Liza Minnelli’s career has spanned decades, but she has faced significant setbacks. Drug and alcohol abuse, heartbreak, and illness hampered the performer.

She once battled a severe disease that doctors thought she’d never walk or talk again. Minnelli discussed her illness and how she dealt with it.

Minnelli was born into a celebrity. Minnelli made her first on-screen appearance in The Pirate, starring her mother, Judy Garland, and directed by her father, Vincente Minnelli, when she was 14 months old.

She was soon performing alongside her mother for people like Frank Sinatra. Minnelli made an indelible mark on the film industry after working on Broadway with her Oscar-winning performance in Cabaret.

“You’re nominated, you want to win, but you also want to forget about it until the awards night comes, and nobody lets you; they mean well, but they talk about it all the time,” she said shortly before winning the award.

“They want you to talk about it, promote yourself, and I don’t take to that. If you get it, great; if not, how else can you feel about it? I will say, however, that Cabaret deserves to win; I don’t agree with every decision I made in the role, but the film as a whole is a total breakthrough in filmmaking.”

She was hospitalized after contracting viral encephalitis.

Minnelli was admitted to the hospital with viral encephalitis, which causes brain inflammation, three decades after winning an Oscar.

“Liza Minnelli has been a patient here for a few days,” Dr. Maurice Hanson revealed. “She is receiving treatment for viral encephalitis. She was quite sick and in critical condition, but she is now recovering well and will be released in a few days.”

Doctors were concerned that Minnelli would not survive the illness, according to Minnelli.

“I couldn’t walk or talk, and they told me I wouldn’t… ever again,” she added.

“When I was told that, everyone left the room, and I turned to face the wall and began to say ‘A – B – C.’”

“That’s what it felt like because I had a rehearsal at Carnegie Hall. I’d like to live. I’ve always desired to live.”

She went on to perform her show Liza’s Back in New York City two years later.

Minnelli’s performances are now few and far between, and she has had additional health scares since her bout with viral encephalitis, but she now claims to be ageless.

“I am ageless, truly. I never consider my age.”

Minnelli’s friends have praised her perseverance.

“She’s a survivor,” said one of Minnelli’s closest friends, Marisa Berenson. “She’s like a phoenix, constantly spreading her wings and reborn. She’s one of the toughest people I know. It’s breathtaking to watch. She truly possesses incredible strength and courage.”