Fifty years after Cabaret made her a superstar, Lisa Minelli lived a quiet life in an apartment in West Hollywood.
At 76, and with enough headlines behind her for three lifetimes, the singer and actress are rarely seen in public.
But in what would turn out to be the second most surprising moment at the March Oscars, the sergeant joined Lady Gaga to hand out the Best Picture award – and her fragile appearance and confused demeanor were a shock to many.
Now in a wheelchair after battling years of ill health, an excited Minelli has received stormy applause from the Alist audience.
“Oh! It’s so exciting,” Minley exclaimed as Gaga – who had moved away to allow her a moment in the sun – told her, “Do you see that? Public, they love you.”
It was Minley’s former publicist, Scott Gorenstein, who helped make the moment come true, after being approached by academy officers who said Gaga had personally asked the actress to come with her to the cabaret for the anniversary.
“Lisa is living her best life, should not be in front of the cameras,” Gorenstein told the Post. “She has been under tremendous pressure all her life to perform in front of an audience. The last few years have allowed her to relax and enjoy another stage in her life.
“She had some health issues. However, when an opportunity opened up for me that said ‘Would Lisa Minelli want to present the Oscar for Best Picture with Lady Gaga?’ “The quiet life is coming out the window! Lisa is a legend and she deserves to be at the Oscars, so I put it in front of her people and recommended her to do it,” he added, “I said it would be a historic event.
“I wanted to remind people who she is,” he added.
Minelli was supposed to be the big surprise of the evening – until Will Smith starred host Chris Rock on stage.
“Unfortunately, Will Smith stole a little bit of that thunder,” Gorenstein said. “But Lisa won every bit of that applause. They stood up for her, for her mother and for her father. There was a lot of history at that moment.”
Minley’s life is the legend of Tinseltown. Born to actress “The Wizard of Oz” Judy Garland and director Vincent Minley – and named after Ira Gershwin’s song “Liza (All the Clouds’ll Roll Away)”, she made her silver screen debut as a toddler alongside her mother in 1949 . “In the good old summer time.”
At the age of 18 she performed with her mother at a palladium concert in London which came out as an album. A year later, Minelli won a Tony for “The Red Threat Flora.”
She has released a variety of records – usually standards and songs from musicals – and starred in films such as “New York, New York” (the title song will become her signature number) and “Tell Me You Love Me, Johnny Moon”. This was noteworthy because a nude scene filmed in a Massachusetts cemetery led to what was known as the “Lisa Minelli Law” and banned photography in the cemeteries of that state without permission.
Her role as the tragic Sally Bulls in “Cabaret” will consume her gamin image into the history of pop culture, and her TV special “Liza With A ‘Z” means no one will mispronounce her name again.
She’s just one of a handful of people who have won EGOT – Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony – although Gorenstein noted that the Canadian Center has not yet honored her, which has created online grunts from her fans for years.
But Minley’s life was marked by pain. She was married and divorced four times, had three abortions (she has no children), and spoke openly about dealing with drug use.
“All my life, this disease has raged,” she told the Guardian about her alcoholism in 2008. “I inherited it, and it was awful, but I always asked for help.”
Her mother suffered greatly from alcohol and drug problems. It is said that Garland began using barbiturates and amphetamines in adolescence to help her stay nervous, sleep and stay lean when she made such films as “The Wizard of Oz”, “Babies in Arms” and Andy Hardy’s franchise with Mickey Rooney.
Garland was a full-fledged addict to alcohol and drugs until the age of 30, when Lisa was only 6 years old.
When her mother passed away in 1969, at the age of only 45, Minelli received a prescription for volume to help deal with grief. This led to its misuse of prescription drugs and alcohol. In his diaries, Andy Warhol noted that she came to the home of fashion designer Halston in 1978 and said, “Give me any drug you have.”
Minley had the first of several detox trips in 1985.
“so what are you doing?” She asked on the “Today” program in 2005 after the recurrence. “You get up and you keep going, and you try not to do it again.”
In 2000, Minley was hospitalized in an intensive care unit at a Florida hospital with partial paralysis, vague speech and sagging facial muscles. She was diagnosed with viral encephalitis, and at the time, a doctor said that “she was quite ill and was in a very serious condition” when she entered.
