Lorna Luft

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Lorna Luft
Luft in 2010
Born (1952-11-21) November 21, 1952 (age 69)
OccupationActress, singer, author
Years active1963–present
  • (m. 1977; div. 1993)
  • Colin Freeman
    (m. 1996)
RelativesLiza Minnelli (half-sister)

Lorna Luft (born November 21, 1952) is an American actress, author and singer. She is the daughter of Judy Garland and Sidney Luft.

Early life[edit]

Luft was born on November 21, 1952, at Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica, California to Judy Garland and Garland's third husband, Sidney Luft.[1] She attended University High School in Los Angeles during her senior year and was a member of the school choir. She studied theatre at HB Studio[2] in New York City.


Stage and television[edit]

Luft made her show business debut at age 11 singing "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" on the 1963 Christmas episode of Garland's CBS television series The Judy Garland Show. Siblings Liza Minnelli and Joey Luft also appeared.

Luft soon joined the family act on a summer concert tour, the highlight of which was Garland's third and final appearance at New York's famed Palace Theatre on Broadway in 1967, two years before her mother's death.[3] In this month-long engagement, Garland "shared" the bill with Luft (then 14 years old) and Joey (12 years old). The show was recorded live and released on ABC Records as Judy Garland at Home at the Palace.[4]

Luft made her Broadway debut in 1971 at the Shubert Theatre as a replacement cast member in the musical Promises, Promises, adapted from the classic 1960 Billy Wilder film The Apartment.[5] It is best known for the hit song "I'll Never Fall in Love Again".

On October 7, 1981, Luft performed at Carnegie Hall in New York, which was said to be the culmination of a lifelong dream. She starred in the 1981–82 national tour of They're Playing Our Song, and in 1982 she played Paulette Rebchuck in Grease 2. In 1983, she played Peppermint Patty in the off-Broadway production of Snoopy! The Musical, a sequel to You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown.[6] Later that year, she costarred in Extremities with Farrah Fawcett.[7][8]

Luft appeared as Nurse Libby Kegler on the CBS television series Trapper John, M.D. during its final season of 1985–1986. She also appeared as Patti Bristol in a 1985 episode of Murder, She Wrote entitled "Broadway Malady". In the episode, Luft played the daughter of Vivian Blaine, who had originated the role of Adelaide in Guys and Dolls on Broadway, while Luft would go on to play the same role in the 1992–1994 national and worldwide tours.

In 1996, Luft appeared in an Irish production of Follies in Dublin with Mary Millar, Alex Sharpe, Christine Scarry, Aidan Conway, Enda Markey, Dave Willetts and Millicent Martin. In 2002, she starred as Mama Rose in a University of Richmond school production of Gypsy.

In December 1995, Luft released a cover version of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas", which was reworked as a "virtual duet" with Garland. Produced by Gordon Lorenz, it was issued as a CD single only in the U.K. by the Carlton Sounds label. A music video featured Luft performing the song in a studio interspersed with classic footage of Garland singing to a then-11-year-old Luft on the 1963 Christmas episode of The Judy Garland Show, all placed on the same screen.[9]

From November 2006 through January 2007, Luft performed in the U.K. premiere of Irving Berlin's White Christmas, a new stage adaptation based on the film. She reprised her role the next year, playing the Edinburgh Playhouse from November 19 to December 8, 2007 and the Wales Millennium Centre at the Donald Gordon Theatre from December 13, 2007, through January 12, 2008.

Luft appeared in four episodes of the 2007–2009 Logo animated series Rick & Steve: The Happiest Gay Couple in All the World.

In October 2007, Luft released her debut CD Lorna Luft: Songs My Mother Taught Me in the U.K. Produced by Barry Manilow and Luft's husband Colin R. Freeman, the album celebrates Garland's music. In 2005, Luft toured Ireland with her stage show, Songs My Mother Taught Me. In June 2006, she surprised audiences at Carnegie Hall by performing a duet with Rufus Wainwright on the song "After You've Gone" at the end of Wainwright's tribute concert for Garland's triumphant 1961 comeback at the same venue.

Luft appeared in The Wizard Of Oz, a stage version of the movie that made Garland famous, at The Lowry in Manchester, England. She portrayed the role of the Wicked Witch of the West, played by Margaret Hamilton in the film.

