MANILA, Philippines — The recently held 94th annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California may be a little chaotic, what with Will Smith’s outburst onstage over Chris Rock’s “G.I. Jane 2” joke toward Jada Pinkett Smith. But pop star Lady Gaga and legendary actress and stage performer Liza Minnelli saved the night, as they wrapped up the Oscars with a heartwarming moment together onstage.
The highly eventful awards night produced the first deaf male actor to win an Oscar in Troy Kostur of “CODA,” as well as the first queer black woman to win the award for her performance in “West Side Story.” But another winning moment of the night was the rare appearance of Liza Minnelli with Lady Gaga, as the two were tasked to present the final award of the night: Best Picture.
Gaga, 36, was seen accompanying Minnelli, 76, on stage as they did their presenter duties together. As Minnelli used a wheelchair during her appearance, the crowd cheered, prompting Lady Gaga to clap and give the spotlight to her co-presenter, grasping Minnelli’s hand as she said, “Do you see that? The public, they love you.”
While doing their intro spiels, Minnelli appeared to struggle a little, and fumbled slightly over her words and with her cue cards. Lady Gaga then said, “You know how I love working with legends. And I’m honored to present the final award of the evening with a true show business legend.” She also mentioned that the iconic film “Cabaret” is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.
“Cabaret” is one of the iconic movies of Liza, wherein she played Sally Bowles in the 1972 film directed by Bob Fosse. She is one of the biggest superstars in the world with a rare EGOT status under her belt, which means she’s won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony award all throughout her career.
In 2000, Liza first made it public that she was diagnosed with viral encephalitis, an uncommon but serious condition in which the brain becomes inflamed or swollen. She was told then she won’t be able to talk nor walk ever. But a true fighter that she’s always been, Liza had been able to perform still, even starring in a sing and dance number in the 2010 movie “Sex and the City 2.” She even guest starred in the sitcom “Arrested Development” in 2013.
When the EGOT winner sorted through her notes, acknowledging, “I don’t understand,” Gaga told her, “I got it.” Minnelli then whispered back, “I know.”
The heart-tugging moment has become viral on social media.
After the video of the Best Picture nominees was show on-screen, Liza then quipped, “Hi everybody! I’m so happy to be here, especially with you. I’m your biggest fan,” directing her praise toward Lady Gaga. “CODA” ultimately took home the award for Best Picture, as announced by Liza herself.
Lady Gaga, who was praised for being a supportive co-presenter to Minnelli, proved that showing kindness toward others will always be a class act. Which was just a perfect moment to cap off the Oscars 2022.