History

The Story Within the Walls: Inside the Minnelli Family and Their Abandoned Hollywood Mansion

What kind of words are conjured up when we think of the Hollywood Hills? Rich? Famous? Glamorous? Maybe. But what’s about words like ‘rundown’, ‘decrepit’, or ‘abandoned?’ Maybe less so. In the fascinating story you are about to read, all of the above words apply. Here, we had the privilege of taking a little trip down Hollywood’s memory lane in order to zoom in on the legendary Minnelli family.

The Story from Within the Walls  Inside the Minnelli Family and Their Abandoned Hollywood Mansion 37
Image: Popular Everything

Liza Minnelli and her family have an interesting Beverly Hills story. And central to the narrative is their once-magnificent, but now dilapidated mansion. In the heart of the Hollywood Hills, it stands long abandoned – a building on which time and history have exacted their toll. Along with the Minelli family, it too has a colorful story. Now, let’s dive in, so sit back, get comfy and get ready to enjoy.

Birth of a Star

Liza Minelli was born in March 1946 in Los Angeles. This Hollywood baby would grow up to be the superstar that we know and love. She is possibly best known for her Academy Award-winning performance in Cabaret, which came out in 1972. But Liza was not the first person in the Minnelli family to win a prestigious accolade.

The Story from Within the Walls  Inside the Minnelli Family and Their Abandoned Hollywood Mansion 13
Image: WorthPoint

Her father, the director Vincente Minnelli, was also a superstar. By the time Liza was born, Vincente had already reached critical acclaim through the production of two Academy Award-winning movies. Her mother, Judy Garland was also famous – she was an actress, singer, and dancer who starred films and won huge awards such a Golden Globe and a Special Tony Award.

Bright Beginnings

As we just touched upon, Liza came from superstar parents. But we feel it’s worthwhile to elaborate a little more to give you a better idea of the scope of her parents’ stardom. Vincente’s two Academy Awards were no joke. What were they exactly? Best Picture. Yeah… he was a real moviemaking heavyweight. He was involved in the production of over 30 films throughout his career. His legacy went down in entertainment history.

The Story from Within the Walls  Inside the Minnelli Family and Their Abandoned Hollywood Mansion 4
Image: TIME

Judy Garland has always been praised for her diversity. As an actress, singer, and dancer, she starred in both musicals and dramas. In fact, she was the first woman to be awarded the Grammy Award for Album of the Year for her 1961 recording Judy at Carnegie Hall. But to us, and possibly also to you, Garland is best known for her role as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz. Don’t forget her iconic line “We’re not in Kansas anymore.”

Talent and Ambition Must Run in the Minnelli Genes

When considering the Minnelli family, it seems that music and film talent must be in their DNA. Liza’s parents were huge, and it almost seems that from the get-go, she was destined to become a superstar. But as we will soon see, Liza shares with her parents more than just a tendency to get famous.

The Story from Within the Walls  Inside the Minnelli Family and Their Abandoned Hollywood Mansion 5
Image: Factinate

The first time she appeared in a film was as a baby, where she played a small part in Garland’s film In the Good Old Summertime in 1949. Throughout subsequent decades, Liza appeared and starred in lots of venues. These included live musical performances (where she was praised for her amazing singing voice), acting gigs, and theater performances. Her career sort of hit a climax with her award-winning role in Cabaret.

The Minnellis Give Us a Taste of “Trouble In Paradise”

True, the Minnellis seem to paint of perfect portrait of a happy Hollywood superstar family, with a seemingly genetic disposition for celebrity. But under the surface of the happy Hollywood family, trouble was brewing.
Already by the late 1940s, Judy and Vincente’s marriage started to crumble. Judy was reportedly suffering from severe anxiety and depression, and she became prone to self-destructive behavior.

The Story from Within the Walls  Inside the Minnelli Family and Their Abandoned Hollywood Mansion 15
Image: National Geographic

Treating mental health issues in the 1950s was not what it is these days, and real aid was a lot less available. Lacking proper treatment for one reason or another, Judy would often resort to substance abuse. As her marriage with Vincente was unraveling, Judy suffered a mental breakdown, and her contract with MGM was consequently terminated. In 1951, Judy and Vincent divorced.

Behind the Glamourous Gates of Hollywood

Liza was only about five years old when her parents, Vicente and Judy, divorced. Nonetheless, throughout her earliest years, Liza as a little girl was well taken care of, and the seeds of her Hollywood career were already sprouting. A little after Liza was born, Vincente acquired a huge 6,000 square foot beautiful house in Beverly Hills.

