Liza May Minnelli (/ /; born March 12, 1946) is an American actress and singer. Primarily known for her Academy Award-winning role as Sally Bowles in the 1972 musical film Cabaret directed by Bob Fosse, she is noted for her energetic stage presence and her powerful contralto singing voice.
Minnelli is the daughter of film actress and singer Judy Garland and film director Vincente Minnelli. Moving to New York City in 1961, she began her career as a musical theatre actress, nightclub performer and traditional pop recording artist, and gave her professional stage debut in the 1963 Off-Broadway revival of Best Foot Forward. In 1965 she won the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical for Flora the Red Menace, becoming the youngest ever recipient in this category. Flora marked the beginning of her lifelong collaboration with the show's composer John Kander and lyricist Fred Ebb, who would write, produce or direct many of Minnelli's stage acts and TV shows. Ebb helped create Minnelli′s stage persona of a stylized survivalist, including her career-defining performances of anthems of survival ("New York, New York", "Cabaret", "Maybe This Time").
Critically lauded for her non-musical dramatic performance in the film The Sterile Cuckoo (1969), she rose to international stardom with Cabaret and the Emmy Award-winning TV special Liza with a Z (1972). Most of her following film projects received mixed reviews and failed commercially, and she had no more major movie hits except the 1981 romantic comedy Arthur. Her other films have included Lucky Lady (1975), New York, New York (1977), Rent-a-Cop (1988) and Stepping Out (1991). She additionally worked on television, starring several variety musical specials, non-musical films like A Time to Live (1985) and Parallel Lives (1994) and has been an acclaimed guest star in the sitcom Arrested Development between 2003 and 2013. Minnelli successfully returned to Broadway in Kander and Ebb′s The Act (1977) and The Rink (1984) as well as various concert shows including Liza's at The Palace.... in 2008.
From the late 1970s onwards, Minnelli's work has predominantly focused on concert tours and nightclub performances. She gave highly regarded performances at Carnegie Hall in 1979 and 1987, and at Radio City Music Hall in 1991 and 1992. Between 1988 and 1990 she toured alongside Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr. in Frank, Liza & Sammy: The Ultimate Event. Actually best known for her renditions of pop standards, Minnelli′s albums from 1968 to 1977 contained much of the contemporary singer-songwriter material, and in 1989 she released the electronic pop album Results. In 2014, Out named Minnelli a gay icon in a list titled The 12 Greatest Female Gay Icons of All Time.