When you think of the legendary entertainer Judy Garland, it’s hard not to picture her daughter, Liza Minnelli, by her side. The two were nearly inseparable throughout Garland’s life, but their relationship was far from simple.
Garland’s stardom was well-established by the time Minnelli was born, and the young girl grew up in the shadow of her mother’s fame. But despite the pressure and scrutiny that came with being the daughter of one of Hollywood’s biggest icons, Minnelli was determined to make a name for herself.
“I always wanted to be a dancer,” Minnelli reminisced in an interview with Variety. “But I was raised on movie sets and in concert halls. Singing and acting were inevitable.”
Despite her own ambitions, Minnelli remained fiercely loyal to her mother and the two were extremely close. Garland even took her daughter onstage with her when she was just three years old. But as Minnelli’s own career began to take off, their relationship became more complicated.
“I wanted to be known as myself as opposed to somebody’s daughter,” Minnelli admits. “The hardest part was getting to be known as myself.”
That tension was only exacerbated when Garland passed away in 1969 at the age of 47. Minnelli was just 23 at the time and understandably devastated. But even in death, her mother’s legacy continued to shape her own career.
Last year’s biopic, Judy, which chronicles Garland’s final months and stars Renée Zellweger as the icon, has caused some controversy. Minnelli made it clear on social media that she does not approve of the film, writing that she “does not sanction the upcoming film about Judy Garland in any way.”
Despite any disagreements over the film, Minnelli remains fiercely proud of her mother’s legacy and the impact she had on the entertainment world.
“I was born and they took a picture,” Minnelli says of her own early fame. “That’s what happens when your mom is Judy Garland and your dad is Vincente Minnelli.”
But as much as her parents may have shaped her life, Minnelli is a legend in her own right, with a career spanning decades and a slew of awards to her name. And while her relationship with Garland may have been complicated, their bond endures as a testament to the enduring power of family and the entertainment industry.