With a career spanning seven decades, Liza Minnelli is one of America’s most accomplished and iconic performers. From Carnegie Hall concerts and Broadway shows to Academy Award-winning films and everything in between, this legendary EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony winner) has done it all.
Born in 1946, the legendary performer’s career has understandably wound down in the 2020s. Additionally, Minnelli’s appearance at the 2022 Academy Awards in a wheelchair had many fans worried about her health.
We decided to take a closer look at Liza Minnelli today to see what she is really up to as well as the state of her health.
The State Of Her Career
Minnelli’s last recurring acting gig was on the TV show Arrested Development. She played the vertigo-plagued Lucille Austero during the show’s original run in the mid-2000s and returned for its first follow-up in 2013.
That same year, she paired up with Alan Cumming for a two-night engagement at Town Hall on Broadway. But since then, Minnelli has remained out of the spotlight.
In her February 2020 interview with Variety, she did say she was interested in acting again, though nothing has materialized yet, possibly due to COVID-19.
But she hasn’t stopped working altogether. In March 2022, Minnelli announced her contribution to a Gershwin compilation album, serving as the executive producer. Two months later, she announced that she was releasing Live In New York 1979 on vinyl and CD, which features her iconic concert at Carnegie Hall that sold out 11 straight shows.
The one thing Minnelli made sure she wasn’t involved in was the 2018 biopic of her mother, Judy, starring Renee Zellweger. After reports surfaced that Minnelli was a part of the production and had been working closely with Zellweger, the Cabaret star made it clear that this wasn’t the case.
“I have never met nor spoken to Renee Zellweger,” Minnelli wrote on her Facebook page. “I don’t know how these stories get started, but I do not approve nor sanction the upcoming film about Judy Garland in any way. Any reports to the contrary are 100% fiction.”
The State Of Her Health
Minnelli’s health has been a topic of concern for her fans for many years. The star has been open about her lifelong struggle with alcohol and substance misuse and did seek treatment at a rehab in 2015. It appears that she’s remained sober since.
Minnelli Has Been The Target Of Health Rumors Since 2018
Rumors surfaced in 2018 that the star was struggling with health issues. However, longtime friend and collaborator, Michael Feinstein, set the record straight in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter while discussing a show they were getting ready for. “She’s feeling very good now and we both are very excited about this show because it will be the first time that she’s done anything where she’s appeared in a casual setting, singing songs extemporaneously and taking questions from the audience.”
Feinstein added that Minnelli’s minimized performances have less to do with her health and more to do with simply wanting to take a break from working. “It’s not that it’s too exhausting. It’s that she’s done it for 60 years and she’s at a point now where she’s actually taking time to relax and enjoy her life,” Feinstein explained.
In 2021, Minnelli addressed health rumors once again, taking to her Facebook page to debunk an article from The National Enquirer claiming she was unwell:
Her Appearance At The 2022 Academy Awards Attracted Further Concern
Minnelli’s surprise appearance at the 94th Academy Awards ceremony in March 2022 also sparked concerns for her well-being. Twitter users and other media outlets suggested the Cabaret star looked frail as she used a wheelchair to get around while presenting the award for Best Picture with Lady Gaga.
This isn’t the first time Minnelli was required to use a wheelchair. After her diagnosis of viral encephalitis in 2000, her doctors warned that she might have to use a wheelchair for the rest of her life. Thankfully, Minnelli was able to recover. She’s also had ongoing issues with her spine and even broke her lower back in 2014.
In an interview with SiriusXM, pal Michael Feinstein claimed that Minnelli was “forced” to appear onstage in a wheelchair despite her requests to be seated in a director’s chair due to her back trouble. Feinstein went on to say that Minnelli was concerned that fans would worry about her health. Apparently, the infamous Will Smith slap caused the stage manager to change their mind last minute and insist the star use a wheelchair instead.
As a result, Minnelli was a bit frazzled, which only added to fans’ concerns. Despite this, Feinstein insisted that his longtime friend is “doing really well.”
There has been no other news or reports to suggest otherwise, and judging from Minnelli’s infrequent but still consistently positive Facebook posts, we have no reason not to believe she is doing just fine.