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 tigerwith 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.