American stage director and film director, famous for directing such classic movie musicals as Meet Me in St. Louis, Gigi, The Band Wagon, and An American in Paris. In addition to having directed some of the most famous and well-remembered musicals of his time, Minnelli made many comedies and melodramas.
Born and baptized as Lester Anthony Minnelli in Chicago, he was the youngest of four known sons, only two of whom survived to adulthood, born to Marie Émilie Odile Lebeau (stage name: Mina Gennell) and Vincent Charles Minnelli. His father was musical conductor of Minnelli Brothers' Tent Theater. His Chicago-born mother was of French Canadian descent with a strong probability of Native American (Anishinaabe) lineage included via her Mackinac Island, Michigan born mother. The family toured small towns primarily in Ohio, Indiana and Illinois before settling permanently in Delaware, Ohio.
February 8, 1960, Minnelli received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his contributions to the motion pictures industry at 6676 Hollywood Boulevard.
For years, there was speculation in the entertainment community that Minnelli was gay or bisexual. A biography by Emanuel Levy, Vincente Minnelli: Hollywood's Dark Dreamer, provides evidence that Minnelli did, in fact, live as an openly gay man in New York prior to his arrival in Hollywood, where the town that made him a film legend also pressured him back into the closet. According to Levy: "He was openly gay in New York – we were able to document names of companions and stories from Dorothy Parker. But when he came to Hollywood, I think he made the decision to repress that part of himself or to become bisexual."
Minnelli died in his Beverly Hills home, on July 25, 1986, aged 83, of emphysema and pneumonia, which had caused him to be repeatedly hospitalized in his final year. He reportedly also suffered from Alzheimer's disease. He was survived by his two daughters, two grandchildren, and his fourth wife, Lee (1909–2009).
He is interred in Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California
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