For year after year, this EGOT winner always turned down the invite to get a Kennedy Center Honor.

With her failing health, she is leaning towards yes the next time they ask.

Liza Minnelli

11 stone-cold theater icons who should get Kennedy Center Honors

Last week, the recipients of the 44th annual Kennedy Center Honors were announced. This year’s honorees are a strong and worthy group: Joni Mitchell, Bette Midler, Saturday Night Live’s Lorne Michaels, Motown’s Berry Gordy and the operatic base-baritone Justino D√≠az. One again, however, one name was conspicuously absent from the list: Liza Minnelli, the living incarnation of American pizzazz.

Let’s be clear: The people who run the Kennedy Center Honors need to recognize Liza Minnelli and that is just a cold hard fact. Her merits hardly need retelling here, but let’s do so anyway. The child of Judy Garland and Vincente Minnelli, Liza has greasepaint in her blood, and she has been pouring that blood out onstage and onscreen for 60 years. She was just 19 years old when she won her first Tony Award for Flora, the Red Menace in 1965; she has won two other Tonys since then, plus a Special Tony Award in 1974. She won a 1972 Oscar for her peerless leading performance in Cabaret, arguably the best movie musical of all time; that same year, she won a Primetime Emmy for the classic musical concert Liza with a Z. When the Grammys created their Living Legend Award in 1990, she was in the first group of artists they recognized. She is a Knight of the French Legion of Honour. Kristen Wiig sent her up on SNL.

Liza is an icon. Liza is a star. Liza is a sign and symbol of showbiz history. Liza is what the Kennedy Center Honors are supposed to honor. So why haven’t they? One gets the feeling that the Kennedy Center thinks Liza is perhaps just a little too much: too messy, too campy, too eager to please. But these qualities are part and parcel of what makes Liza so special and so loved. She wears her heart on her sequined sleeve. She is also 75 years old, and her health has always been a roller coaster. The time to honor her is now. – Source


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