Liza Minnelli 'wants to live' as she turns 77 after she almost died due to viral encephalitis
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA: Liza Minnelli turned 77 on March 12. On her special day, a video of her from her birthday in 2021 was posted on Twitter by an account, @mrcarl_woodward, with the caption, “A big happy 77th birthday for musical Superstar Liza Minnelli.”
The post attracted more than 9,000 likes and comments such as, “There's Liza, then the rest!”, “She is just wonderful, so out there, camp and just great. My fav moment of hers, Cabaret, standing under the bridge and screaming as the train rumbles over. Fab U Lus darling just Fab U Lus,” and, “That's one of her signature songs alright. Believe us all when we tell you....we know who Momma was.”
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A big happy 77th birthday for musical Superstar Liza Minnelli 🎂 🎉 ❤️ pic.twitter.com/8vLkfwvELZ— Carl Woodward (@mrcarl_woodward) March 12, 2023
‘I have always wanted to live’
This was one of those rare times the singer made a public appearance after almost dying in 2000 due to viral encephalitis. She opened up about it in an interview as NBC News cited Minnelli saying, “I couldn’t walk and I couldn’t talk, and they told me I wouldn’t… ever again."
There's Liza, then the rest!— Julian Richfield (@JulianRich) March 12, 2023
She is just wonderful, so out there, camp and just great. My fav moment of hers, Cabaret, standing under the bridge and screaming as the train rumbles over. Fab U Lus darling just Fab U Lus— Andrew NorIth (@AndrewNorth6) March 12, 2023
that's one of her signature songs alright. Believe us all when we tell you....we know who Momma was.— KIP (@KIP02525709) March 12, 2023
“After I was told that, everybody left the room and I turned my face to the wall and started to go 'A - B - C.' You know, that’s what it felt like because I had Carnegie Hall to rehearse. I want to live. I have always wanted to live," she said.
The disease left her suffering for years before she was seen at the 2022 Oscars in a wheelchair. At the time, singer Michael Feinstein, a friend of hers, reportedly claimed that the ‘Cabaret’ star was intentionally shown as weak to lessen the storm created due to the Chris Rock-Will Smith slapgate incident.
‘She was sabotaged’
As per the LA Times, Feinstein alleged, “She was sabotaged. That’s a terrible word to use, but she only agreed to appear on the Oscars if she would be in the director’s chair because she’s been having back trouble. She said, ‘I don’t want people to see me limping out there.’ She said, ‘You know, I want to look good. I don’t want people to worry about me.’”
He added, “She was so shaken that she was discombobulated. She was nervous, and it made her look like she was out of it,” he said. “Can you imagine being suddenly forced to be seen by millions of people the way you don’t want to be seen? That’s what happened to her.”
‘Liza is a legend’
According to reports, Minnelli has voluntarily decided to live in an apartment in West Hollywood away from Tinseltown. Minnelli’s former publicist Scott Gorenstein reportedly said, “Liza is living her best life, not having to be in front of the cameras. She’s been under tremendous pressure her entire life to perform for audiences. The past couple of years has allowed her to relax and enjoy another phase of her life.”
He also explained, “She has had some health problems. However, when an opportunity comes in front of me that says ‘Would Liza Minnelli like to present the Best Picture Oscar with Lady Gaga?’ the quiet life goes out of the window! Liza is a legend and she deserves to be at the Academy Awards, so I put it in front of her people and recommended that she do it. I wanted to remind people who she is.”
Referring to the infamous Smith-Rock moment, Gorenstein added, “Unfortunately, Will Smith stole a little bit of that thunder. But Liza earned every bit of that ovation. They were standing for her, for her mother and for her father. There was a lot of history in that moment.”
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