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July 10, 2015

15 Rare Black and White Photos of Liza Minnelli as a Teenager in 1965

In March 1965, when LIFE photographer Bill Eppridge spent time on assignment with Judy Garland’s enormously talented daughter, Liza Minnelli was just turning 19 and launching what would prove to be a monumental career of her own. In fact, she was about to debut on Broadway in Flora the Red Menace, in a role that would make her, at the time, the youngest woman in history to win a Tony Award for lead actress.

Liza allowed Eppridge into her spirited Flora rehearsals, and even invited him to her 19th birthday party in New York City, but in the end LIFE published just one of Eppridge’s photos. Here, a collection of 15 beautiful black and white pictures of Liza Minnelli in 1965.

Surrounded by friends, and in the embrace of fiancĂ© Peter Allen — she'd marry the Australian entertainer two years later — 19-year-old Liza Minnelli cuts her birthday cake in 1965.

Liza Minnelli studies sheet music in rehearsals for Flora the Red Menace in 1965, a new musical in which she'd play a bohemian fashion designer during the Great Depression.

Liza Minnelli runs lines with her Flora the Red Menace costar Bob Dishy. In the show, Liza's Flora falls for his character, a fellow designer who pulls her toward Communism.

Liza Minnelli and Bob Dishy are put through their paces by Flora the Red Menace choreographer Lee Theodore.

Liza Minnelli, 1965.

Flora the Red Menace rehearsals, 1965.

Flora the Red Menace rehearsals, 1965.

Liza Minnelli huddles with Flora the Red Menace choreographer Lee Theodore (right) and an unidentified man (possibly Fred Ebb).

Liza Minnelli burns up the floor at her 19th birthday party at Il Mio, a disco inside Delmonico's Hotel in New York, March 1965.

Liza Minnelli, 1965.

Liza Minnelli busts out the hottest dance of the day, "the Frug," at her birthday party in 1965.

Shoes kicked off, head thrown back, 19-year-old Liza Minnelli belts out a song for birthday party guests in 1965.

Liza Minnelli reacts as an unidentified well-wisher at her 19th birthday party presents her with a swan-shaped balloon. Seated beside her is Peter Allen, who at the time was a singer with Judy Garland. He would become Liza's first husband in 1967, and in the years after that would establish a successful career of his own.

Liza Minnelli, 1965.

Birthday girl Liza Minnelli gets down on the floor with her guests, March 1965.

(Photos: Bill Eppridge—The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)


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