Liza Minnelli, the grand dame of New York and a living legend, has done it all. With four Tony® awards, a Grammy®, an Oscar® and an Emmy® under her belt, she's the ultimate entertainer.
Showbiz is in Liza's genes. Her father was Oscar-winning filmmaker Vincent Minnelli, and her mother was actress Judy Garland, best known for her role as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz. Liza started performing at an early age, appearing onstage alongside her superstar mother. "When she came out, I was not onstage with my mama," Liza says. "I was onstage with Judy Garland."
Over the years, Liza's become famous for her record-breaking one-woman Broadway shows and her starring role in the movie version of Cabaret. Privately, however, Liza's life wasn't always such a celebration. She's been very open about her struggles with addiction and relationships.
At 64 years old, Liza has put her troubles behind her and is thrilling millions of fans with her new album, Confessions.
She may have already reached legendary status, but Liza says she has no intention of slowing down. "I don't know why [I would]," she says, "as long as I feel good and they can keep replacing my parts."
Physically, Liza has been through a lot, including two hip replacements and a knee replacement. "I was very worried, but it works," she says. "I always said that from [the waist] up I'm Dorothy's daughter, from [the waist] down I'm the Tin Man's."
Over the years, Liza's changed emotionally as well. "You learn to take other people's opinions less seriously," she says. "With the Internet, people can say anything they want to and you cannot dispute them. ... So I think you've just got to go straight ahead and do what you want to do and do it well."
Looking back at a picture of her younger self, Liza says she's got only one message: "Hang on, honey! Here we go!"
Liza's been married four times and says she used to think that unless she was with a man she wasn't really accepted. She doesn't subscribe to that belief anymore, she says. "Also, I've got the worst taste," she says. "I have great taste in directors and in people for costumes. But as far as husbands go, I think that I kept changing for them. And then about a year later I'd think: 'What am I doing? This really isn't me.'"
Four failed marriages have taught Liza one thing, she says. "Don't do it again!"
Fans call Liza a living legend, but Liza says she doesn't see it. "I see myself as a modern vaudevillian," she says.
Of all her accomplishments, Liza says she's most proud of the fact that songs have been written specifically for her. And no matter how many times she sings her songs, Liza says they still come alive with each performance. "I'm singing to different people every time," she says. "And all you have to do is watch people's faces."
Printed from Oprah.com on Friday, December 13, 2013