The Story from Within the Walls  Inside the Minnelli Family and Their Abandoned Hollywood Mansion 1 1
Image: Twitter / PageSix

Childhood friends of Liza’s report that in her room, there was a closet filled with everything a little girl could ever dream of. Toys, clothes, and books, Liza had it all. The house and the property (in those days) were really something to behold. Vincente apparently even commissioned artists and contractors to design extra rooms, playhouses, and outdoor attractions.

The Minellis Believe in Life After Love, and Then More Love

Vicente and Judy divorced in 1951, but this didn’t mean that was the end of marriage for either of them. In fact, Judy’s marriage to Vincente was her second. She would go on to marry three more times. Likewise for Vincente; before his death at age 83 in 1986, he would get hitched another three times. And as we’ll soon see, his marriage to his last wife, Margaretta Lee Anderson, would pave the way for some controversy surrounding the mansion.

The Story from Within the Walls  Inside the Minnelli Family and Their Abandoned Hollywood Mansion 8
Image: YouTube / Underground LA

Even though there was a lot of volatility in the Minnelli household during the years leading up to the divorce, and the years following it, both parents, Judy and Vincente, tried hard to take care of their daughter. It was agreed that custody of Liza would be shared 50-50 by the parents. And they stuck to this agreement, even though both parents were busy with Hollywood and they were in and out of all sorts of relationships.

Down and Up: As Vincente’s Prominence Fades, Liza’s Explodes

By the late 1970s, Vincente had directed his last movie: A Matter of Time. By then, Vincente had married his last wife, Margaretta Lee Anderson, and things were going well. But long years of hard work (and a fair share a partying) took their toll on Vincente Minnelli. In 1986 he passed away due to several health complications.

The Story from Within the Walls  Inside the Minnelli Family and Their Abandoned Hollywood Mansion 10
Image: Flickr / Movie Ink

As her parents were going through a series of relationships and health problems in the 1960s and 1970s Liza was quickly gaining Hollywood momentum. As Vincente was entering old age and his career was winding down, Liza was on the way up. During the 1970s she was flying around to the world, starring in roles in Europe and beyond. Once it was evident that her father was really aging, she flew back home to visit him in his illness.

After Vincente’s Passing, What Happened to the House?

When Vincente passed away in 1986, the property and house were estimated to be worth over one million dollars. Taking inflation into consideration, one million back then is worth around two and a half million in today’s dollars! Anyway, Vincente’s estate was largely left to Liza, whom he always put first.

The Story from Within the Walls  Inside the Minnelli Family and Their Abandoned Hollywood Mansion 19
Image: Hulton archive Collection

He did, however, allocate some of his will to his last wife, Margaretta Lee Anderson. He reportedly left her around 100 thousand dollars. In addition, he gave her the right to live in the mansion for the rest of her life. At first, this arrangement seemed to suit Liza and Lee, but in the years following Vincente’s death, their relationship deteriorated and the house became an issue.

And, Alas, The Controversy Takes Shape

Ladies and gentlemen, dear readers, we have covered quite a bit of ground and Minnelli family history so far. At this point in the story, things become a little bit more blurry, brewing controversies start to bubble over, and causal links become more elusive. Sometimes, though, the breakdown of clarity can be intriguing, and with this story, we believe this is the case.

The Story from Within the Walls  Inside the Minnelli Family and Their Abandoned Hollywood Mansion 3
Image: Vanity Fair

A few years after her father’s passing, in the late 1990s and early 2000s, Liza started scoping out the L.A. real estate scene. Her plan was to quietly find buyers that might be interested in the Beverly Hills Mansion. Now, recall that before he died, Vincente included a clause in his will that stated that even though Liza would own the house, Lee, her stepmom would be able to indefinitely live there. What’s not clear at this point is Liza’s motive.

What’s the Deal With Vincente’s Will?

We don’t know what drove Liza to put the house up for sale while her stepmother, Lee, still lived there. The story goes like this. After finding buyers that were interested in the mansion, Liza eventually sold it in 2002. Why did she decide to do this? We don’t know. She loved her father, he loved her, and they were always respectful towards each others’ wishes.

The Story from Within the Walls  Inside the Minnelli Family and Their Abandoned Hollywood Mansion 36
Image: Flickr / Sobaire Schroat

By 2002, Liza, now 56 years old, had enjoyed a solid Hollywood career pretty much since she was a small child. This means, among other things, that she was quite wealthy. Hmm, it then seems money wasn’t an issue. And it’s doubtful that she had some bone to pick with Lee: the two women got along great the whole time Lee was married to Liza’s father.

