Here's Who Inherited Vincente Minnelli's Money When He Died

Think "Minnelli" and you might think of Liza, but her father, Vincente Minnelli, had just as notable an impact in Hollywood. Born in 1903 in Chicago, Vincente Minnelli was a well-known film director whose work helped to shape the path of Hollywood during the 1940s and 1950s, according to Britannica.

Born to a musical family, Minnellli was the son of a musical conductor, according to IMDb. As a child, he traveled often with his family's drama company, visiting many areas in the Midwest, before the family moved to Ohio permanently. After graduating from high school, Minnelli relocated to Chicago, where he studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago while working. Early in his career, Minnelli worked designing window displays for department stores and as a photographer's assistant. Later, once he broke into the theater industry, he worked as a set designer and costumer on Broadway, working on shows including "Earl Carroll's Vanities," "At Home Abroad," and "Ziegfeld Follies of 1936."

Later, Minnelli moved on to becoming a director and producer, making his debut with 1943's "Cabin in the Sky," according to Turner Classic Movies. The musical was produced by MGM, under whom Minnelli would continue to work for decades. Minnelli became known for his directorial efforts, especially his musicals, whose visuals tended to have characteristically bright colors and complex patterns. Minnelli was deeply dedicated to his art, and continued to work up until around a decade before he died in 1986 at the age of 83.

Vincente Minnelli's death and burial

Minnelli died in 1986 of a combination of emphysema and pneumonia, according to The New York Times. After his death, his daughter, Liza Minnelli, from his marriage to Judy Garland, was named executrix of his estate. Despite her parents' divorce when she was young, Liza and her father reportedly had a very strong relationship, according to Direct Expose. Growing up, Liza spent six months out of the year with each of her parents.

Still, Liza didn't necessarily carry out everything her father requested in his will. Most prominently, Vincente Minnellli expressed in his will the desire that his body be cremated, according to the Los Angeles Times. However, family members instead chose to bury him in Forest Lawn Memorial Park, a cemetery in Glendale, California, just outside of Los Angeles. Moreover, though Minnelli expressly said he did not want a funeral, a memorial service was held, attended by many famous faces, including Michael Jackson, Bob Hope, and Kirk Douglas.

How Vincente Minnelli's estate was divided

After a long and successful career in Hollywood, Vincente Minnelli died with a fair few assets to his name, according to the Los Angeles Times. Legal papers say that at the time of his death, Minnelli had property worth over $130,000 and real property worth around $1 million. Liza inherited nearly everything Vincente Minnelli owned, from jewelry and house furnishings to cash assets, aside from a few exceptions that Minnelli noted in his will. Vincente's wife at the time of his death, Margaretta Lee Anderson, was granted a $100,000 inheritance, a sum worth around $284,000 today.

Similarly, a small sum of $5,000 was left to Vincente's other daughter, Christiana Nina Miro, from his marriage to his second wife, Georgette Magnani. Vincente said little to explain the discrepancy between Liza and Christiana's inheritances, other than to express that Christiana was "well provided for," according to the Los Angeles Times.

What happened to the Minnelli mansion?

In addition to inheriting her father's possessions, Liza Minnelli inherited his house, the Minnelli mansion in Beverly Hills, according to the Los Angeles Times. However, she didn't inherit full control over the house. While Liza technically owned the property, Vincente's wife at the time of his death, Margaretta Lee, was granted express permission to continue living in the house until her death.

This arrangement would become a problem in 2000, when, 14 years after Vincente died, a battle erupted between Liza and Margaretta Lee over the home, according to Curbed Los Angeles. Reportedly, Liza wanted to sell the home, but Margaretta Lee refused to move out. Liza sold the house anyway, and thereafter stopped paying for upkeep of the mansion, including the electricity bills, in the hopes of pushing Margaretta Lee out. In the end, after much back-and-forth, Liza ended up paying rent to the new owners for Margaretta Lee to remain in the house until her 2009 death. According to a 2021 posting at Insider, the owners have yet to decide whether to restore or demolish; the house was essentially abandoned.