Lori Singer

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Lori Singer
Lori Singer (14304284178) (cropped).jpg
Lori Singer in 2014
Born (1957-11-06) November 6, 1957 (age 61)
  • Actress
  • cellist
Years active1982–present
Richard Emery
(m. 1980; div. 1996)
Children1 [2]

Lori Singer (born November 6, 1957)[2] is an American actress and cellist. She is perhaps best known for her role as Ariel Moore, the female lead in the 1984 feature film Footloose, and as Julie Miller in the television series Fame.

Early life and musical career[edit]

Singer was born in Corpus Christi, Texas.[2] She grew up in a musical family: her father, Jacques Singer, was a conductor and protégé of Leopold Stokowski, and her mother, Leslie, is a concert pianist. Her brother is actor Marc Singer, and her cousin is director/writer/producer Bryan Singer. As a child, she was often around such luminaries as Leonard Bernstein.[3] Singer is Jewish.[4]

A Juilliard-trained cellist, she was a student of Leonard Rose.[5] Singer made her debut as soloist at the age of thirteen with the Oregon Symphony.[6] Singer has performed in public on such stages as the Royal Albert Hall and Carnegie Hall. She plays the cello in Short Cuts, Fame, and in Sarabande (1997), a short film by Atom Egoyan which is part of the Inspired by Bach series. Singer performed as soloist at Carnegie Hall in January 2008, premiering a hymn written by Karl Jenkins in memory of Martin Luther King, Jr.[7]

Film and television career[edit]

Singer studied acting at Juilliard with Sandy Meisner, Stella Adler and Fred Karaman. She first came to notice when she was cast as dancer and cellist Julie Miller, one of the high school students, during the Fame (1982–83) TV series' first two seasons. The part was created for her. After starring as Ariel Moore, the female lead in Footloose (1984),[8] she starred in a number of other movies, including The Falcon and the Snowman (1985) and The Man with One Red Shoe (1985). Her role in Trouble in Mind (1985) led to her nomination for an Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Lead.

Singer has also had roles in Equinox (1992), Summer Heat (1987), Warlock (1989), Sunset Grill (1993), F.T.W. (1994), and the Robert Altman film Short Cuts (1993). She was awarded a Golden Globe as an actor for "Best Ensemble" for Short Cuts.

The Short Cuts cast won awards for best ensemble at the 50th Venice International Film Festival and the 51st Golden Globe Awards. She also won Newcomer of the Year at ShoWest for her role in the TV movie Born Beautiful (1982). In 1995, she played Sydney Bloom, the lead character in the science fiction TV series VR.5. In addition to her acting, she produced Summer Heat and was involved in the creative conception of VR.5.

On May 4, 2011, Singer returned to television with a guest-starring role on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.

In 2013, Singer executive produced with Sheila Nevins, HBO, and Jessica Kingdon the documentary Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God, directed by Alex Gibney. In 2012 the film won the Grierson Award at the London Film Festival and it also won the Chicago International Film Festival's award. In 2013, the film won the Best Feature Documentary category in the Irish Film and Television Awards. In the United States, the film was nominated for five prime-time Emmy awards; it won three: "Exceptional Merit in Documentary Film Making", "Outstanding Writing", and "Best Editor". The film was short-listed for the Academy Awards in 2013 and was nominated for a Writers Guild Award. In 2014 the documentary was awarded a Peabody Award.


With the Kids from "Fame" (1983). Singer is in center, behind Debbie Allen.
Year Film Role Other notes
1982–1983 Fame Julie Miller NBC Television series
1983 Born Beautiful Jodi Belcher Made-for-TV movie, Won the ShoWest "Newcomer of the Year" Award
1984 Footloose Ariel Moore Won the ShoWest "Breakthrough Performer of the Year" Award
1985 The Falcon and the Snowman Lana
The Man with One Red Shoe Maddy
Trouble in Mind Georgia
1987 Heartbeat Filmmaker's wife Music video
Made in U.S.A. Annie
Summer Heat Roxie
1989 Warlock Kassandra
1990 American Playhouse Therese Episode: "Sensibility and Sense"
Storm and Sorrow Molly Higgins Made-for-TV movie
1992 Equinox Sharon Ace
1993 Sunset Grill Loren
Short Cuts Zoe Trainer
1994 F.T.W. Scarlett Stuart
1995 VR.5 Sydney Bloom Television series
1997 Inspired by Bach Dr. Angela France Episode: "Bach Cello Suite #4: Sarabande"
2005 Little Victim Tracy Short film
2011 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Dede Aston Television Series (Season 12, Episode 22)
2015 Experimenter Florence Asch
2017 God Knows Where I Am Narrating Voice of Linda Bishop


  1. ^ "Actress Sues Famed Lawyer–Hubby for $20M", New York Post. Retrieved February 27, 2013.
  2. ^ a b c "Lori Singer". The New York Times. Accessed 22 November 2011.
  3. ^ "Jacques Singer, Led Orchestras in the West" The New York Times, August 12, 1980.
  4. ^ Danis, Kirsten (September 27, 1998). "Group Spreads Hebrew; Teaches Language to Jews". New York Post.
  5. ^ nycmanhattan.org, "Juilliard". Accessed 14 May 2011.
  6. ^ Long, Genevieve J. "Making 'Good Music'": The Oregon Symphony and Music Director Jacques Singer, 1962–1971. Oregon Historical Quarterly, Spring 2008.
  7. ^ dciny.org, "DCINY’s Inaugural 2008 Concert Archived 2011-09-13 at the Wayback Machine". Accessed 14 May 2011.
  8. ^ "Lori Singer Interview: Looking Back at Footloose, 2010", Fame (Movies and TV Series) Directory

External links[edit]