The Minnelli Estate Hits the Market While Lee Still Lives There

On some level, Liza must have realized that the move to sell the house would cause some upheaval. When she sold the house, she offered Lee a condo worth almost half a million dollars. Lee, however, declined and insisted on staying. Following the sale of the house, which Lee viewed as a betrayal to her and her late husband, Liza’s father, she launched a lawsuit.

The Story from Within the Walls Inside the Minnelli Family and Their Abandoned Hollywood Mansion 7 2
Image: Ron Galella

She alleged that in protest of her refusal to leave the property, Liza had fired the groundskeepers, missed bill payments (causing the power to be shut off), and generally neglected her, and the property’s wellbeing. Lee said that this caused her to be severely stressed out. At this point, of course, Liza and Lee’s relationship further worsened.

Hollywood Icons Also Fight With Their Folks

We’re not blaming anyone here. We know life can get complicated, and even Hollywood’s finest are people that live, lose, and love. Still, it’s a little hard to understand the reasons behind the Minnelli mansion fiasco. Liza’s move to sell the house was confusing. But also, we don’t fully understand why Lee didn’t just go for the (generous) settlement Liza offered her.

The Story from Within the Walls  Inside the Minnelli Family and Their Abandoned Hollywood Mansion 35
Image: Flickr / Sobaire Schroat

After all, the offer Liza made to Lee (as compensation for selling the house) was almost half the value of the property. Seems pretty fair right? Yeah, we guess so, but nonetheless, Lee refused. It’s reasonable to assume at this point that although the settlement offer was pretty generous, Lee was in no mood to accept, out of principle. Not to mention, at this point she was 94. Not an easy age to start calling up the movers…

After Some Back and Forth and Some Bad Vibes, the Air Starts to Clear

After a short legal battle (and the emergence of lots of juicy gossip tabloids), Liza decided to pull back. Maybe she decided what she was doing wasn’t nice. Maybe decided that instead of fighting, she wanted to take her relationship with her stepmom back to the good old days, when Vincente was around, and everyone got along great.

The Story from Within the Walls  Inside the Minnelli Family and Their Abandoned Hollywood Mansion 27
Image: Flickr / Sobaire Schroat

In any case, Liza eventually reached out to Lee to invite her to dinner, and the ladies made up. Lee stopped all legal action taken against Liza, and they came to an arrangement. Lee would be allowed to stay in the house she loved, and Liza would pay the new owners rent. All is well, ends well: Liza and Lee repaired their relationship and they went back to getting along as they had before Vincente’s passing.

Liza and Lee Made Up, Ushering In the End of an Era

In 2009, Lee passed away, at 100 years old. Wow, she too, like the Minnellis, had some special spices in her genes. After she passed, Liza stopped paying rent on the house and the new owners took full ownership and control of the huge Hollywood Hills estate.

The Story from Within the Walls  Inside the Minnelli Family and Their Abandoned Hollywood Mansion 28
Image: Flickr / Sobaire Schroat

In the mid and late 2000s, Liza was still making huge waves in the show biz. She made tons of guest appearances in awesome shows such as Arrested Development, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Drop Dead Diva and in all sorts of shows and programs outside the U.S.

Within the Walls: Exploring the Story of the Mansion

We hope that so far, you’ve enjoyed reading about the Minnellis and their intriguing history. Indeed, their story is full of ups and downs. We saw that Liza was born to superstar Hollywood parents, and after the death of her father, and a subsequent legal squabble with her stepmother, everything smoothed out. But the story doesn’t end there. On the contrary, some might even say the plot thickens.

The Story from Within the Walls  Inside the Minnelli Family and Their Abandoned Hollywood Mansion 31 1
Image: Flickr / Sobaire Schroat

What’s the next stage of our Minnelli dynasty adventure? Now we go deep, real deep, into the current state of the infamous mansion that was at the center of the Liza/Lee disagreement. At this point in the narrative, the story and its causal arrows get even blurrier, and affairs become increasingly mysterious. Fasten your seatbelts.

What Becomes of the Minnelli Estate?

Margaretta Lee Anderson, Liza Minnelli’s stepmother with whom she clashed regarding the mansion, passed away at 100 in 2009. At this point, Liza stopped paying rent to the new owners, the property was vacated, and the new owners assumed full control of the place. What happened to the beautiful property after that? The house had not been renovated since Vincente was still active and energetic.