In April 2009, Luft completed a successful U.K. tour of the critically acclaimed Hugh Whitemore play Pack of Lies, in which she played the role of Helen Kroger. She starred with Jenny Seagrove, Simon Shepherd and Daniel Hill. In May 2009, she appeared in W magazine as a special guest performer for the acclaimed avant-garde Theo Adams Company's latest project, "Performance", photographed by David Sims.[10] In July 2009, she appeared at the Mermaid Theatre, London to record for the radio series Friday Night Is Music Night. Lorna Luft and Friends – A Tribute to Judy Garland also featured John Barrowman, Frances Ruffelle and Linzi Hateley.

In May - July 2015, Luft toured the U.K. in Judy - The Songbook of Judy Garland, a show highlighting Garland's life and music. The show featured her signature songs and recreations of film scenes from her MGM years.


Luft has appeared in the films Grease 2 (1982), Where the Boys Are '84 (1984), Fear Stalk (1989), 54 (1998) and My Giant (1998). She and her brother Joey made cameo appearances in the 1963 film I Could Go On Singing.


Luft is the author of the 1998 book Me and My Shadows: A Family Memoir. Among its revelations is that she had an affair with Barry Manilow in 1971.[11] In 2001, the book was adapted as an Emmy-winning TV miniseries called Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows. It stars Judy Davis as the adult Judy, Tammy Blanchard as the teenage Judy, Hugh Laurie as Vincente Minnelli, Victor Garber as Sid Luft and Marsha Mason as Ethel Gumm. Luft is the co-author (film historian Jeffrey Vance is credited as the other co-author) of the 2018 book A Star Is Born: Judy Garland and the Film That Got Away, which she describes as "a vivid account of the film classic's production, loss, and reclamation."[12]

Personal life[edit]

Luft participates in various children's and AIDS-related charities, including the annual Los Angeles AIDS Walk and The Children's Wish Foundation International.[13] She has been an advocate for drug rehabilitation and has spoken for the Council on Alcohol & Drugs.[citation needed]


In 2013, Luft's radiographer informed her that she had grade-2A breast cancer. She called her close friend Barry Manilow, who connected her with cancer specialist David Agus. To save her breast, she opted for a lumpectomy followed by adjuvant chemotherapy and radiation. She completed her final chemotherapy treatment in 2013.[citation needed]

In June 2015, Luft revealed that her cancer had reemerged. Consequently, the U.K. tour of Judy - The Songbook of Judy Garland concluded early on July 11, and she returned to the U.S. for surgical treatment.[14][15]

In March 2018, Luft was diagnosed with a brain tumor after collapsing following a London performance.[16] Later that month, Luft underwent surgery to remove the tumor. The surgery was successful, and Luft has since recovered.[17]


Studio albums[edit]

Year Title Label
2007 Songs My Mother Taught Me First Night Records


Year Single Label
1973 "Our Day Will Come" b/w "Is It Really Love At All" Epic Records
1978 "Head Over Heels" b/w "I Did It All For Love" Private Stock Records
1981 "Long Time" b/w "Something's Got A Hold On My Heart" DJM Records
1981 "Get It Up" b/w "A Few Dollars More" Silver Blue Records
1984 "Where the Boys Are" (with Village People) b/w "Prove Me Wrong" Silver Blue Records
1984 "The Whole World's Goin' Crazee" b/w "Jesse's Theme" Silver Blue Records
1989 "Born Again" b/w "Born Again (instrumental)" Dessca Records
1995 "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" (with Judy Garland) Carlton Sounds
2011 "When You Wish Upon a Star" Silver Blue Records

Cast albums[edit]

Year Album Label Songs
1982 Grease 2 (film soundtrack) RSO Records
  • "Score Tonight"
  • "Girl for All Seasons"
  • "Who's That Guy?"
  • "Reproduction"
  • "Rock-A-Hula-Luau (Summer Is Coming)"
  • "We'll Be Together"
1990 Girl Crazy (cast soundtrack) Elektra Records

Album appearances[edit]

Year Song(s) Role Album
1967 "Bob White (Whatcha Gonna Swing Tonight?)" with Judy Garland Lead vocal
"Jamboree Jones"
"Together (Wherever We Go)"
1979 "Accidents Never Happen" with Blondie Back vocal
"Slow Motion"
1980 [Several tracks] with Hilly Michaels
1984 [Several tracks] with Adrian Zmed
1991 "A Gift of Hope" Lead vocal
  • The Christmas Album... A Gift of Hope by Children's Records
1992 "Blow, Gabriel, Blow"
1996 "Not Even Nominated" (Medley)
  • Stairway to the Stars by First Night Records
1998 [Several tracks] with Rick Derringer Back vocal
2007 "After You've Gone" with Rufus Wainwright Lead vocal
2011 "You're Nobody till Somebody Loves You" with Matt Dusk
  • Matt Dusk: Live from Las Vegas by Royal Crown Records
2019 "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" with Randy Rainbow

