Liza Minnelli- Celebrity history
Many celebrities visit Fire Island and actress/ singer Liza Minnelli was one.
By Marc Malkin for Variety
When Actress/ singer/ star Liza Minnelli was was 19, she became the youngest person to win the leading actress in a musical Tony for her turn in the 1965 Kander and Ebb musical “Flora the Red Menace.” Four years later, she received her first Oscar nomination for her performance in the romantic comedy “The Sterile Cuckoo.”
Then came “Cabaret” in 1972. The Bob Fosse directed big-screen adaptation of the Broadway musical of the same name earned eight Oscars, including one for Minnelli’s work as American expat Sally Bowles in 1930’s Berlin during the rise of Nazism.
Joel Grey, Minnelli’s “Cabaret” co-star, who took home an Oscar for his role as the Master of Ceremonies, first met her through Hal Prince when she made her nightclub debut at the Coconut Grove in Los Angeles. “She was this fresh, bursting, bright-eyed talent,” Grey remembers. “You could see that connection to her mother and father. You just knew that she was somebody that was going to happen. She was so tender and frail and fragile and strong at the same time.”
She became a fashion icon with her pixie cut (the unintended result of having to chop her locks when playing around with some friends ended with a wad of gum in her hair), red lips and ensembles that made her a living, breathing runway show. She was a regular at Studio 54 and became a muse to Halston after meeting him at a party. “I looked at Halston a certain way and smiled,” Minnelli recalls. “And then he said, ‘I want you to come see me.’ I said, ‘Why?’ He said, ‘Because I want to make some things for you.’ What he did for me, he didn’t do for anybody else.”
As Minnelli’s career soared, her personal life unraveled. Like her mother, she became a target of the tabloids. Over the years, Minnelli has married and divorced four times. She’s gone to rehab — most recently in 2015.
In 2000, doctors predicted she’d spend the rest of her life in a wheelchair after suffering a case of viral encephalitis, but she recovered and went on to perform her solo show “Liza’s Back” in New York and London. “She’s a survivor,” says Marisa Berenson, who played Natalia Landauer in “Cabaret” and has been one of Minnelli’s closest friends for almost 50 years. “She’s like a phoenix, always spreading her wings and being reborn. I think she’s one of the strongest people I know. It’s really glorious to watch. She does have this incredible strength and courage.”
Minnelli’s last steady gig was a recurring role in “Arrested Development” from 2003 to 2005 and then again in the Netflix series reboot in 2013. She boasts that she performed her own stunts on the show. “I did all the pratfalls and falling on my fanny,” she says. “I knew all the stuntmen in Hollywood from when I was little and played on the MGM lot, so I figured out how to make it work.”
Liza makes her first trip to the Pines in 1965 with boyfriend singer Peter Allen for a fashion show on the Botel deck.
Liza wants to model in the show and purchases a silver mini dress.
Liza’s back in 2012 with actor Alan Cumming at the Ice Palace in Cherry Grove.
Cherry Grove welcomes her with open arms.
She joins in with community members Bianca Del Rio and more for a day of fun prior to the event.
On with the show!
She loved Fire Island and we loved her back!