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Liza Minnelli 'On the Record'

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," December 28, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SHANNON BREAM, FOX NEWS GUEST HOST: Now, one of the biggest star ever goes on the record with Greta-Liza Minnelli, she has been nominated for a Grammy, for "Liza's at the Palace." You can catch that event on DVD on February 2nd. We have to talk to Liza about that and of course, got that behind the scenes old school Hollywood stories.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Liza, nice to see you.

LIZA MINNELLI, SINGER AND ACTRESS: Hi Greta, how are you doing?

SUSTEREN: I'm very well, this is exciting for me and of course I feel so Hollywood, this pictures, we don't usually get to sit in big chairs like these.

MINNELLI: Good. This is comfortable.

SUSTEREN: This is quite comfortable.

MINNELLI: Oh, yes. It's good.

SUSTEREN: All right. First of all, you have a head band. What is with that head band?

MINNELLI: I'm going to have a rehearsal after I finished with you.

SUSTEREN: You work?

MINNELLI: Yes.

SUSTEREN: All right. There is big news. You have a DVD coming out. It has been nominated for a Grammy. So, tell us about this DVD.

MINNELLI: Well, it was the show that we won the award for. And it was the second act. The first act was something I do not think you have heard, some very interesting acting choices on it, and the second half is all about my godmother, Kay Thompson.

SUSTEREN: Who is Kay Thompson.

MINNELLI: She was a force, an underground force in Hollywood. First of all, she had a huge radio show. She had vocal singers and she arranged music like nobody else at MGM, at first she was 30, to run the entire vocal arrangement thing at MGM. Right? That's unheard of. Then, you know, the next thing she did is she did Eloise, just a little something, Kay Thompson Eloise.

SUSTEREN: About the Plaza Hotel.

MINNELLI: Yes. There she did all kinds of things but what I'm celebrating is the nightclub act that she did. In 1948, I was two, but I saw it, and I remember it, and what I remember is I'm sitting on mom's lap, across from my dad, these feet that just never stopped moving, and these long arms, and the audience -- with laughter, because she was truly witty.

SUSTEREN: All right. OK. Let's talk about this Grammy award.

MINNELLI: Oh, my God.

SUSTEREN: You are nervous?

MINNELLI: Yes.

SUSTEREN: Why, you got some other rewards.

MINNELLI: I still got nervous.

SUSTEREN: We got some competition, I mean, Michael Buble and Tony Bennett.

MINNELLI: Oh, those two are my favorite singers in the world.

SUSTEREN: But look at the competition you had with the Oscar. You had Diana Ross, I mean, the competition when you won your Oscar, so you have faced hard competition before.

MINNELLI: Yes, I know but Tony Bennett, I have every album that he ever made, and then all of the CD's, I mean, I used to get a bus ticket to go and see him when he was in Brooklyn, I worshipped him and Buble, and I adore, so those two, I am up against some pretty strong competition, but I am thrilled to be in their company.

SUSTEREN: Is it really fun and exciting to get up there and sing those songs, or is it work for you?

MINNELLI: No, both of those, it is fun and exciting because the audience that singing to has never seen me before or if they have, I can always find a face that never seen me. I can always find somebody who has never seen me, you know, and then I perform the whole show for that person. They do not know it, but I do, until I get them.

SUSTEREN: All right, so, last night, I listened to all of these tapes of you on YouTube, and I just seen this DVD and I got an advance of the one where you are nominated for this Grammy and the one that keeps popping up is "New York, New York."

MINNELLI: Well, thank you.

SUSTEREN: And you mean, this one with you in Sinatra, tell me what's like singing with Sinatra -- like Tony and Frank?

MINNELLI: They would have loved the Kay Thompson show, because they worshiped her. They worshipped Kay. I can tell you that before, we used to spend hours on airplanes, talking about her, but it was great, because it was really simple. Wherever Frank went, Sammy and I went the other way and made it work, you know?

SUSTEREN: What was Frank like?

MINNELLI: Frank is great. He was great and he was always wonderful to me. And that's all I can go on.

SUSTEREN: All right. The other -- which I thought it was fascinating is I heard a music video with you and Pavarotti singing "New York, New York."

MINNELLI: Yes.

SUSTEREN: And now that's -- to me, I mean, it seems like unusual.

MINNELLI: Yes, it was.

(MUSIC PLAYING)

SUSTEREN: How did that come by?

MINNELLI: He wanted to sing it, and it was his show and it was for charity, so I said OK. You know, and I guess there is not a lot of rhythm and opera, because if you watched that tape, he was so brilliant. When we rehearsed it the first time, he went, I am spreading the news, I am leaving today, I want to be a part of it, and I was, start spreading the news, I am leaving today and I didn't know how to make this words. He went, my little town blues, anything to get those beats, just to make it work.

SUSTEREN: Why you stayed on top for so long? What it is, a hard work, talent or luck or what it else?

MINNELLI: I think it's going to be both. I mean, it has got to be caring about what you do. I mean, you do research on people. You are great at what you do. You cannot stay on top forever. I mean, if you have had enormous success.

SUSTEREN: Well, everybody knows Liza Minnelli.

MINNELLI: Yes, but I never changed my name to Garland. And my father was a brilliant director and a great, great scene of designer. He designed the -- radios for the musical and then all the movies he may. So, I was always around. And then I learned, and then I only work with people I can learn from. I want to learn. That is all I want to do. That is what keeps me going, and if you are curious, you cannot get depressed. You cannot get angry. You don't get a lot of time for yourself if you're curious and if you stay that way, and that is my job.

SUSTEREN: One of the things that I think, is the beginning of your career is from people who get to know you, when you introduce on television, the great movie "The Wizard of Oz," when you first appear on TV, you introduce it. How old were you?

MINNELLI: I was ten. Oh, I don't remember all.

SUSTEREN: OK. All right. Here's one question, do you meet Margaret Hamilton?

MINNELLI: Oh, yes, well, she was the meanest witch.

SUSTEREN: Was she nice in person?

MINNELLI: My sister, Laura (ph) is doing a lot of that now. She is doing it great.

SUSTEREN: What's Margaret Hamilton like?

MINNELLI: She was the nicest lady I have ever met.

SUSTEREN: She surely did not seen it.

MINNELLI: No, but that is the movies.

SUSTEREN: All right. Because I have Margaret Hamilton that is seen in a bicycle which is going.

MINNELLI: Oh my God! Is that scary?

SUSTEREN: Terrible. It was the worst seen I've ever seen, she looks like every bad music teacher I ever had.

MINNELLI: There is only one story that I know, that I remember was that in one of the scene, there was a puff of smoke, and Margaret Hamilton disappears, and there was a trap door, right, and she went down in back, and something went wrong, an explosion or something, and she caught fire, so they had to come and put her out.

SUSTEREN: And that is what killed her in the end, the water.

MINNELLI: Oh my God!

SUSTEREN: I take it that winning the Grammy, because you win some of the words that you want to win this one for Kay Thompson. I sort of get that. Is that a little bit of .

MINNELLI: A lot. It would mean the world to me, and she was the most important person in my world, thanks to my parents.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BREAM: There is so much more of Greta's interview with Liza Minnelli, and you can check it all out on GretaWire.com.

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