The Story from Within the Walls  Inside the Minnelli Family and Their Abandoned Hollywood Mansion 30
Image: Flickr / Sobaire Schroat

While Lee lived there by herself, she sort of let some of the grounds go. No touchups, paint jobs, or makeovers had been done for a long time. You would think, therefore, that when the new owners took control of the property, they would immediately start fixing the place up. Right? (They could certainly afford it.) Wrong.

The “Mysterious” New Owners of the Estate Dilly Dally

Ok, we’ll be a little bit more honest. We don’t know if we can say the new owners of the Minnelli manse are truly mysterious, but it is interesting to us that finding their names seems to be impossible. It sort of seems like that is not a coincidence (insert puzzled emoji here). In any case, once they acquired the property, they allegedly had big plans for its future.

The Story from Within the Walls  Inside the Minnelli Family and Their Abandoned Hollywood Mansion 18
Image: Scribol.com

Apparently, two avenues were on the table: either do major renovations to the existing structures or tear everything down and start fresh. Great plans right? Yep. But did they go through with them? Nope. The owners didn’t follow through with either of the plans. They let the property fall into total disrepair. After they took full control, all maintenance ceased. Hence these crazy pictures of the partial demise of a beautiful Hollywood mansion.

A Timecapsule of Faded Glamour

In its heyday, the Minnelli mansion was beautiful, pristine, and sparkling with life. But since the neglect and abandonment started, the property is a mere shadow of its former glamorous self. The swimming pool is full of graffiti. The rooms are filthy. The grounds are a jungle. Over the years, many a squatter, animal, and thunderstorm have conspired to give the place a post-apocalyptic feel.

The Story from Within the Walls  Inside the Minnelli Family and Their Abandoned Hollywood Mansion 32
Image: Flickr / Sobaire Schroat

Interestingly, many of the accessories, pieces of furniture, and appliances are still lying around, in a dilapidated state. It’s curious why the new owners didn’t even take the time to clear out some stuff. Going through the house, one could easily be overcome by the eery feeling that people just up and left without their belongings due to some serious circumstances. Creepy.

The Former Minnelli Mansion: A Crow Among Swans

Here, we obviously don’t mean to imply anything about the beauty (or lack thereof) of crows, we’re simply using a metaphor. The former Minnelli mansion sticks out like a sore thumb among the rest of the grand Hollywood Hills mansions. It’s no secret that the Hills is a super-wealthy neighborhood.

The Story from Within the Walls Inside the Minnelli Family and Their Abandoned Hollywood Mansion 48
Image: Ozzie Ausband

A list of some of the people living there these days includes Ben Affleck, Helen Hunt, and Lady Gaga. And they all have glamorous, hard to miss houses. The Minnelli family’s former mansion is really rundown and dilapidated. Not just the house itself, but the grounds as well are pretty shabby looking. The contrast between the sorry state of the mansion and the rest of the beautiful abodes in the area makes it look even worse than it is.

A Little Bit of the Property’s History Before the Minnellis

Vincente Minnelli purchased the property in the 1950s, and as we know, it was Liza’s childhood home of which she has many fond memories. The Beverly Hills mansion, which is located at 812 N. Crescent Drive, was constructed in 1925. The style of architecture it features is usually referred to as “Spanish Colonial Revival.” This style of building was prevalent among plans for houses for California’s upper class in the 1910s and 1920s.

The Story from Within the Walls  Inside the Minnelli Family and Their Abandoned Hollywood Mansion 9
Image: Flickr / Sobaire Schroat

At some points during and after its construction, and in line with emergent architectural designs, adjustments were made, and the style was changed to be more “French Regency style.” In fact, the architect that designed the place, John Elgin Woolf, was one of the pioneers of the collection of styles known as “regency.” Some defining features of this architecture are massive doors, classical symmetry, pavilions, and winding staircases.

Juicy Details of Architecture for the Rich

Most sources indicate that the Minnelli house design is categorized as a “single-family residence.” Forget the fact that the place is big enough to house half of L.A. Anyway, to be precise, the house is 5,877 square feet. The property altogether is 42,512 square feet. Wow, you could pretty much host a Woodstock festival there!

The Story from Within the Walls  Inside the Minnelli Family and Their Abandoned Hollywood Mansion 54
Image: Flickr / Sobaire Schroat

The house has a whopping total of 19 rooms (hmm, makes you wonder why “experts” consider it a “single-family” residence). Six of the rooms are meant as bedrooms (or least have or had beds), and there are six baths. Interestingly, the place “only” has a one-car garage. Maybe when it was built, designers didn’t anticipate that every average Joe and his uncle would own a car or two. It also has a once-nice in-ground pool. Yup, luxury indeed.

