|Born||November 21, 1952|
Santa Monica, California, U.S.
|Occupation(s)||Actress, singer, author|
|Relatives||Liza Minnelli (half-sister)|
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. 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 in New York City.
Stage and television
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. Garland sang the song "Lorna" to Luft on episode 20 of The Judy Garland Show in 1964: an original number composed by Mort Lindsey and Johnny Mercer especially for Luft at Garland's request. The song was later featured on the 2006 Garland compilation Great Day! Rare Recordings from the Judy Garland Show.
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. 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.
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. 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. Later that year, she costarred in Extremities with Farrah Fawcett.
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 "Broadway Malady", a 1985 episode of Murder, She Wrote. 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.
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 album 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, where she played the role of Helen Kroger, starring 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. 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.
Between May and 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 the fact that she had an affair with Barry Manilow in 1971. In 2001, the book was adapted as an Emmy-winning TV miniseries titled 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, along with film historian Jeffrey Vance, of the 2018 book A Star Is Born: Judy Garland and the Film That Got Away, which she states is "a vivid account of the film classic's production, loss, and reclamation."
Luft participates in events which are held by various children's and AIDS-related charities, including the annual Los Angeles AIDS Walk and The Children's Wish Foundation International. Luft and her first husband Jerry Mamberg, better known as Jake Hooker, divorced in 1993. They had two children together, a son, Jesse, a daughter, Vanessa, and have four grandchildren. She currently resides in Palm Springs, California, with her second husband, the British-born composer and arranger, Colin Freeman.
Luft was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012 and she finished her last chemotherapy treatment in 2013. Two years later, the U.K. tour of Judy - The Songbook of Judy Garland concluded early on July 11, 2015 and she returned to the U.S. for surgical treatment following a re-emergence of the breast cancer.
|2007||Songs My Mother Taught Me||First Night Records|
|1973||"Our Day Will Come" b/w "Is It Really Love At All"||Epic|
|1978||"Head Over Heels" b/w "I Did It All For Love"||Private Stock|
|1981||"Long Time" b/w "Something's Got A Hold On My Heart"||DJM|
|"Get It Up" b/w "A Few Dollars More"||Silver Blue|
|1984||"Where the Boys Are" (with Village People) b/w "Prove Me Wrong"|
|"The Whole World's Goin' Crazee" b/w "Jesse's Theme"|
|1989||"Born Again" b/w "Born Again (instrumental)"||Dessca|
|1995||"Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" (with Judy Garland)||Carlton Sounds|
|2011||"When You Wish Upon a Star"||Silver Blue|
|1982||Grease 2: Original Soundtrack Recording||RSO||
|1990||Girl Crazy (cast soundtrack)||Elektra|
|Year||Song(s)||Role||Album / Label|
|1967||"Bob White (Whatcha Gonna Swing Tonight?)" with Judy Garland||Lead vocal|
|"Together (Wherever We Go)"|
|1979||"Accidents Never Happen" with Blondie||Back vocal|
|1980||[Several tracks] with Hilly Michaels|
|1984||[Several tracks] with Adrian Zmed||
|1991||"A Gift of Hope"||Lead vocal||
|1992||"Blow, Gabriel, Blow"|
|1996||"Not Even Nominated" (Medley)||
|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||
|2019||"Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" with Randy Rainbow||
|2002||Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows||Buena Vista|
|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|
|2009||Lorna Luft: Live in Oz||Ovation|
|1963||I Could Go On Singing||Girl on Boat||Uncredited|
|1982||Grease 2||Paulette Rebchuck|
|1984||Where the Boys Are '84||Carole Singer|
|2017||The Fabulous Allan Carr||Herself – Interview||Documentary|
