Liza Minnelli is one of the most famous and talented stars of our time. Born into Hollywood royalty, she grew up in the center of Beverly Hills. Over the last decade, her once glamorous childhood home has become a deserted piece of property. More recently, however, it’s caught the eye of curious onlookers who’ve walked the grounds hoping get a taste of the mansion’s history. Read on to find out what exactly happened to Liza’s beloved childhood home!
Out of the ordinary
Beverly Hills Mansions are famous for their high end and fancy designs. Many of the wealthiest actors and businessmen in Hollywood live in these lavish homes. You would assume that every home in this neighborhood is stunning and even more beautiful than the next.
But this is not always the case. There is one home in particular that stood out from the houses surrounding it. in 2012, A woman by the name of Kayleigh went to check it out.
Searched for more information
Kayleigh found a rundown mansion in Beverly Hills, on the corner of West Sunset Boulevard and North Crescent Drive. She had never seen any property like it before and was curious to find out who it belonged to and why it was there.
She took a photo of the house and sent it to a tipster. The tipster contacted the real estate agency, Curbed Los Angeles. Maybe they could find out more information about the abandoned property!
Took a closer look
Curbed Los Angeles did some research and found information about the mansion. And the tipster needed to see the place for himself. From the outside, the house was deserted and looked like a haunted house, straight out of a horror film.
He had driven past it a few times but never went inside. It seems that although the house was abandoned, there may have been people living inside for the past few years. When the tipster walked in, he was so shocked by what he saw.
Owned by a famous director
When he walked into the house, the place was a disaster beyond repair. There were also torn drapes on the upstairs windows, suggesting that there may have been squatters recently taking up space in the home.
Why would someone abandon such a huge property in the most expensive part of Los Angeles? What Curbed Los Angeles discovered, was that the home once belonged to none other than the famous Hollywood stage and film director, Vincente Minnelli.
A very old mansion
The property was originally constructed in 1925, but was redone by John Elgin Woolf, a renowned American architect. There isn’t much information on the tenants who lived at the residence before Minnelli purchased it back in the ’50s.
While his career was on the rise and he was doing well professionally, Minnelli’s family life was becoming more complicated. Can you guess who his wife was? She starred in the classic 1939 film, The Wizard of Oz.
The movie that changed his life
That’s right, he was married to the talented actress, Judy Garland. Back in 1943, Vincent Minnelli’s directing debut of the film Cabin in the Sky, put him on the map as the next big Hollywood film director. But it was his next film Meet Me in St. Louis, that would change his life forever.
Minnelli fell in love with the film’s lead actress and singer, Judy Garland. They were married within the year and gave birth to their daughter Liza shortly after.
One happy Hollywood family
Vincent Minnelli and Judy Garland’s daughter Liza Minnelli, was born on March 12th, 1946. Liza became the most important thing in her parents’ lives, and the three of them looked like a happy family. In reality though, that wasn’t the case.
While Vincent was scoring more hits in the movie industry, Garland seemed to be getting worse and worse. Supposedly, she was suffering from anxiety, substance abuse, and depression. In addition, there was something else that Garland was hiding.
Garland and Minnelli split up
Minnelli seemed to be forgetting about his wife, and spent all of his time and energy on his movies and on his daughter Liza. Garland’s personal battles appeared to be getting worse and she attempted to take her own life.
Seeing that nothing was working in her marriage, she started having an affair with show businessman Sidney Luft. After Minnelli and Garland called it quits, Minnelli won an Academy Award for his film An American In Paris, and moved into the mansion with his daughter.
Minnelli and Judy Garland had their fare share of problems, but they were always careful not to involve Liza. They were both huge inspirations in her life, helping her achieve stardom and becoming the talented performer that she is today.
In a 2019 interview with Vogue, Liza talks about her parents, specifically her mother. “I got my drive from my mama and my dreams from my father… she had huge ambition, a great sense of resilience, and a simply wonderful sense of humor. I like to think she passed those three traits on to me.”
