Born Lester Anthony Minnelli in Chicago on February 28 1903, Vincente Minnelli kept lying over the years about his age and his
exact origin. His father Vincent was a musical conductor of the Minnelli Brothers' Tent Theater and his only child to survive infancy spent his childhood on the road. Wanting to pursue an artistic career, he worked at
the costume departement of the Chicago Theater, then on Broadway during the depression as a set designer and costumer, adopting a latinized version of his father's fisrt name when he was hired as an art-director by the
Music Hall, then at Radio City. Fall of 1935 saw his directorial debut for a Schubert revue, At Home Abraod, the first of three, in the best Ziegfield spirit, before receiving Arthur Freed's offer to join the MGM - not
mentionning a first short unsuccessful contract at Paramount. He would not leave the MGM lots for the next 26 years. After working on numerous Rooney-Garland vehicles, usally directed by Busby Berkeley, Freed gave him
his first directorial assignment on Cabin in the Sky (1943), a risky screen project with an all-black cast, which he 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 - Band Wagon, The (1953) - as well as melodramas - Some Came Running (1958) - and urban comedies - Designing Woman (1957), occasionnaly
even working on two films simultaneously. Vincente Minnelli is one of the few directors, if not the only one, whom color seems to have been invented for, and usually included in every of his features a dream sequence.
Judy Garland (1945 - 1951) (divorced); 1 daughter Liza
'Lee Anderson' (? - 1986?) (his death)
Named his daughter Liza Minnelli after the Gershwin song "Liza." He had directed the number for Ziegfeld
Follies (1946), but it was cut from the final version of the film.
Interred at Forest Lawn, Glendale, California, USA, in the Triumphant Faith Terraces area.
Biography from Leonard Maltin's Movie Encyclopedia:
Director. (b. Feb. 28, 1910, Chicago; d. July 25, 1986.) This onetime art director (he worked in that capacity at New York's Radio City Music Hall before becoming a
Broadway director) is remembered as one of American cinema's most distinctive and creative visual stylists. His lavish use of color and, in the 1950s, widescreen, was praised by French critics who deemed him a master of
"mise-en-scène." A generation of younger American filmmakers, including Martin Scorsese (whose 1977New York, New York starring Vincente and Judy Garland's daughter Liza Minnelli, contains many touches in
homage to Minnelli) has cited him as an influence. His best-known screen work was done in the musical genre, where he also worked as a stage director before going to Hollywood. He started out as a
troubleshooter/jack-of-alltrades at MGM, contributing ideas to a number of different films before "flying solo" as a director.
Beginning with the all-blackCabin in the Sky (1943), Minnelli helmed a
series of increasingly innovative musicals for MGM, including the exquisiteMeet Me in St. Louis (1944), on which he first worked with Garland (they were married from 1945 to 1951),An American in Paris (1951, featuring
Gene Kelly and an extended ballet sequence), and 1953's splendidThe Band Wagon with Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse. Other Minnelli/MGM musicals includeBrigadoon (1954),Gigi (1958), andBells Are Ringing (1960). Two of his
musicals had the distinction of winning Oscars as Best Picture (An American in Paris for which he was nominated as Best Director, and Gigi for which he won his only Academy Award). The same sense of style and visual
finesse he brought to musical films served such emotional dramas as Madame Bovary (1949), Tea and Sympathy (1956), Some Came Running (1958), and Home From the Hill (1960), as well.
behind-the-scenes-of-moviemaking soap operas, The Bad and the Beautiful (1952) and Two Weeks in Another Town (1962) are highwater marks in the Hollywood-on-Hollywood genre, whileLust for Life (1956) remains one of the
finest films ever made about the passion of a great artist-in this case, Vincent van Gogh. Minnelli also exhibited a flair for light comedy, directing the popular 1950 Spencer Tracy-Elizabeth Taylor starrer,Father of
the Bride its 1951 sequel,Father's Little Dividend plusDesigning Woman (1957) andThe Reluctant Debutante (1958). He even steered Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz through the slapstick antics of The Long, Long Trailer (1954).
It almost didn't matter what kind of film he tackled; any Minnelli movie had taste and style. In 1976 he came out of retirement to direct daughter Liza and Ingrid Bergman inA Matter of Time the result was deemed a
botch, and Minnelli denounced the studio-edited cut of the film, which was his last. His 1974 autobiography was titled "I Remember It Well."