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Liza Minnelli Has Encephalitis

Entertainer Liza Minnelli is in a Florida hospital, where doctors say she's recovering from viral encephalitis.

Doctor Maurice Hanson, a neurologist at the Cleveland Clinic Florida in Fort Lauderdale, says Minnelli was "quite sick," and had been "in a very serious condition." But he says the 54-year-old film and TV star is "recovering well" and that she should be released in a few days.

Hanson told reporters today that after being treated for encephalitis two weeks ago, Minnelli was released but that she became dehydrated, and had to return to the hospital. The hospital said Minnelli has been a patient at the hospital for several days.

Minnelli was admitted to the Cleveland Clinic Florida in Fort Lauderdale on Oct. 8 after appearing to have suffered a stroke, fire officials told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel of Fort Lauderdale.

Minnelli, 54, was discharged Oct. 16 but was readmitted three days later, a clinic official told the newspaper on condition of anonymity. The official declined to comment on Minnelli's condition.

Fire-Rescue Division-Chief Stephen McInerny said paramedics arrived at Minnelli's home Oct. 8 to find the actress suffering symptoms that included paralysis on one side of her body, slurred speech and drooping facial muscles.

"We found her semiconscious on the floor, disoriented and suffering from what we believe was a possible stroke," he said.

Hanson asked reporters to respect the entertainer's privacy. He said she has sent her thanks for their "care and concern."

Minnelli was born into show business. Her mother was Hollywood legend Judy Garland and her father was Academy Award-winning film director Vincente Minnelli.

At 19, Minnelli won a Tony Award for her first Broadway production: Flora, The Red Menace, and went on to win two more. At 26, she won best actress for 1972's Cabaret, and later won two Golden Globes.

Arthur (1981), with Dudley Moore, and Martin Scorsese's New York, New York, (1977) costarring Robert DeNiro, are among her most successful films.

In May, Minnelli was forced to cancel tour dates for Minnelli on Minnelli, a one-woman show saluting her father, for a hip condition on her left hip. She has had two surgeries on her right hip.

©2000 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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