The famous Minnelli mansion
The fairly brand new Minnelli property was located on Crescent Drive. The lavish mansion had six bedrooms, six bathrooms, a fancy dining room, a living room and much more— 19 rooms in total. Minnelli and his second wife, Georgette Magnani, were truly living the Hollywood dream.
The home had many dressing rooms with memorabilia from each of Minnelli’s films. But Minnelli wanted to give his daughter the best house she could ever dream of and spared no expense when it came to Liza.
A doting father to Liza
After her parents’ divorce, Liza split her time between living with her mother, Judy Garland, and with her father, Vincent Minnelli. Minnelli put in a lot of effort to make sure Liza was living her life to the fullest.
As stated by Minnelli’s biographer Emanuel Levy, Minnelli ordered new outfits for her every year. In addition, Minnelli had stage and film artist Tony Duquette to design a beautiful playhouse for Liza at the estate, right outside the mansion.
The house in its prime
Liza’s whole childhood was spent in the mansion and her home was a popular spot for other actresses her age. Childhood friend and fellow actress Candice Bergen, remembered the house back in the day. According to Candice, she came over many times to play dress up.
There were closets filled with costumes from Minnelli’s films, but scaled down to children sizes so Liza and her friends could play dress up. By the 1970s, however, Liza moved out and Minnelli’s fortune took a hit when he wasn’t Hollywood’s biggest director anymore.
A fortune reversal
Minnelli directed his last film in 1976. He was no longer able to afford his way of living. The house was not the hotspot that it once was and had become an empty mansion, devoid of life and excitement.
Although her father’s Hollywood status was plummeting, Liza began rising to stardom. She played the lead role in the 1972 movie, Cabaret, and won an Academy Award for best actress. According to some reports, Liza began helping her dad with the affairs of the estate.
Vincente Minnelli’s passing
It is suggested that Liza put down several mortgage payments on the mansion when her father was not able to. By this time, Minnelli spent most of his time with Lee Anderson, his fourth wife, and was in poor health.
Right before his passing, Liza visited her father at her childhood home but had to fly out shortly after for a performance in France. Vincente Minnelli passed away in 1986, at the age of 83 of emphysema and pneumonia. The question is, what would happen to the famous Minnelli estate?
The reading of his will
When the family read over Minnelli’s will, it was rather obvious how much he loved his eldest daughter, Liza. It stated that the mansion was solely in her name, but there was one other crucial part of that agreement.
While the estate was in Liza name, Minnelli’s will stated that his wife Lee Anderson Minnelli is entitled to live there for as long as she wants. This seemed to be a fair agreement for the two of them, but it would end up not being the case.
The house remains unchanged
Lee was interviewed by the Los Angeles Times at the property in 1999. Minnelli had been gone for 13 years, and Lee was continuing to live in the mansion just as the will stated.
She had been living at the Beverly Hills mansion alone and the interviewer got an exclusive into what the mansion looked like since the passing of the late Vincent Minnelli. In his article, the reporter claimed that not a thing had changed, and even his paints and easel were still left in the dressing room.
Selling her childhood home
Shortly after the interview, Liza quietly began looking for potential buyers for the Crescent Drive estate and sold it in 2002. But where was Lee going to live if the house was no longer owned by a Minnelli?
Liza had told a journalist from the Daily Variety that her father instructed her to put Lee into a residence if she were to sell the property. Fulfilling what she promised to her father, Liza presented an expensive tax-free condo to Lee. But Lee’s response was not what Liza expected.
In response to the sale of the house she had been living in since the passing of her late husband Vincente Minnelli, Lee sued Liza. In the lawsuit, she claimed that Liza ordered the electricity to be shut off and fired the staff.
It stated that house’s neglect led Lee to suffer from severe distress and embarrassment. Lee clearly rejected Liza’s condo offer, and the lawsuit further accused Liza of extravagant spending while leaving a 94 year old woman alone in a dark house.
Lee gets to stay
Lee withdrew the lawsuit a month after it was issued. The two were able to work out their problems on their own. Liza paid rent to the new owners, and Lee got her wish to continue living in the mansion.
