Lorna Luft

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Lorna Luft
Luft in May 2010
Born (1952-11-21) November 21, 1952 (age 66)
ResidenceLos Angeles, California, United States
OccupationActress, singer, author
Years active1963–present
Jake Hooker
(m. 1977; div. 1993)

Colin Freeman
(m. 1996)
Parent(s)Sidney Luft
Judy Garland
RelativesLiza Minnelli (maternal half-sister)
Joey Luft (brother)

Lorna Luft (born November 21, 1952) is an American television, stage, and film actress and singer. She is the daughter of singer and actress Judy Garland and producer Sidney Luft, and half-sister to singer and actress Liza Minnelli.

Early life[edit]

Luft was born in Santa Monica, California. 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[1] 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 being Garland's third and final appearance at New York City's famed Palace Theatre on Broadway in 1967.[2] 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.[3]

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.[4] It is best known for the hit song "I'll Never Fall in Love Again".

Luft starred in the 1981 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.[5] Later that year, she costarred in Extremities with Farrah Fawcett.[6][7]

Luft appeared as Nurse Libby Kegler on the CBS television series Trapper John, M.D. during the final season of 1985–1986 and also appeared as Patti Bristol in a 1985 episode of Murder, She Wrote entitled 'Broadway Malady'.

From 1992 through 1994, Luft played Adelaide in the American and world tour productions of Guys and Dolls. In 1996, she 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 November 2006 through January 2007, Luft performed in the UK premiere of Irving Berlin's White Christmas, a new stage adaptation based on the film. She reprised her role in it the next year, playing the Edinburgh Playhouse from November 19 to December 8, 2007 and the Wales Millennium Centre in the Donald Gordon Theatre from December 13, 2007 through January 12, 2008.

Luft appeared in two episodes of the 2007 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 United Kingdom. Produced by Barry Manilow and her husband Colin R. Freeman, the album celebrates Garland's music. In 2005 she 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 of Garland's triumphant 1961 comeback at Carnegie Hall.

Luft appeared in The Wizard Of Oz, a stage version of the movie that made Garland famous, at The Lowry Centre 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 UK tour of the critically acclaimed Hugh Whitemore play Pack of Lies, in which she played the role of Helen Kroger. She starred alongside 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.[8] 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.

Luft participates in various children's and AIDS-related charities, including the annual Los Angeles AIDS Walk and The Children's Wish Foundation International.[9] She has been an advocate for drug rehabilitation and has spoken for the Council on Alcohol & Drugs.

In May - July 2015, Luft toured the UK 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.


In films, Luft has appeared in Grease 2 (1982), Where the Boys Are '84 (1984), 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.[10] In 2001, it was adapted as an Emmy-winning TV miniseries 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".[11]


On December 17, 2012, Luft discovered a lump on her right breast. "I was in total denial", she said. Three weeks later, her 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. After reviewing the tests, Agus told her, "I'm looking at your biopsy and I can tell you right now, Lorna, you're going to be okay." To save her breast, she opted for a lumpectomy followed by adjuvant chemotherapy and radiation. She completed her final chemotherapy treatment in 2013.[12]

In June 2015, Luft revealed that her cancer had reemerged. Consequently, the UK tour of Judy - The Songbook of Judy Garland concluded early on July 11, and she returned to the United States for surgical treatment.[13][14]

In March 2018, Luft was diagnosed with a brain tumour after collapsing following a London performance.[15] In late March, Luft underwent surgery to remove the brain tumour. The surgery was successful, and Luft has since recovered.[16]



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


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


Year Title Label
2002 Judy Garland: The Concert Years Kultur Video
2002 Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows Alliance Films
2007 Rufus! Rufus! Rufus! Does Judy! Judy! Judy!: Live from the London Palladium Geffen Records
2009 Lorna Luft: Live in Oz Ovation Entertainment
2012 Jerry Herman's Broadway at the Hollywood Bowl Image Entertainment

Cast albums and compilations[edit]

