A glimpse of Liza Minnelli’s crumbling Beverly Hills mansion.

The name Beverly Hills is synonymous with the rich and famous. It conjures up images of immaculately manicured lawns, perfectly tanned skin, and more luxury than most people will ever see in their lifetime. Yet among those palatial buildings, one home stands out.

Hidden among the glamor and glitz of the 90210 is a building that is anything but glamorous. Surprisingly, this decrepit mansion once belonged to one of the biggest names in Hollywood, Vincente Minnelli. So, what sad fate must have befallen him and his family to create such a terrible ruin?

He Was One of the Biggest Names in the Theatre Business
In the mid-1990s, you couldn’t mention the word theatre without the name Vincente Minnelli cropping up. He was a visionary in his time, bringing concepts to the industry that nobody had previously thought of. While he had his supporters and detractors, everyone agreed on one thing, he was a great director.

Minnelli directed several popular musicals, comedies, and dramas in his time. Some popular examples include the musical comedy An American in Paris (1951) for which he won the Academy Award for Best Picture, and the romantic musical Gigi (1958), for which he received an Oscar for Best Director. If that’s not enough, Liza’s father left behind their mysterious family mansion for future generations to wonder about, as you will see soon.

Who Was Vincente Minnelli?
Vincente Minnelli was born on February 28, 1903, in Chicago. He moved around a lot in his youth before finally settling back in Chicago. While taking on a series of odd jobs, his interest in the theatre grew quickly. He started off as a costume and set designer before quickly working his way up.

He worked for a theatre chain owned by Balaban and Katz, which soon merged with a bigger national chain of Paramount-Publix. This saw Minnelli being transferred up north to work on shows in New York City. In New York, he was employed as a set designer at Radio City Music Hall and eventually worked his way up to stage director.

Next up, discover how Vincente became successful in the film industry.

His Directorial Debut
Minnelli got his first directorial gig with a musical titled At Home Abroad. It began in October 1935, running for two years, and featured Beatrice Lillie, Ethel Waters, and Eleanor Powell. The musical was well received and was the starting point of his illustrious career.

He worked on further titles such as The Ziegfeld Follies of 1936, Hooray for What!, Very Warm for May, and The Show is On. His work caught the attention of some big names and, in 1940, he was offered a job by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM).

Want to learn more about Vincente’s marriage to Judy Garland? Click Next!

His Marriage to Judy Garland
Vincente Minnelli was married several times throughout his life. His first marriage was to the beautiful actress and singer Judy Garland on June 15, 1945. Both were well-established and well-respected names in Hollywood by that point, making the marriage (and the eventual divorce six years later) front-page news in the tabloids.

Judy Garland was a versatile actress and received numerous accolades throughout her career. These included an Academy Juvenile Award, a Golden Globe Award, a Special Tony Award, and she was the first woman to win the Grammy Award for Album of the Year in 1961.

In the next slide, we are revealing how the two love birds met!

The Two Met on Set While Working on a Film

Over the course of their careers, both Judy and Vincente worked on several projects together. The two first met on the set of their first project together, Vincentes’ 1944 film titled Meet Me in St. Louis, where she starred as Esther Smith.

Outside of the film industry, Judy Garland was also a talented singer, winning a Grammy for her 1961 live recording Judy at Carnegie Hall. She was also known for her Emmy-nominated TV show The Judy Garland Show, which aired between 1963 and 1964.

Show Biz Was in Their Blood

On March 12, 1946, within just a year of being married, the couple had their first and only child, Liza Minnelli. It seemed that show biz was in their blood because young Liza grew up to be a star in her own right.

She was a celebrated actress and singer just like her mother. She received an Academy Award for her role as Sally Bowles in the 1972 film Cabaret. She also received recognition for her singing, being nominated for the Grammy Awards twice. She also made some famous appearances at Carnegie Hall and Radio City Music Hall.

Liza Minnelli’s History and the Sad Story About Her Abandoned Mansion
yas! | By Greg Michaels | June 21, 2022
This article was originally published on chocolate.com and has been republished here with permission.

The name Beverly Hills is synonymous with the rich and famous. It conjures up images of immaculately manicured lawns, perfectly tanned skin, and more luxury than most people will ever see in their lifetime. Yet among those palatial buildings, one home stands out.

Hidden among the glamor and glitz of the 90210 is a building that is anything but glamorous. Surprisingly, this decrepit mansion once belonged to one of the biggest names in Hollywood, Vincente Minnelli. So, what sad fate must have befallen him and his family to create such a terrible ruin?

He Was One of the Biggest Names in the Theatre Business
In the mid-1990s, you couldn’t mention the word theatre without the name Vincente Minnelli cropping up. He was a visionary in his time, bringing concepts to the industry that nobody had previously thought of. While he had his supporters and detractors, everyone agreed on one thing, he was a great director.

After nearly six years of marriage, Vincente Minnelli and Judy Garland were divorced in 1951. The divorce was allegedly fueled by Garlands’ increasingly self-destructive behaviors and abuse of barbiturates and amphetamines. She struggled with anxiety, depression, and insecurity for a large portion of her career.

Eventually, MGM was forced to terminate her contract as her behavior became more erratic and began to affect her work. This led to two suicide attempts and a further spiral into addiction. She eventually started having an affair with her third husband, Sid Luft, which spelled the end of her marriage to Minnelli.