Because of the lawsuit, Liza didn’t officially sell the place until 2004, and the new owners were not able to take over until Lee moved out or passed away. Lee stayed in the house until 2009 when she passed on. Now that the estate had been sold, what was to become of it?
An empty home
Back when Lee was still alive, a real estate agent had told the Times that the buyers will eventually move in and remodel the Beverly Hills mansion. So once Lee passed away in 2006, it seemed like there was some refurbishing to do.
But as we’ve seen from the last decade, the property hasn’t been redone at all. What we do see, however, is that there appears to have been squatters living in the deserted estate.
A recent discovery
Why did the mysterious owners never move into the property? And why are they willing to let the house fall apart? We will never truly know the answers to these burning questions, but a recent discovery was made by a number of curious onlookers.
In 2013, people have sighted new trees that were planted on the grounds of the former Minnelli estate. Could this be the beginning of the abandoned mansion’s restoration? Only time will tell.
A huge mess
The tipster who asked the real estate agency Curbed Los Angeles about the property, noticed the torn drapes on the window. But that was just the tip of the iceberg.
When he walked in, rooms were in disarray, there was a strong stench of mildew, and recent trash suggested that there were squatters that lived in the house not long before. Some artifacts remained in the rooms but it was obvious that the Minnelli family was long gone.
The outside grounds were destroyed
The outside grounds of the property were just as alarming, to say the least. According to the lawsuit, it said that the cleaning staff was dismissed. This may be the reason why the mansion’s exterior looked so unkempt, but it probably wasn’t the only factor.
Either way, there were piles of debris towards the front of the gate and the gate’s columns were falling apart. The grass had not been trimmed for years and was partially covering the entrance.
A Message on the Wall
In one of the 19 rooms, someone who clearly knew the deserted mansion’s backstory scribbled the name Judy Garland across the wall in cursive. Who wrote her name? Was it a vandal who recently broke into the mansion? Or maybe it was ghost!
If the signature was authentic, it could be worth tearing down the wall and auctioning the piece of plaster for thousands of dollars. And it wasn’t just this room that contained surprises.
As more people heard about the property, curious fans started to check it out for themselves like famed YouTuber adamthewoo, who shoots videos at famous abandoned sites. There was one room that he saw that contained a mirrored wall, a bathtub, and a mattress.
While the mattress does seem out of place, it could have been where Lee slept when she was living on her own. Others suggest that people may have been taking up residence in the house in the last decade and moved the mattress there.
What was left behind
Adamthewoo took detailed videos of the mansion’s interior and found a lot of scattered artifacts. There were piles of VHS tapes, antique furniture, and pieces of dishware. And since the buyers never renovated the house or even lived in it, these items must have been around since the time of the Minnelli family.
He concluded that Liza must have taken what she wanted from the house and left everything else for the buyers to remodel. And there were more interesting items that were left in some of the other rooms.
In Lee’s Los Angeles Times interview back in 1999, she states that she left the house exactly as it was before Vincente Minnelli’s passing. At the time, the interviewer notes the many photographs and wide array of designer costumes that are stashed in the closets from Minnelli’s movies.
None of these artifacts, however, were found on the property. In addition, another room had a recently used fireplace, further supporting the theory that there have been people illegally occupying the grounds.
Continuing to explore
As Adam, the curious Youtube personality continued to explore, he found a broken window by the kitchen. Some of the cabinets were left open, but the area was mostly spared from ruin.
However, as he moved from one room to the next, the remainder of the rooms were unfortunately not as in good shape as the kitchen. For example, he found a room with functional wall shelves, but the floor was moldy and filthy.
The master bedroom
The state of the mansion seemed to get worse from room to room. While the master bedroom was once a beauty, it is now a complete eyesore. There was a ragged floral printed couch in the middle of the room, and torn drapes.
Where was the bed and the fancy lamps and tables to go with it? And the ceilings weren’t any better. The paint was falling off the ceiling and looked beyond repair.