DVD releases[edit]

Year Title Label
2002 Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows Buena Vista Home Entertainment
2002 Judy Garland: The Concert Years Kultur Video
2006 Jerry Herman's Broadway at the Hollywood Bowl Image Entertainment
2007 Rufus! Rufus! Rufus! Does Judy! Judy! Judy!: Live from the London Palladium Geffen Records
2009 Lorna Luft: Live in Oz Ovation Entertainment


Year Title Role Notes
1963 I Could Go On Singing Girl on Boat Uncredited role
1982 Grease 2 Paulette Rebchuck
1984 Where the Boys Are '84 Carole Singer
1989 Fear Stalk Doris Television film
1998 My Giant Joanne
1998 54 Elaine's Patron
2017 The Fabulous Allan Carr Herself (interview) Documentary film
Year Title Role Notes
1963–64 The Judy Garland Show Herself (performer) Guest (2 episodes)
1973 Love, American Style Margie Currie Episode: "Love and the Blue Plate Special"
1975 McCloud Marlene Morgan Episode: "Park Avenue Pirates"
1985 Murder, She Wrote Patti Bristol Episode: "Broadway Malady"
1985 Great Performances Herself (hostess) Episode: "Judy Garland: The Concert Years"
1985–86 Trapper John, M.D. Nurse Libby Kegler Main cast (19 episodes)
1985 The Twilight Zone Sheila Cunningham Episode: "Children's Zoo"
1986 Tales from the Darkside Christine Matthews Episode: "The Shrine"
1988 Hooperman Peaches Markowitz Episode: "The Naked and the Dead"
1990 Murder, She Wrote Patsy Dumont Episode: "If the Shoe Fits"
1995 The Nanny Cousin Susan Rosenberg Episode: "The Unkindest Gift"
1995 Caroline in the City Travel Agent Mindi Episode: "Caroline and the Christmas Break"
2001 Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows N/A TV miniseries (co-executive producer)
2003 Style Court Celebrity Juror Episode: "September 2, 2003"
2007–09 Rick & Steve: The Happiest Gay Couple in All the World Joanna (voice) Recurring role (4 episodes)
2014 Sean Saves the World Francine Episode: "The Wrath of Sean"

Stage productions[edit]

Date Title Role Notes
Jul 31, 1967 - Aug 26, 1967 Judy Garland at Home at the Palace Herself (performer) Broadway: Palace Theatre, New York City
Jul 5, 1970 - Aug 14, 1970 The Boy Friend Madcap Maisie The Banff Centre, Banff, Alberta
Oct 18, 1971 - Jan 1, 1972 Promises, Promises Fran Kubelik Broadway: Shubert Theatre, New York City
Feb 16, 1976 - Feb 27, 1976 Eddie Fisher & Lorna Luft in Concert Herself (performer) London Palladium, London, England
Jul 8, 1980 - Jul 13, 1980 Grease Sandy Dumbrowski E.J. Thomas Hall, Akron, Ohio
Oct 1, 1980 - Nov 16, 1980 Carnival! Lili Club Bene Dinner Theater, South Amboy, New Jersey
Jan 19, 1981 - Jul 25, 1982 They're Playing Our Song Sonia Walsk US National Tour
Feb 21, 1983 - May 1, 1983 Snoopy! The Musical Peppermint Patty Off-Broadway: Lamb's Theatre, New York City
Jul 5, 1983 - Oct 2, 1983 Extremities Terry Off-Broadway: Westside Theatre, New York City
Apr 15, 1986 - Apr 27, 1986 Little Shop of Horrors Audrey Lobero Theatre, Santa Barbara, California
Jun 16, 1987 - Jul 12, 1987 The Unsinkable Molly Brown Molly Brown Burt Reynolds Dinner Theatre, Jupiter, Florida
Dec 1, 1987 - Jan 9, 1988 Mame Agnes Gooch Burt Reynolds Dinner Theatre, Jupiter, Florida
May 17, 1988 - Jun 19, 1988 Girl Crazy Kate Fothergill Birmingham Theatre, Detroit, Michigan
Jan 18, 1989 - Dec 29, 1990 Hollywood Celebration Herself (one-woman show) US National Tour
Mar 18, 1990 - May 7, 1990 Jerry Herman's Broadway Years Herself (performer) US National Tour
Feb 27, 1992 - May 24, 1992 Hollywood & Broadway Herself (performer) UK and European Tour
Sep 15, 1992 - Feb 27, 1994 Guys and Dolls Miss Adelaide North American Tour
Apr 12, 1995 - Jul 9, 1995 The Magical World of Musicals Herself (performer) UK and European Tour
May 16, 1996 Follies Phyllis Stone National Concert Hall, Dublin, Ireland
May 28, 1999 – present Songs My Mother Taught Me Herself (one-woman show) National and World Tour
Feb 19, 2001 Caged Female Prisoner Town Hall, New York City
Nov 21, 2002 - Nov 24, 2002 Gypsy Mama Rose University of Richmond, Richmond, Virginia
Nov 18, 2006 - Jan 28, 2007 Irving Berlin's White Christmas Martha Watson UK National Tour
Jun 7, 2007 - Jul 7, 2007 Babes in Arms Mrs. Phyllis Owen Chichester Festival Theatre, Chichester, England
Nov 19, 2007 - Jan 12, 2008 Irving Berlin's White Christmas Martha Watson UK National Tour
Nov 29, 2008 - Jan 4, 2009 The Wizard of Oz Wicked Witch of the West The Lowry, Manchester, England
Feb 2, 2009 - Apr 11, 2009 Pack of Lies Helen Kroger UK National Tour
Nov 1, 2009 - Jan 10, 2010 Irving Berlin's White Christmas Martha Watson US National Tour
Nov 16, 2011 - Dec 24, 2011 Irving Berlin's White Christmas Martha Watson Paper Mill Playhouse, Millburn, New Jersey
Apr 28, 2015 Follies Hattie Walker Royal Albert Hall, London, England
Jan 6, 2016 – present The Great American Songbook Herself (one-woman show) US National Tour
Nov 1, 2016 - Jan 5, 2017 Irving Berlin's White Christmas Martha Watson US National Tour
Nov 24, 2017 - Dec 31, 2017 Irving Berlin's Holiday Inn Louise Badger 5th Avenue Theatre, Seattle, Washington
Nov 9, 2019 - Dec 29, 2019 Irving Berlin's White Christmas Martha Watson US National Tour

