Entertainment

Insights into Liza Minnelli’s medical crises, including drug addiction and brain infections, as fans fear for the wheelchair-bound star

LIZA Minnelli worried fans with her “frail” performance in a wheelchair at Sunday’s Oscars.

The 76-year-old star, best known for his film Cabaret and the daughter of Judy Garland, has suffered from numerous health issues over the decades.

Liza Minnelli on stage at the 94th Academy Awards presenting the Best Picture award

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Liza Minnelli on stage at the 94th Academy Awards presenting the Best Picture awardPhoto credit: Getty
Liza Minnelli alongside Lady Gaga at the 94th Academy Awards

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Liza Minnelli alongside Lady Gaga at the 94th Academy AwardsPhoto credit: Getty

But she looked far from her prime as an actress, dancer, choreographer and singer as she hosted alongside Lady Gaga at the 94th Academy Awards.

Struggling with her words while announcing the best picture nominees, Gaga helped her out, saying, “We’re going to give you the nominees now.”

She leaned down to Liza and “I got you,” to which the EGOT winner replied, “I know.”

Liza Minnelli sparks concern as 76-year-old actress looks'frail' at Oscars
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The moment was truly heartwarming after an evening of chaos.

Social media has been buzzing with speculation about the legendary star’s current health status.

It follows a history of drug addiction, a brain injury, and physical ailments.

DRUG AND ALCOHOL ADDICTION

Liza has been to rehab for substance abuse and drugs five times since 1992 and attended Alcoholics Anonymous.

Her last outing was in 2015, but she’s been sober since then.

Liza’s drug and alcohol problems began with the pressure to perform in Hollywood in person.

She later revealed that she turned to drugs to cope with her mother’s death and developed a Valium addiction.

In Andy Warhol’s 1978 diary, he recalled Liza showing up at his home in New York begging for drugs.

“Give me every drug you have!” she said.

The actress walked with cocaine, marijuana, Valium and four Mandrax tranquilizer pills.

“All my life this disease has been widespread. I inherited it and it was awful, but I always asked for help,” Liza said of her addiction.

Drug addiction runs in the family; Her mother, Judy Garland, died in 1969 from an accidental barbiturate overdose.

Liza’s only vice that still haunts her today is smoking.

PHYSICAL COMPLAINTS

Liza had many physical problems and her first health crisis came in 1997.

According to her 2008 interview with Variety, Liza suffered from polyps on her vocal cords, resulting in her being unable to sing for 18 months.

Dancing also took its toll on her body – Liza had two prosthetic hips and a kneecap.

In 2007, the movie star had her jawbone reconstructed after a fall on stage, and then broke her wrists in 2013.

The following year, Liza fractured her lower back after one of her dogs jumped on her.

The performer got into an awkward position during the incident and crushed her vertebrae, requiring surgery.

PAINFUL PREGNANCY

Liza was married, divorced four times and never had children.

In 1981, she became pregnant with her third husband, a sculptor, Mark Gero, but had a miscarriage.

Liza suffered three miscarriages during her four marriages.

Medical procedures to save a baby left Liza with a hiatal hernia.

Liza has said her hernia still bothers her and is sometimes painful when she eats or sings in a certain way.

AVOID DEATH

Despite all those complaints, the scariest came in 2000.

She contracted viral encephalitis, an inflammation of active brain tissue caused by an infection or autoimmune response to a mosquito bite.

Encephalitis can cause seizures, confused thinking, and even problems with movement, vision, and hearing.

Paramedics thought she was suffering from a stroke after finding her collapsed on the ground, one side of her body paralyzed, slurred speech and sagging facial muscles.

The infection can be fatal if not treated promptly, but Liza defied all odds.

Liza was told she would spend the rest of her life in a wheelchair but recovered and appeared in her one-man show Liza’s Back.

She had to learn to walk and talk again, but came back pretty quickly.

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Still, she was doing well enough to pursue her career — her last role was in a 2013 episode of Smash.

In 2019 she made a guest appearance in the documentary film Halston.

Liza Minnelli backstage at the 94th Academy Awards

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Liza Minnelli backstage at the 94th Academy AwardsPhoto credit: Getty
Liza as a little girl hugs her mother Judy Garland

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Liza as a little girl hugs her mother Judy GarlandPhoto credit: Getty
Liza appeared on German television in 1982

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Liza appeared on German television in 1982Photo credit: Getty

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https://www.the-sun.com/entertainment/5001551/liza-minnelli-health-drug-addiction-brain-infection/ Insights into Liza Minnelli’s medical crises, including drug addiction and brain infections, as fans fear for the wheelchair-bound star

Aila Slisco

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