Mira Sorvino, Paul Sorvino, Robert Wagner, Patricia Wettig, JoBeth Williams and Treat Williams; and The West Side Waltz (1995), with Shirley MacLaine, Jennifer Grey, and Bates.
Each review will be linked to the title below.
(*seen originally in theaters)
(**seen rereleased in theaters)
- In the Good Old Summertime (1949) – directed by Robert Z. Leonard – uncredited
- The Dangerous Christmas of Red Riding Hood (1965) – directed by Sid Smith – TV movie
- Charlie Bubbles (1968) – directed by Albert Finney
- The Sterile Cuckoo (1969) – directed by Alan J. Pakula
- Tell Me That You Love Me, Junie Moon (1970) – directed by Otto Preminger
- Cabaret (1972)** – directed by Bob Fosse
- Journey Back to Oz (1972) – directed by Hal Sutherland
- That’s Entertainment! (1974) – directed by Jack Haley Jr. – herself – compilation
- Lucky Lady (1975) – directed by Stanley Donen
- Silent Movie (1976) – directed by Mel Brooks – cameo as herself
- A Matter of Time (1976) – directed by Vincente Minnelli
- New York, New York (1977) – directed by Martin Scorsese
- Arthur (1981) – directed by Steve Gordon
- The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984) – directed by Frank Oz – cameo as herself
- That’s Dancing! (1985) – directed by Jack Haley Jr. – herself – compilation
- Rent-a-Cop (1987) – directed by Jerry London
- Sam Found Out: A Triple Play (1988) – directed by Piers Haggard – TV movie
- Arthur 2: On the Rocks (1988) – directed by Bud Yorkin
- Stepping Out (1991) – directed by Lewis Gilbert
- Parallel Lives (1994) – directed by Linda Yellen – TV movie
- The West Side Waltz (1995) – directed by Ernest Thompson – TV movie
- Jackie’s Back (1999) – directed by Robert Townsend – cameo as herself – TV movie
- The Oh in Ohio (2006) – directed by Billy Kent
- Sex and the City 2 (2010)* – directed by Michael Patrick King – cameo as herself
- Halston (2019) – directed by Frédéric Tcheng – herself – documentary