Published works[edit]

  • Luft, Lorna (1998). Me and My Shadows: A Family Memoir. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-0671019006.
  • Luft, Lorna (2018). A Star Is Born: Judy Garland and the Film That Got Away. Running Press. ISBN 978-0762464807.


  1. ^ "Judy's Children". Judy Lives. Retrieved June 19, 2020.
  2. ^ "HB Studio - Notable Alumni | One of the Original Acting Studios in NYC". Hbstudio.org. Retrieved December 15, 2020.
  3. ^ Judy Garland: At Home at the Palace (show) at Internet Broadway Database
  4. ^ Judy Garland: At Home at the Palace (recording) at Allmusic
  5. ^ "Lorna Luft - Broadway Cast & Staff". Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved November 4, 2016.
  6. ^ The New York Times, Display ad, February 21, 1983, p. C12
  7. ^ Luft 1998, p. 321.
  8. ^ "Extremities". Lortel Archives. Retrieved March 11, 2018.
  9. ^ "Luft records duets with mom Garland". Variety. October 20, 1995. Retrieved March 28, 2020.
  10. ^ Stern, Danielle (April 23, 2009). "Theo Adams: More Liza Minnelli than Marilyn Manson". W. Retrieved March 11, 2018.
  11. ^ Luft, Lorna (May 1, 1998). Me and My Shadows: A Family Memoir. Living with the Legacy of Judy Garland. New York City: Simon & Schuster. p. 20. ISBN 978-0671018993.
  12. ^ Luft, Lorna; Vance, Jeffrey (September 18, 2018). A Star Is Born (Turner Classic Movies): Judy Garland and the Film that Got Away. S.l.: Running Press Adult. ISBN 9780762464814.
  13. ^ Lorna Luft biography Archived May 15, 2011, at the Wayback Machine at her official website, "Theatre and Concerts" section
  14. ^ "Judy Garland Songbook tour shortened due to Luft cancer surgery". What's On Stage. June 23, 2015. Retrieved June 26, 2015.
  15. ^ "Lorna Luft's Breast Cancer Reemerges, JUDY UK Tour to Wrap Run Early". Broadway World. Retrieved June 26, 2015.
  16. ^ "Lorna Luft diagnosed with brain tumour after collapsing". The Guardian. London. Press Association. March 10, 2018. Retrieved March 11, 2018.
  17. ^ BWW News Desk. "Lorna Luft Undergoes Successful Brain Surgery to Remove Tumor". Broadwayworld.com. Retrieved December 15, 2020.

External links[edit]