Vincente Minnelli Poster


Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (4)  | Trivia (20)  | Personal Quotes (31)

Overview (4)

Born in Chicago, Illinois, USA
Died in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, California, USA  (pneumonia and emphysema)
Birth NameLester Anthony Minnelli
Height 5' 9" (1.75 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Born Lester Anthony Minnelli in Chicago on February 28 1903, his father Vincent was a musical conductor of the Minnelli Brothers' Tent Theater. Wanting to pursue an artistic career, Minelli worked in the costume department of the Chicago Theater, then on Broadway during the depression as a set designer and costumer, adopting a Latinized version of his father's first name when he was hired as an art-director by Radio City Music Hall. The fall of 1935 saw his directorial debut for a Franz Schubert revue, At Home Abroad. The show was the first of three, in the best Florenz Ziegfeld Jr. spirit, before receiving Arthur Freed's offer to work at MGM. This was his second try at Hollywood -- a short unsuccessful contract at Paramount led nowhere. He stayed at MGM for the next 26 years. After working on numerous Mickey Rooney/Judy Garland vehicles, usually directed by Busby Berkeley, Arthur Freed gave him his first directorial assignment on Cabin in the Sky (1943), a risky screen project with an all-black cast. This was followed by the ambitious period piece Meet Me in St. Louis (1944) whose star Judy Garland he married in 1945. Employing first-class MGM technicians, Minnelli went on directing musicals -- The Band Wagon (1953) - as well as melodramas -- Some Came Running (1958) - and urban comedies like Designing Woman (1957), occasionally even working on two films simultaneously. Minnelli is one of the few directors for whom Technicolor seems to have been invented. Many of his films included in every one of his movies features a dream sequence.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Vincent Merlaud <merlaud@studi.mathematik.hu-berlin.de>

Spouse (4)

Lee Anderson (1 April 1980 - 25 July 1986) ( his death)
Danica "Denise" Radosavljev (15 January 1962 - 1 August 1971) ( divorced)
Georgette Martell (1 February 1954 - 1 January 1958) ( divorced) ( 1 child)
Judy Garland (15 June 1945 - 29 March 1951) ( divorced) ( 1 child)

Trivia (20)

Named his daughter Liza Minnelli (born 12 March 1946 in Los Angeles, California) after the Gershwin song Liza. He directed the number for Ziegfeld Follies (1945), but it was cut from the final version of the film.
Interred at Forest Lawn, Glendale, California, USA, in the Triumphant Faith Terraces area.
Ex-father-in-law of Peter Allen, Jack Haley Jr., Mark Gero and David Gest.
Daughter Christiana Nina Minnelli born May 20, 1955 in Los Angeles, California.
Invented the crab dolly, a camera dolly on wheels that can move the camera in any direction.
Insisted on using a shade of yellow in the design of his sets that had to be specially mixed. MGM painters began calling it "Minnelli Yellow."
When he was signed to MGM, he was allowed to apprentice for a year on the lot. By the time he started directing, he knew every department at the studio.
Was voted the 20th Greatest Director of all time by Entertainment Weekly.
Biography in: John Wakeman, editor. "World Film Directors, Volume One, 1890-1945". Pages 778-787. New York: The H.W. Wilson Company, 1987.
His widow was his companion for a long time before their 1980 marriage.
Directed seven different actors in Oscar-nominated performances: Spencer Tracy, Gloria Grahame, Kirk Douglas, Anthony Quinn, Arthur Kennedy, Shirley MacLaine and Martha Hyer. Grahame and Quinn won Oscars for their performances.
Member of the jury at the Cannes Film Festival in 1967.
Godparents of his and Judy Garland's daughter Liza Minnelli were Ira Gershwin and Kay Thompson.
One of the few Hollywood studio directors who can truly be said to have an unmistakable mise-en-scene. Minnelli was at first a set and costume designer before being allowed to direct by Arthur Freed, head of the MGM musical unit. His visual touch in Technicolor is sometimes garish, some might say close to vulgar, but in his best work (Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)) every visual element is a reflection of his singularly original visual talent.
Biography in: "The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives". Volume Two, 1986-1990, pages 632-633. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1999.
Four of his movies were nominated for AFI's 100 Years...100 Laughs: The Pirate (1948), Father of the Bride (1950), The Long, Long Trailer (1954) and Designing Woman (1957). 'Father of the Bride' made the list at #83.
Owns the record at the Radio City Music Hall. 17 of his films played for a record 85 weeks. Although director John Cromwell had 18 films booked into the prestigious house, his films only played a total of 36 weeks.
He directed two Best Picture Academy Award winners: An American in Paris (1951) and Gigi (1958).
He has directed five films that have been selected for the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically or aesthetically" significant: Meet Me in St. Louis (1944), An American in Paris (1951), The Bad and the Beautiful (1952), The Band Wagon (1953) and Gigi (1958).

Personal Quotes (31)

[on the re-editing of "Two Weeks In Another Town"]: It's painful to talk about the ruin of that film even now.
But I went down to Venezuela and spend a few weeks going through jungles. It's fantastic looking.
West Side Story was terribly important because of the style of the dancing and the gangs of New York.
But surrealism is present in most of my pictures.
Fortunately, John Houseman is a marvelous writer and he sat in on so many story conferences. He worked with Welles, you know, and he's a marvelous man.
Dali was the great painter then and surrealism was a way of life.
I see wonderful films by Bertolucci, Visconti, and Fellini.
American films are terribly popular all over the world and American movie stars are terribly important. I don't know why.
Cedric Gibbons was the grand cardinal of the art department.
But I think musicals are going to have to deal with important subjects.
Designing Woman was written for the screen.
No, I only like whether I like the story or not, essentially see something in it that isn't completely there.
Nowadays the audience has changed. No one can anticipate the audience.
That's what I think musicals will come to. No backstage stories, nothing of that sort.
We shot that in all the real places where Van Gogh worked.
It's always the story that interests me.
I use colors to bring fine points of story and character.
It's the story that counts.
I always have coffee without sugar, you know. Just cream.
Color can do anything that black-and-white can.
The Pirate is surrealism and so, in a curious way, is Father of the Bride.
I always liked the Van Gogh story because I was terribly involved in that.
I allow an area for improvisation because the chemical things actors bring to stories make it not work.
I made three films with Douglas, two with Charles Boyer.
I learn new things all the time.
I had given up the theater and everything propelled me into entertainment. And I didn't resist it.
If anybody reads a story in a magazine or book, different pictures compete in their minds.
In the Thirties, when I was in New York, I did the first surrealistic ballet in a show of mine.
I seem to be drawn to things that actually happen.
I started out to be a painter and was born into the theater.
I've worked with an awful lot of people. Katy Hepburn, Spencer Tracy.

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