Year Title Label Song(s)
1967 Judy Garland at Home at the Palace: Opening Night (live concert recording) ABC Records "Bob White", "Jamboree Jones", "Together (Wherever We Go)"
1982 Grease 2 (film soundtrack) RSO Records Several tracks with cast of Grease 2
1990 George & Ira Gershwin's Girl Crazy (cast soundtrack) Elektra Nonesuch Records "Sam and Delilah", "I Got Rhythm", "Boy! What Love Has Done To Me!"
1991 The Christmas Album... A Gift of Hope (various artists) Children's Records "A Gift of Hope"
1992 Cole Porter: Centennial Gala Concert (live concert recording) Teldec Records "Blow, Gabriel, Blow"
1996 Stairway to the Stars (live concert recording) First Night Records "Not Even Nominated" (Medley)
1998 Rick Derringer & Friends (live concert recording) King Biscuit Entertainment Several tracks with Rick Derringer and other artists
2007 Rufus Does Judy at Carnegie Hall (live concert recording) Geffen Records "After You've Gone" (with Rufus Wainwright)
2011 Matt Dusk: Live from Las Vegas (live concert recording) Royal Crown Records "You're Nobody till Somebody Loves You" (with Matt Dusk)

Other recordings[edit]

Year Song(s) Role Notes
1979 "Accidents Never Happen" Background vocals
"Slow Motion"
1980 Several tracks (with Hilly Michaels) Background vocals
1984 Several tracks (with Adrian Zmed) Background vocals


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 Documentary
Year Title Role Notes
1973 Love, American Style Margie Currie Segment: "Love and the Blue Plate Special"
1975 McCloud Marlene Morgan Episode: "Park Avenue Pirates"
1985 Murder, She Wrote Patti Bristol Episode: "Broadway Malady"
1985 The Twilight Zone Sheila Cunningham Episode: "Children's Zoo"
1985–86 Trapper John, M.D. Nurse Libby Kegler Main cast (19 episodes)
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 Episode: "The Unkindest Cut"
1995 Caroline in the City Travel Agent Mindi Episode: "Caroline and the Christmas Break"
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 appearances[edit]

Date Title Role Theatre
July 31 – August 26, 1967 Judy Garland at Home at the Palace Herself (performer) Palace Theatre, New York City
July 5 – August 14, 1970 The Boy Friend Unknown Banff Centre, Banff, Alberta
October 1971 – January 1, 1972 Promises, Promises Fran Kubelik (replacement) Shubert Theatre, New York City (Broadway)
February 16–27, 1976 Eddie Fisher & Lorna Luft in Concert Herself (performer) London Palladium, London, England
July 1–6, 1980 Grease Sandy E.J. Thomas Hall, Akron, Ohio
October 1 – November 16, 1980 Carnival! Lili Club Bene Dinner Theater, South Amboy, New Jersey
January – July 18, 1981 They're Playing Our Song Sonia Walsk US National Tour
February 21 – May 1, 1983 Snoopy! The Musical Peppermint Patty Lamb's Theatre, New York City (Off-Broadway)
July 5 – September 1983 Extremities Terry Cheryl Crawford Theatre, New York City (Off-Broadway)
April 15–27, 1986 Little Shop of Horrors Unknown Lobero Theatre, Santa Barbara, California
June 16 – July 12, 1987 The Unsinkable Molly Brown Molly Brown Burt Reynolds Dinner Theatre, Jupiter, Florida
December 1, 1987 – January 9, 1988 Mame Agnes Gooch Burt Reynolds Dinner Theatre, Jupiter, Florida
May 17–27, 1988 Girl Crazy Kate Fothergill Birmingham Theatre, Birmingham, Michigan
March 18 – May 7, 1990 Jerry Herman's Broadway Years Herself (performer) US National Tour
December 4–29, 1990 Rainbows & Stars Herself (performer) Rockefeller Center, New York City
February 27 – May 24, 1992 Hollywood & Broadway Herself (performer) UK and European Tour
June 23, 1992 Liza and Friends: A Tribute to Sammy Davis Jr. Herself (performer) Royal Albert Hall, London, England
September 15, 1992 – February 27, 1994 Guys and Dolls Miss Adelaide National and World Tour
April 12 – July 9, 1995 The Magical World of Musicals Herself (performer) UK and European Tour
May 16, 1996 Follies Phyllis Stone National Concert Hall, Dublin, Ireland
December 6, 1996 Ira Gershwin at 100: A Celebration at Carnegie Hall Herself (performer) Carnegie Hall, New York City
May 28, 1999 – present Songs My Mother Taught Me Herself (one-woman show) National and World Tour
February 19, 2001 Caged Female Prisoner Town Hall, New York City
November 21–24, 2002 Gypsy Mama Rose University of Richmond, Richmond, Virginia
December 7, 2006 – January 28, 2007 White Christmas Martha Watson Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, England
May 29 – July 7, 2007 Babes in Arms Mrs. Phyllis Owen Chichester Festival Theatre, Chichester, Sussex
November 19 – December 8, 2007 White Christmas Martha Watson Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh, Scotland
December 13, 2007 – January 12, 2008 White Christmas Martha Watson Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff Bay, Wales
July 11–13, 2008 Compose Yourself! The Music of Larry Grossman Herself (performer) York Theatre at St. Peter's Church, New York City
November 29, 2008 – January 4, 2009 The Wizard of Oz Wicked Witch of the West The Lowry, Salford Quays, England
February 2 – April 11, 2009 Pack of Lies Helen Kroger UK National Tour
July 1, 2009 Lorna Luft & Friends: A Tribute to Judy Garland Herself (performer) Mermaid Theatre, London, England
November 3, 2009 – January 10, 2010 White Christmas Martha Watson US National Tour
November 16 – December 24, 2011 White Christmas Martha Watson Paper Mill Playhouse, Millburn, New Jersey
October 14 and 21, 2013 Lorna's Pink Party (with special guest Liza Minnelli) Herself (performer) Birdland, New York City
April 18–19, 2014 An Evening of Movies & Musicals Herself (special guest) Aberdeen Music Hall, Aberdeen / Usher Hall, Edinburgh, Scotland
April 28, 2015 Follies Hattie Walker Royal Albert Hall, London, England
May 8 – July 11, 2015 Judy - The Songbook of Judy Garland Herself (one-woman show) UK National Tour
January 6 and 8, 2016 Lorna Luft Sings American Songbook Herself (one-woman show) Feinstein's/54 Below, New York City
June 22–25, 2016 Lorna Luft Celebrates Pride Week Herself (one-woman show) Feinstein's/54 Below, New York City
November 12, 2016 – January 1, 2017 White Christmas Martha Watson US National Tour
February 14, 2017 Lorna Luft Sings the Judy Garland Songbook Herself (one-woman show) McCallum Theatre, Palm Desert, California
April 6–8, 2017 Lorna Luft Sings American Songbook Herself (one-woman show) Feinstein's/54 Below, New York City
November 24 – December 31, 2017 Holiday Inn Louise 5th Avenue Theatre, Seattle, Washington