Juicy Details, Round II

Seen from aerial photography, we notice that the house has a u-shaped design. This is a classic feature of the styles in which the house was planned and designed. The mansion sports a massive paved forecourt. Seriously, you could probably fit about 50 cars on that beast. Imagine the crazy parties you throw if you had this place.

The Story from Within the Walls Inside the Minnelli Family and Their Abandoned Hollywood Mansion 51
Image: Abandoned Explorers

The front gate is a classic looking metal structure with the little spears facing up to the sky. All the walls are red brick. Even though time and history have taken their toll on the walls, the brick is still beautiful to behold. According to some sources, as of 2017, the property was worth around three million dollars. Take this with a grain of salt, because estimates vary wildly.

Theories of Why the Minnelli Mansion Fell Into Disrepair

Even after Vincente passed away and Lee was peacefully living in the mansion (before Liza looked at selling it), the place started going a little downhill. It seems that Lee minimized her investment in the upkeep. Most pictures we see of that period, and most of the available information, indicate that Lee wanted to preserve the vibe as it was. So she didn’t undertake any serious renovation projects.

The Story from Within the Walls  Inside the Minnelli Family and Their Abandoned Hollywood Mansion 34
Image: Flickr / Sobaire Schroat

Not to mention, Lee was not young at this time. But as we saw, after the Lee/Liza fiasco, and then after Lee passed, the new owners let the house further crumble. Insurance conspiracies aside, there are some real suggestions as to why they let it slip. Some say that the owners didn’t want to tear down the house or that the city won’t let them. Maybe the owners have lots of property investments, and this one is just low on their list of priorities.

For Some Reason, Liza Did Not Clear the Place Out

Another aspect of this story that’s not entirely clear (or, we guess, not at all clear), is that when Liza handed over the keys to the property, she didn’t bother getting rid of any of the stuff that was in there. Sure, lots of it was Lee’s, most of the furniture and appliances had been there since Vincente’s time, but why didn’t she take some stuff?

The Story from Within the Walls  Inside the Minnelli Family and Their Abandoned Hollywood Mansion 49
Image: IAMNOTASTALKER.COM

To think about potential reasons is to indulge in more juicy Hollywood speculation. So, don’t mind if we do… The amount of detritus that remained in the mansion is crazy: kitchenware, beds, linens, toys, bicycles, documents, records, etc. The list would fill the bandwidth of the internet if we wrote every item down. Maybe Liza just couldn’t be bothered removing the stuff? Maybe she’s just not willing to invest any time or money into it?

The Mysterious and Elusive New Owners

Circa 2009, Lee passed away, the premises were vacated (of human beings, at least) and the new owners took full control of the property. Great. But, who were these mysterious new owners? According to our research, surprisingly, no one seems to know. Maybe an in-depth look at official property ownership records could shed light on the mystery, but it seems difficult to get our hands on good info.

The Story from Within the Walls  Inside the Minnelli Family and Their Abandoned Hollywood Mansion 24
Image: Flickr / Sobaire Schroat

We’ve looked all over Google, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and intriguingly, we can’t figure this one out. In fact, We can’t really find anything about these mysterious individuals at all. It seems as if, in light of the house’s intrigue, the new owners have gone through some deliberate lengths to remain anonymous.

Abandoned but Not Empty: The Minnelli Mansion After 2009

Alright, dear readers, now that we’ve done a timely pivot to further enrich our understanding of the Minnelli family background, let’s go back inside the house, shall we? So, in 1999 the Los Angeles Times did a profile on Lee in the mansion. In 2009, after a little legal squabble and Lee’s passing, the new owners took full control of the house and it continued to decay. This doesn’t mean that there was no one in there though.

The Story from Within the Walls Inside the Minnelli Family and Their Abandoned Hollywood Mansion 49
Image: Say What?

As we can see from the abundance of pictures, there have been numerous squatters in and out of the place. The drawers and cabinets have been ransacked, many of the nice things are broken, and it seems as if the fireplace has been in regular use. There is a lot of stuff in there to be sure, but not much of it has any value. We wonder if now that work is being done on it, the junk is cleared out, and the squatters stopped coming.

A YouTuber Opens the Gates of the Minnelli Mansion for the World to See Inside

In 2015, while Liza was busy popping up as an awesome guest on all sorts of shows, YouTuber “adamthewoo” featured the abandoned Minnelli mansion in an episode of his show called Abandoned. Him (we guess his name is Adam) and his friend go into the mansion with cameras, and they document the decay, room by room. The guys are hilarious, so they lighten the vibe, but the house was in a grim state.

