liza-minelli

Liza Minnelli gears up for a 'Smash'-ing good time in guest role

April 5, 2013 at 10:26 AM ET

There's no question that Liza Minnelli is an entertainment icon: She's got an Oscar, a Grammy, an Emmy and multiple Tonys. But even if -- as TODAY's Willie Geist suggested on Thursday -- the room goes quiet with awe when she walks in a room, Liza is no diva about her decades of success.

"Stuck up stuff is for the birds," she told him as the pair sat down for a chat. "It really is!"

At 67, Minnelli is happy to just be one of the gang -- and she joined a very talented gang of fellow entertainers during her guest visit on "Smash," which airs this Saturday.

"It was wonderful (working on the show)," she enthused, "because I was working with other performers -- and that's the reason I went into the theater, that you worked with other people. At first I wanted to be an ice skater ... (but) when I saw 'Bye, Bye Birdie' I thought, 'Ooh, that's what I want to do! That looks like such wonderful fun."

As the daughter of director Vincente Minnelli and actress Judy Garland, Minnelli has been giving entertainment her all since she was a toddler. But she really came into her own with the role of Sally Bowles in 1972's "Cabaret," the film that won her that Oscar.

But maybe -- even without being a diva -- she can take a little extra credit for the part's success: As Minnelli explained, "The night before we started filming, I dyed my hair black, cut it ... put on all the stuff and knocked on (director) Bob Fosse's door at the hotel and said, 'What do you think?' And he went, 'You didn't ask -- oh, it looks great.' It was really funny!"

"Smash" (with Liza Minnelli guesting) airs at 9 p.m. on Saturday on NBC.

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