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. ^ HB Studio Alumni
  2. ^ Judy Garland: At Home at the Palace (show) at Internet Broadway Database
  3. ^ Judy Garland: At Home at the Palace (recording) at Allmusic
  4. ^ "Lorna Luft - Broadway Cast & Staff". Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved November 4, 2016.
  5. ^ The New York Times, Display ad, February 21, 1983, p. C12
  6. ^ Luft 1998, p. 321.
  7. ^ "Extremities". Lortel Archives. Retrieved March 11, 2018.
  8. ^ Stern, Danielle (April 23, 2009). "Theo Adams: More Liza Minnelli than Marilyn Manson". W. Retrieved March 11, 2018.
  9. ^ Lorna Luft biography Archived May 15, 2011, at the Wayback Machine at her official website, "Theatre and Concerts" section
  10. ^ Luft, Lorna (May 1, 1998). Me and My Shadows: A Family Memoir. Living with the Legacy of Judy Garland. New York City: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-0671018993.p. 20
  11. ^ 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.
  12. ^ Barber, Richard (November 16, 2013). "I'd never have survived breast cancer if it wasn't for my best friend Barry Manilow (and sister Liza): Judy Garland's daughter Lorna Luft on ten months of tears and pain". Daily Mail. London. Retrieved June 26, 2015.
  13. ^ "Judy Garland Songbook tour shortened due to Luft cancer surgery". What's On Stage. June 23, 2015. Retrieved June 26, 2015.
  14. ^ "Lorna Luft's Breast Cancer Reemerges, JUDY UK Tour to Wrap Run Early". Broadway World. Retrieved June 26, 2015.
  15. ^ "Lorna Luft diagnosed with brain tumour after collapsing". The Guardian. London. Press Association. March 10, 2018. Retrieved March 11, 2018.
  16. ^ https://www.broadwayworld.com/article/Lorna-Luft-Undergoes-Successful-Brain-Surgery-to-Remove-Tumor-20180323

External links[edit]