Described as the "high-priestess of the music hall" and as the "contemporary incarnation of 'all-purpose' in the American style," Academy Award winner Liza Minnelli was announced as the latest Officer in France's Order of the Legion of Honor at a ceremony held today at the French Ministry of Culture in Paris.
Minister of Culture Frédéric Mitterrand declared that Minnelli, "for more than five decades [...] has ensured that the show must go on." A visibly moved Minnelli, for her part, said she was "honored to have become a part of France, a part of Paris."
She also recalled that her father, director Vincente Minnelli, had promised her that one day "she would learn to dance, would wear a nice dress, and would go to Paris … This moment is marvelous. It's today!"
Additionally, Minnelli thanked French icon Charles Aznavour, whom she reportedly considers her mentor.
Liza Minnelli's first film appearance was in the last scene of Robert Z. Leonard's In the Good Old Summertime, a 1949 musicalized remake of The Shop Around the Corner that starred Minnelli's mother, Judy Garland, and Van Johnson.
In addition to her Best Actress Oscar for Bob Fosse's Cabaret (1972), Minnelli has earned one British Academy Award (also for Cabaret), three Tonys (including a special award), two Golden Globes (for Cabaret and the 1985 television movie A Time to Live), an Honorary Grammy, and an Emmy. Her album "Confessions" was released in fall 2010.