Is Liza Ready for Her Close-Up?: Minnelli Rumored for Screen Sunset

News   Is Liza Ready for Her Close-Up?: Minnelli Rumored for Screen Sunset Will Liza Minnelli play the fictitious silent-film star Norma Desmond on screen?

Gossip columnist Liz Smith writes, "I continue to hear rumblings and whisperings that Liza Minnelli will star in the movie musical version of Sunset Boulevard." There have long been rumors that the Andrew Lloyd Webber-Don Black-Christopher Hampton musical would hit the big screen, and many actresses' names have been attached to the project. Tony and Olivier Award winner Patti LuPone created the role of Norma Desmond for the musical's world-premiere production in London. Glenn Close played the role in Los Angeles and later in New York, where she won a Tony Award for her performance as the aging, deluded actress. Other musical Normas include Elaine Paige (London and New York), Betty Buckley (London and New York), Diahann Carroll (Canada), Petula Clark (London and U.S. tour), Debra Byrne (Australia), Helen Schneider (Germany) and Linda Balgord (U.S. tour).

Lloyd Webber's Sunset Boulevard is based on the 1950 movie of the same name, which featured Gloria Swanson as the reclusive Norma Desmond who falls in love with an unlucky writer — Joe Gillis — who happens upon her home by accident. William Holden played Gillis in the film, which was directed by the late Billy Wilder. Swanson, Holden and Wilder all received Academy Award nominations for their work.

Liza Minnelli, an Oscar winner for her performance in Cabaret, was last on Broadway in a tribute to her late father entitled Minnelli on Minnelli; she returned to New York City's Beacon Theatre last year with her acclaimed concert Liza's Back! In addition to her Tonys for Flora, the Red Menace and The Act, Minnelli was awarded a special Tony in 1974 for "adding lustre to the Broadway season." Her film credits include "The Sterile Cuckoo," "Arthur," "New York, New York" and "Stepping Out." The singer is also a Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning actress. Her newest album, "Liza's Back!" (J Records), is now in stores.