Possibility of restoration
Although Liza wished that something would become of her former childhood home, that dream never came true. The house was no longer in her possession and renovations were up to the new owners.
While there is overwhelming evidence that the estate has remained untouched since Lee Anderson passing, some curious fans who wandered into the home discovered a cut piece of paper where you can see the floor boards. That might be a bit far fetched for evidence of renovation but it’s an interesting theory for sure!
The absent owners
Regardless of the trees that were planted and the cut floor boards, the house shows no real signs of remodeling. Some suggest that the owners may be waiting for squatters to tear the property apart or even worse— burn it.
But for whatever reason, the property remains untouched, and curious pedestrians are free to roam around, take pictures, and experience the haunted mansion that once belonged to one of the biggest Hollywood moguls in history.
Although the house is cluttered with recent trash that was probably left by curious trespassers and squatters, there are still some cool items left from the Minnelli era. In the master bedroom, there is a record rack that was once situated by the wall next to the bed.
Close to the rack, there are old vintage records strewn across the floor, revealing the once vibrant life of the now abandoned mansion. And just wait till you see the pool!
An outdoor pool
The house once boasted a large beautiful pool in the backyard of the Beverly Hills mansion, which also included a hot tub. Back in the day, having a big pool was a sure sign of enormous wealth.
You can practically picture all the parties Vincente Minnelli used to host for his guests. Today, the pool is abandoned, dirty, and empty, minus the filthy water that collects at the deeper end where the clean water used to be.
There are so many items left behind from the Minnelli family’s heyday that you can spend a day sifting through old artifacts and relics from over three decades ago. If you think about it, a lot of things have happened inside these walls since Vincente Minnelli bought the place in the ’50s.
Not to mention all the people who lived there— Liza, Judy Garland, Vincente, and his other three wives including Lee Anderson. For example, YouTuber adamthewoo found an old People magazine from June 27, 1983 featuring Prince William as a one year old.
It wasn’t just the master bedroom that contained items from the Minnelli era. While there was recent trash that was left by trespassers in the last decade, it was obvious that the Minnelli family once lived there.
When Youtube personality adamthewoo visited the abandoned mansion, he discovered some interesting items. One of them included a spice chart that was attached to a door. After looking closer, he realized that the top of the chart said Minnelli.
The beauty is still there
There is no doubt that the property has not been cared for and is filthy due to the many squatters in the last decade. However, you can still see the beauty in what used to one of the most lavish mansions in Beverly Hills.
Most of the furniture is still intact and the floor length mirrors in the living room add a nice touch to the mansion’s design. Imagine what it would look like if the house was properly looked after!
The former Minnelli mansion is in no competition with the rest of the properties in the area but serves for a different purpose today. The house is now a hub for thrill seekers who love to explore abandoned Hollywood mansions.
To some, it seems like an old neglected piece of property. But to them, it’s an exciting piece of history filled with juicy artifacts of old Hollywood glamour. And even better, it’s free of charge.
Back in the day
To really understand the state in which the mansion is in today, you have to see what a room looked like when the Minnelli family lived there. In this picture you can catch a glimpse of the beauty that once was.
Shortly after Vincete Minnelli passed away, some pictures were taken of the house. This is a picture of what used to be the master bedroom. As you can see, it had a private bathroom, a fancy bed with gold embroidery, and golden curtains to match the ensemble.
Too big a task
Many try to understand why the buyers never ended up renovating the property. Some speculate it was because the job would be too big of a task to take on. Every room needs serious repair.
There is paint chipping from the ceilings, torn carpets, shattered glass, broken furniture, and holes in the walls possibly made by trespassers over the years. Not to mention the grounds surrounding the mansion need some serious renovations. Seems like a lot of work!
What it is today
The abandoned estate has no signs of renovation and stands in Beverly Hills as a symbol of what it once was years ago. Today, the mansion has become something else. It is now an attraction for seekers who take interest in abandoned and deserted homes.
When you do a Google search of the Minnelli property, you’ll see videos and reports of people who were curious enough to drop in and explore the ruined mansion of Crescent Drive.