The Story from Within the Walls Inside the Minnelli Family and Their Abandoned Hollywood Mansion 47
Image: Flickr / Sobaire Schroat

Thanks to them, in large part, we have all these fascinating pictures of the demise of a grand Hollywood mansion. Now that the house is allegedly being remodeled, maybe they will update us with some new insights. The story of the house is a little sad, but it’s significant in that it alludes to the famous notion that “money can’t buy happiness.”

Change Is in the Air

The mansion has been utterly abandoned for a long time. Scattered throughout the house are tons of junk. It looks like the place was left for dead. But wait! The story and the house don’t end here. In 2017, a YouTube video emerged, posted by “Daze with Jordan the Lion,” showing what appears to be renovations being carried out on the Minnelli mansion!

The Story from Within the Walls Inside the Minnelli Family and Their Abandoned Hollywood Mansion 50
Image: IAMNOTASTALKER.COM

We can’t vouch for the video’s accuracy, but it really looks like work is being done. Looking in the comments, we see people talking about the house getting an addition. This spurred us to dig deeper into the story. But, unfortunately, solid information still seems to be scarce. We’re not sure if the project was ever completed, but reports indicate the place still looks decrepit.

The L.A. Times Visits Lee and the Mansion

In 1999, the Los Angeles Times did a special report on the Minnelli situation. They were received by Lee, who offered them the grand tour of the house of the mansion and grounds and agreed to be interviewed. One of the things the reporter Robin Abcarian noticed is that indeed, Lee did not do anything with the place. Literally, she left everything as it after Vincent’s death.

The Story from Within the Walls Inside the Minnelli Family and Their Abandoned Hollywood Mansion 46
Image: The Sun

Forget maintenance and renovations. Even his paints and his easel were exactly where he left them when he fell ill. All his clothes were still there, along with many other belongings. We can’t blame her though. It’s probably hard when someone you love dearly passes away. And sometimes keeping some little mementos can help ease the pain.

Abandoned Superstar Mansions: Not All That Uncommon

Superstars usually have a lot of money, so sometimes when they do things us ordinary people would deem crazy, it might just come from indifference. With the Minnellis, the story isn’t entirely clear, and at the end of the day, we don’t know exactly why their mansion fell into a state of neglect. Of course, the deterioration increased in severity after Liza sold the place.

The Story from Within the Walls  Inside the Minnelli Family and Their Abandoned Hollywood Mansion 53
Image: Her Moments

But still, why would the (presumably) rich new owners let it further decay? We don’t know. But what we can tell you for sure, is that the Minnelli mansion is not an isolated incident. Ian Gilan of Deep Purple once owned a massive manor in the U.K., but it’s now abandoned. Legendary boxer Mike Tyson owned a sprawling manse in Ohio, and, well, another one bites the dust.

Every Abandonment Has Its Story

We saw that celebrities buying lavish homes and then – for some reason – subsequently abandoning them is not that rare an occurrence. To name just a few more, this is also the case with Michael Jackson’s controversial Neverland Ranch, David Gilmour’s Hook End Manor, and Bruce Lee’s Hong Kong mansion. But behind every abandoned celebrity home is a story.

The Story from Within the Walls  Inside the Minnelli Family and Their Abandoned Hollywood Mansion 25
Image: Flickr / Sobaire Schroat

Some of the stories have a clear narrative, and some, as is the case with the Minnellis, don’t. Some of the stories involve controversy, some involve indifference. The stories surrounding these once-magnificent properties vary in their nature, but one thing is certain: they are all intriguing. So next time you walk or drive by a big old house that looks like it’s falling apart, try hard to envision its glorious days, and you might be surprised.

These Days We Wonder How Liza Feels About the Whole Story

Of course, celebrities are no strangers to people (and magazines) talking about them. As is the case here with the Minnellis, even the quickest and most casual of searches uncover massive amounts of information on them. There are even a few books about them. For instance, there’s a book called Get Happy: The Life of Judy Garland. There’s another one called Under the Rainbow: The Real Liza Minnelli.

The Story from Within the Walls Inside the Minnelli Family and Their Abandoned Hollywood Mansion 43
Image: Famous Biographies & TV Shows

But even with these volumes available, we may never know what Liza or her family truly felt, or feel. Liza grew up on the Crescent Drive mansion, and she has really fond memories of her childhood. How does she feel these days when she sees pictures of the place? How would she feel if she was reading this article? Sad? Indifferent? Happy? We might never know, but it’s certainly interesting to ponder.