Click Next to learn more about Vincente’s love life after Judy!

The Sad End to a Glorious Life

After his marriage to Judy Garland crashed, Vincente Minelli was married three times more, most recently to Margaretta Lee Anderson. Sadly, he passed away on July 25 1986 at the age of 83 in his Beverly Hills home. He died from pneumonia and emphysema, he was also reported to have been suffering from Alzheimer’s disease at the time of his death.

It seemed that his death was a harbinger of doom. Ever since Minnelli passed away, there has been much contention in his family over ownership of his fortune and especially his high-priced Beverly Hills mansion.

Up next, you won’t believe what happened with Vincente’s will!

His Will Caused Some Contention

Minnelli bequeathed his $1.1 million fortune to Liza Minnelli, his daughter with Judy Garland. This covers all his possessions, including the Beverly Hills mansion. He however gave $100,000 to his widow and allowed her to live in the mansions for as long as she wished.

This went on for several years until Liza put the house up for sale in 2000 without informing her stepmother. Apparently, she offered her a $450,000 condo, which she refused, preferring to remain at the mansion.

It Turned Into a Stand-off

Lee Minnelli refused to vacate the property, even when it was finally sold off a few years later. In retaliation, Liza refused to pay for the mansion’s electricity bills and fired all the staff who helped the old lady around the house.

This kicked off their legal battle, with Minnelli’s’ widow taking Liza to court. She claimed that Liza had failed to uphold the wishes left by her dead husband in his will. Let’s just say the relationship between the two women soured rather quickly.

The Court’s Decision

According to Lee Minnelli, the Late Vincente Minnelli stated that she could stay in the mansion for as long as she wished. So Lee claimed that, by breaching that contract, Liza was causing her emotional and physical anguish.

The courts stated the moving of the then 94-year-old Lee Minnelli would be tantamount to ending her life. The hostilities between the two women continued both in and out of the courtroom. Then came the issue of the wedding.

Liza’s Wedding Was an Issue

Liza was getting married to the producer and TV personality, David Gest. As you would probably expect, Liza made it very clear to Lee Minnelli that she was no longer invited to her wedding. This would have been bad enough even if she didn’t throw a lavish ceremony.

According to the old widow, Liza spent thousands of dollars feeding almost a thousand guests and throwing one of the most lavish weddings of the year while the old woman was alone in a cold, dark, damp mansion. This is enough to touch even the hardest of hearts.

Liza Didn’t Take the Accusation Lightly

Of course, nobody likes being painted a cold-hearted step-daughter before the press, so Liza wasted no time in responding to the lawsuit. In an interview with Daily Variety, she claimed that her father gave her the right to sell the property with the condition that she finds proper accommodation for Lee Minnelli.

She supported this with the fact that she offered the 94-year-old widow a $450,000 condo tax-free but she refused. Liza said she could not go into escrow over the sale of the house until Lee Minnelli moved out. She further stated that she had done exactly what her father requested by supporting Lee Minnelli all these years.

They Came to a Compromise

Even with all the heated discussions and emotional accusations, the actual legal battle came to an end rather quickly. Liza invited her stepmother over for dinner and the two came to a mutual understanding concerning the property.

Lee would continue living at the mansion for the remainder of her natural life, but as a tenant to the new owners. Liza would pay for her rent and when she would eventually pass away, the new owners would take full ownership of the property.

It All Worked Out

Now that they had reached an agreement, the two women parted ways amicably enough. The house finally closed escrow in 2006, four years after the initial offer by the buyers. Lee continued living there up until 2009 when she passed away, less than a month before her 100th birthday.

With Lee finally gone, the new owners could take full control of their property which they purchased for a whopping $2.75 million. However, there were several things on their to-do list first. At the top of them was the renovation.

Strangely All Their Plans Fell Through

Strangely enough, it seemed as if their plans for renovating the mansion never took off. For some unknown reason, no restoration was ever carried out on the building. Rumors of possibly tearing down the mansion and building another structure crept up.

Unfortunately, just like the previous plans, these did not amount to much. It seems as the property had been abandoned completely and has since been home to only squatters. What a sad twist to the home Lee fought so hard to protect.

Let’s Take a Look at the Architecture

The property causing all the commotion was indeed a grand one. The home was first built in 1925. It was around this time that Spanish Revival Architecture was gaining popularity in the American West and Southwest.

The characteristic features of the style were evident in the original design of the mansion. It had beautiful terracotta features and flat roofs, with smooth plastered walls and rounded arches. The building was, however, renovated between 1944 to 1953 by John Elgin Woolf, who decided to do it in a French Louis XV style.

It Was a Home Fit for a Celebrity

Vincente Minnelli was certainly someone who appreciated a lot of free space because the mansion which was situated at 812 N. Crescent Drive, CA was massive. Minnelli moved into the mansion in 1951, shortly after his divorce from Judy Garland. Perhaps he was looking for a fresh start, and a mansion is not a bad place to start anew.

The property boasted six rooms and six bathrooms. It was 5900 square feet and set on a plot that was a massive 42,500 square feet. The architecture was beautiful and certainly a place nobody would like to leave. Perhaps that’s why his widow fought so hard to hold it.

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