Paris-born entertainer Liliane Montevecchi first put on ballet shoes at the age of 9. Nine years later, she became prima ballerina in Roland Petit’s ballet company. Hollywood took a sudden interest in her in the early 1950s along with other foreign-born ballet dancers such as Leslie Caron, Zizi Jeanmaire, and Moira Shearer. Liliane was signed to a contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and began appearing in their musicals. However, for the most part, the roles were small and only mildly flavorful, and did nothing to not enough to distinguish her roles which did nothing to abet her film career. Such cinematic ventures as The Glass Slipper (1955) (starring Caron), Daddy Long Legs (1955) (also starring Caron), Moonfleet (1955), Meet Me in Las Vegas (1956), The Sad Sack (1957), Me and the Colonel (1958), and the Elvis Presley vehicle King Creole (1958) came and went without much fanfare for Liliane personally.
It was the live stage that would raise her to legendary status. First, she starred with the Folies Bergere for nine years, traveling all over the world. She then conquered Broadway in the 1980s, winning both Tony and Drama Desk awards for her flashy role in the musical “Nine”, based on Fellini’s art-house film 8½ (1963). She earned a Tony Award nomination several years later with an equally flashy role in the musical “Grand Hotel”. The entertainer, beloved for her delightful mangling of the English language, has appeared in concert at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, and has vamped and camped with the best of them in her acclaimed cabaret shows and niteries from here to Timbuktu. These include the semi-autobiographical shows “On the Boulevard” and “Back On the Boulvards.” Still going strong at age 70+, Lilliane Montelecchi has shown time and time again that she is a one-of-a-kind diva who knows no limit.