Liza Minnelli, at Almost 60, Still Going Strong

In the first decade of the 2000s, Liza was flying all over the world, popping up in all sorts of awesome shows. In 2009, she made a surprise appearance on Saturday Night Live, where she participated in a hilarious sketch called “Group Therapy.” We recommend you check it out, it’s pretty awesome!

The Story from Within the Walls Inside the Minnelli Family and Their Abandoned Hollywood Mansion 39
Image: Flickr / Sobaire Schroat

Her music career, too, was still on fire (in a good way). In 2009, she was nominated for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album for her album titled Liza’s at the Palace. The album is based on her broadway hit. About a year later, she released a phenomenal album with Decca Records, titled Confessions. That year, she also made an appearance on The View, performing a cover of “I Would Never Leave You.”

Liza Minnelli Is a Star Among Nebulae

There are certainly different categories of stardom. You got your class A Brad Pitt types. You got your class B Kit Harrington and Emilia Clarke guys and girls. And then going down from there on the scale of celebrity and popularities, we have normal folks such as ourselves. Well, Liza Minnelli is certainly in the first class. She’s a household name for all. You’d be fairly hard-pressed to find someone above the age of 20 who doesn’t know her.

The Story from Within the Walls  Inside the Minnelli Family and Their Abandoned Hollywood Mansion 6
Image: Picsofcelebrities.com

In fact, in terms of entertainment achievements, Liza belongs to an extra level of exclusive categorization. She’s part of the “EGOT” club. This is a collection of stars who have won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony. It’s kind of analogous to a writer winning the Nobel Prize, the Pulitzer Prize, the Hugo Award, and the America Award. The “EGOT” is a crazy list of entertainment accolades. Very impressive Liza, very impressive.

Liza’s Vibrant Social Life

It must be interesting, to say the least, to be a Hollywood superstar. Especially when you’ve reached Liza Minnelli’s caliber. And with a colorful Hollywood life comes a vibrant social life. Liza had lots of friends and tons of connections. She has been described by some of her contemporaries as a real social butterfly. She was friendly with Andy Warhol, and they often partied together, for example.

The Story from Within the Walls  Inside the Minnelli Family and Their Abandoned Hollywood Mansion 12
Image: Natalie Notions

In 2006, Liza got friendly with the members of the band My Chemical Romance when they asked her to sing their original tune “Mama.” And even though there’s a little controversy surrounding the connection, it’s reported that she was quite friendly with and Michael Jackson. Anyway, the list of superstars with whom she was friendly is pretty extensive, and we wanted to give you a little taste.

As Promised, Let’s Have a Look At Liza’s Multiple Marriages

Recall that Liza’s parents, Vincente and Judy, each got married lots of times. We guess they just like tying knots, right? Well, as we briefly mentioned earlier, Liza also had a colorful and plentiful marriage life. She married her first husband, Peter Allen, in 1967, when she about 21 years. They divorced seven years later.

The Story from Within the Walls  Inside the Minnelli Family and Their Abandoned Hollywood Mansion 55
Image: Vice

Next up, was Jack Haley. He and Liza got hitched in 1974, but five years later, they too ended up getting divorced. After her short marriage to Haley, Liza married Mark Gero. That marriage lasted longer, but also ultimately fell apart. Last but not least, Liza married David Gest in 2002. Their marriage lasted until 2007. At some point after all her marriages, Liza appeared on Larry King, where she explained that after four failed marriages, she’s done with tying the knot.

As We All Know, Hollywood Can Party a Little Too Hard

We all know that Hollywood is famous for its big huge parties. These are glamorous events, but they are certainly heavy on the booze and substances. It’s a well-known fact that unfortunately, lots of actors, writers, musicians, and other artists are often plagued by various forms of substance abuse. And sadly, Liza Minnelli is not an exception.

The Story from Within the Walls  Inside the Minnelli Family and Their Abandoned Hollywood Mansion 53 1
Image: Biography.com

Throughout her life, she suffered from alcoholism and drug use. Even Andy Warhol remarked on her recreational use. Nevertheless, she lives a good life, she’s super talented and super characteristic. Hopefully, she’s a little more calmed down these days, and leading a healthier life. Celebrities of Liza’s stature certainly have the material means to make improvements in the lifestyle department, so we hope they all try.