“I could not walk and I could not speak, and they told me I would not return … ever,” she told NBC. “After I was told that, everyone left the room and I turned my face to the wall and started walking ‘A-B-C’. You know, that’s how it felt because I had Carnegie Hall do rehearsals. I want to live. I always wanted to live.”
In 2015, Minelli sold her share on the Upper East Side for $ 8.37 million and moved to the West Coast, leaving behind Gorenstein and veteran assistant Nicole Guest, who he said were deeply devoted to her and the Russians from her departure.
But they no longer have a direct connection with Minelli. Many sources have added that many of Lisa’s old lives in New York have lost touch with her.
“There are definitely people [in New York City] Who love Lisa, who miss her, “Gorenstein said.” We want her to be healthy and we make sure there is no one around [in LA] Keep it like we were in New York. “
It is believed that she has caregivers who help her. One of her closest friends is pianist and performer Michael Feinstein, whom she discovered playing the bar piano in New York in the 1980s.
“Lisa is someone who admits she needs it. She will say, ‘Do it for me, baby,'” one of the showboy executives told The Post. “When she moved to Los Angeles, she came to Michael and he helped take over her life.”
In January, Feinstein and Minley appeared together on CBS ‘”Sunday Morning,” and spoke with Jane Pauli, who asked Minley, “Do you recognize that you have achieved the status of a legend?”
“No, you have to tell me a lot,” Minley replied. “Like, I keep saying to Michael, ‘Is that okay?’ “I had great people around me. The biggest thing I got was recognizing someone else’s talent.”
On her friendship with Feinstein, Minelli said: “I mean, we met each other and joined us at the waist.”
Feinstein’s representative told The Post, “Lisa relies on Michael as everyone has been a best friend for several decades and vice versa. They give each other advice and they form each other in their personal and professional lives. They are, simply, family.”
Minelli is currently working with Feinstein as the actual producer of an upcoming album called “Gershwin Country”, producing his new tour, celebrating Judy Garland’s 100th birthday in June, one of many projects around the world celebrating her centenary.
Asked about Minelli’s relationship with her younger sister Lorena Loft, who has reportedly been rocky over the years, a Showbiz insider said: “This whole ‘sisters not talking’ thing is bullshit. Like any family relationship, they have their good moments By the way, I knew Lorena knew the Oscar moment was happening, Lisa wanted Lorena to know, and [Lorna] He was proud of it. “
Requests for comment were not returned by Loft representatives.
At the Oscars, Minelli looked confused as she picked up her token cards and said “What am I now? I do not quite understand.” Which made Gaga hold her hand and say, “I see.”
When Minley stumbled as she began to introduce the candidates, Gaga jumped in to finish her sentences while the films were played in montage. Gaga was heard whispering, “I gotcha,” as Appraiser Minley laughed and they held hands.
“I know,” Minley replied, before announcing “CODA” as the winner.
“I have to give a lot of accessories to Gaga,” Gorenstein said, referring to the way the singer recorded and performed with Tony Bennett, who now has Alzheimer’s. The two recorded the TV special “Last Time: An Evening with Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga”, which is set to be his last appearance, in 2021. “We all know how precious she was to Tony Bennett and she really respects talent and I knew Lisa would be in good hands.”
Gaga made no secret of the fact that she considers Minelli a heroine. The couple first met when Gaga invited Minelli to perform at Madison Square Garden, which was filmed for HBO, back in 2011.
Gaga told the audience how her teachers at NYU’s Tisch School of Arts told her she did not have what it took to “be a superstar.”
“You’ll never be the main character … the blonde … your hair is too dark … you look too ethnic,” she remembered being told – and to which she would reply, “what about Lisa?” She then asked the audience to give the excited Minley a storm of applause.
Although she seems fragile, Minelli is still able to use her famous talent.
Giving viewers a treat from CBS ‘”I Love A Violin” last month, Minelli said longingly: “When I sing to an audience, I do not sing to an audience, I sing to an audience. are you … what I want to say to this audience, ‘Have you ever felt this way? ‘Because that’s what I’m going through now. I just want people to know that I went through what they went through. “