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Liza Minnelli, Star Is Now an ‘Officier’ in the Legion of Honor

Published: 2011-07-11
Liza Minnelli Liza Minnelli has three Tonys, two Golden Globes, an Oscar, an Emmy and a Grammy legend award. Now the 65-year-old singer and actress also has the rank of “officier" in the Legion of Honor, the award for service to the French state created by Napoleon in 1802. In the grand salon of his ministry on Monday, Culture Minister Frédéric Mitterrand pinned an enameled vermeil medal affixed to a red grosgrain ribbon onto Ms. Minnelli's black silk brocade jacket.

Liza Minnelli with Culture Minister Frédéric Mitterrand."Priestess of the music-hall, you are the contemporary incarnation of talented versatility à l'américaine!" he said in honoring her. He called her “a tiger—with the heart of a lamb." He praised her charitable work in the struggle against AIDS and her celebration of life and liberty in her songs that has “made her an icon in every community, and notably the gay community."

In an unscripted and breathless reply Ms. Minnelli exclaimed: “I'm here! I'm honored! I'm totally in love with all of you! To stand in this room in front of all of you, my God! This is my dream come true!"

It was the second time this dream had come true for her, although the last time it happened was 24 years ago. In 1987 Ms. Minnelli was made chevalier of the Legion of Honor, the first of several ranks of the award. Vincente Minnelli, her father and the director who made Paris-themed films like “Gigi" and “An American in Paris," rose to the third rank of “commandeur" only weeks before his death the previous year.


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