Liza Puts Her Stardom to Good Use With Some Awesome Philanthropy

We all know by now that Liza Minnelli is a superstar and entertainment polymath. Singing, acting, guest appearances – is there anything she can’t do? Maybe not. And this is further highlighted by another completely different angle of her activities: philanthropy. Let’s have a quick look at some of the different programs Liza is or was involved in.

The Story from Within the Walls  Inside the Minnelli Family and Their Abandoned Hollywood Mansion 56
Image: E! News

For over 20 years, Liza served on the board of directors of The Institute for the Achievement of Human Potential (IAHP). The organization works to familiarize parents with the field of child development. She also spent a lot of time and effort participating in work done by The Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR). It’s really nice to see powerful people like Liza use some of their time to make a difference in so many fields. Way to go Liza!

Where Has Liza Resided Recently?

The short answer to this question: lots of places. Although we don’t have addresses (probably for the best: even celebs are entitled to privacy), we can trace a rough “life-path” (get it? like “flightpath”) throughout the last few decades. First of all, it’s no mystery – shes rich. So she can afford to be all over the place. In the prime of her acting years, she was always flying back and forth from Europe for extended periods of time.

The Story from Within the Walls Inside the Minnelli Family and Their Abandoned Hollywood Mansion 38
Image: The Atlanta Business Journal

For three years, sometime in the 2010s, Liza leased the home of Italian actress Veronica De Laurentiis in Beverly Hills. We don’t know exactly how much her rent was, but as of last year, the place went up for around eleven thousand dollars a month. That’s about 360 dollars a night. Yeah… she’s got cash flow. Even though she has been described as the “quintessential New Yorker”, she now continues to reside somewhere in L.A.

Liza Doesn’t Like How the Media Exaggerates About Her Mother

It’s no secret that Judy Garland (a.k.a. Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz) had some troubles in her life. She suffered from anxiety and depression and tried to self medicate with pills and alcohol. In 2019, Judy, starring Renée Zellweger hit the floor. It got pretty good reviews, but reports suggest that Liza was not into it.

The Story from Within the Walls Inside the Minnelli Family and Their Abandoned Hollywood Mansion 42
Image: Judy Garland News & Events

Her main issue was how the film exaggerated the tragic nature of Garland’s life and her last days. Liza says that although her mother did indeed have problems, she was a really joyous person and generally lived a very happy life. Liza also expressed reservations about the dialogue, saying it was fictional.

Liza Feels That Some Coverage Is Just Too Inaccurate

In addition to feeling a little bad about some media exaggerating her mother’s issues, she also feels that some of the attempts to portray her are just flat out not true. She was especially disappointed with Radar Online. Liza claims that for years, the magazine has been sounding the alarm, saying that her days are numbered. Here, we don’t blame her for being a little upset.

The Story from Within the Walls Inside the Minnelli Family and Their Abandoned Hollywood Mansion 44
Image: The Sun

And with regards to Judy, the outlet allegedly published an article about its production saying that lead actress Renée Zellweger spent hours on the phone with Liza being coached on how to accurately portray Garland. According to Liza, this is a straight-up lie – it never happened! Usually, and admirably, Liza doesn’t get involved in the he-said-she-said mumbo jumbo. But this really ticked her off, so she felt she had to respond.

A Closer Look at Judy Garland

Let’s keep cruising down Hollywood’s memory lane for a sec. Now that we mentioned Judy Garland, the time is ripe for digging a little deeper into her past, because it’s certainly interesting and glamorous (to say the least). She was born in 1922 in Minnesota. And like her daughter, she started performing a super young age.

The Story from Within the Walls Inside the Minnelli Family and Their Abandoned Hollywood Mansion 52
Image: The Sun

Throughout the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s, she starred in almost 30 MGM films (including The Wizard of Oz). During her career, she received tons of award nominations. And posthumously, she received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Even early in her teenage years, however, stardom started to negatively affect her mental health. Ultimately, these issues would lead to her passing.

Epics of Hollywood

Looking back at the Minnelli family, their story is unique in some ways, but in others, it’s sort of common among the Hollywood echelons. Let’s look at some of the features. First, you have a child born to superstar parents who becomes a superstar herself. Well, the big guys have an easier time getting bigger.

The Story from Within the Walls Inside the Minnelli Family and Their Abandoned Hollywood Mansion 45
Image: CR Fashion Book

Second, you have some family drama. There was a squabble between Lee and Liza, which semed on some levels to take a toll on both women. And third, you have trouble with drugs and alcohol. We won’t get into that too much, but needless to say, it seems to be a common theme in Hollywood.