|1963–64||The Judy Garland Show||Herself – Guest||Episodes 15 and 20|
|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"|
|Great Performances||Herself – Host||Episode: "Judy Garland: The Concert Years"|
|The Twilight Zone||Sheila Cunningham||Segment: "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 Rosenberg||Episode: "The Unkindest Gift"|
|Caroline in the City||Travel Agent Mindi||Episode: "Caroline and the Christmas Break"|
|2001||Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows||—||Miniseries; co-executive producer|
|2007–09||Rick & Steve: The Happiest Gay Couple in All the World||Joanna||Voice, 4 episodes|
|2014||Sean Saves the World||Francine||Episode: "The Wrath of Sean"|
|1967||Judy Garland at Home at the Palace||Herself (performer)||Broadway: Palace Theatre, New York City|
|1970||The Boy Friend||Madcap Maisie||The Banff Centre, Banff, Alberta|
|1971–72||Promises, Promises||Fran Kubelik||Broadway: Shubert Theatre, New York City|
|1980||Grease||Sandy Dumbrowski||E.J. Thomas Hall, Akron, Ohio|
|Carnival!||Lili||Club Bene Dinner Theater, South Amboy, New Jersey|
|1981–82||They're Playing Our Song||Sonia Walsk||US National Tour|
|1983||Snoopy! The Musical||Peppermint Patty||Off-Broadway: Lamb's Theatre, New York City|
|Extremities||Terry||Off-Broadway: Westside Theatre, New York City|
|1986||Little Shop of Horrors||Audrey||Lobero Theatre, Santa Barbara, California|
|1987||The Unsinkable Molly Brown||Molly Brown||Burt Reynolds Dinner Theatre, Jupiter, Florida|
|1988||Girl Crazy||Kate Fothergill||Birmingham Theatre, Detroit, Michigan|
|1992–94||Guys and Dolls||Miss Adelaide||North American Tour|
|1996||Follies||Phyllis Stone||National Concert Hall, Dublin, Ireland|
|2001||Caged||Female Prisoner||Town Hall, New York City|
|2002||Gypsy||Mama Rose||University of Richmond, Richmond, Virginia|
|2006–07||White Christmas||Martha Watson||UK National Tour|
|2007||Babes in Arms||Mrs. Phyllis Owen||Chichester Festival Theatre, Chichester, England|
|2007–08||White Christmas||Martha Watson||UK National Tour|
|2008–09||The Wizard of Oz||Wicked Witch of the West||The Lowry, Manchester, England|
|2009||Pack of Lies||Helen Kroger||UK National Tour|
|2009–10||White Christmas||Martha Watson||US National Tour|
|2011||Paper Mill Playhouse, Millburn, New Jersey|
|2015||Follies||Hattie Walker||Royal Albert Hall, London, England|
|2016–17||White Christmas||Martha Watson||US National Tour|
|2017||Holiday Inn||Louise Badger||5th Avenue Theatre, Seattle, Washington|
|2019||White Christmas||Martha Watson||US National Tour|
|2022||UK National Tour|
- Luft, Lorna (1998). Me and My Shadows: A Family Memoir. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-0671019006., autobiography
- Luft, Lorna; Fricke, John (2003). Judy Garland: A Portrait in Art & Anecdote. Bulfinch Press. ISBN 978-0821228364., biography
- Luft, Lorna; Vance, Jeffrey (2018). A Star Is Born: Judy Garland and the Film That Got Away. Running Press. ISBN 978-0762464807., biography
- "Judy's Children". Judy Lives. Retrieved June 19, 2020.
- "HB Studio - Notable Alumni | One of the Original Acting Studios in NYC". Hbstudio.org. Retrieved December 15, 2020.
- Judy Garland: At Home at the Palace (show) at Internet Broadway Database
- Judy Garland: At Home at the Palace (recording) at Allmusic
- "Lorna Luft - Broadway Cast & Staff". Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved November 4, 2016.
- The New York Times, Display ad, February 21, 1983, p. C12
- Luft 1998, p. 321.
- "Extremities". Lortel Archives. Retrieved March 11, 2018.
- "Luft records duets with mom Garland". Variety. October 20, 1995. Retrieved March 28, 2020.
- Lorna Luft - Songs My Mother Taught Me, retrieved July 8, 2022 (Allmusic)
- Stern, Danielle (April 23, 2009). "Theo Adams: More Liza Minnelli than Marilyn Manson". W. Retrieved March 11, 2018.
- 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.
- 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.
- Lorna Luft biography Archived May 15, 2011, at the Wayback Machine at her official website, "Theatre and Concerts" section
- Moore, Paul (1998) "In Judy Garland's dark maternal shadow", The Baltimore Sun, May 24, 1998.
- Handelman, Jay. "Actress Lorna Luft speaks of hospice care in Sarasota event". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Retrieved February 12, 2023.
- Fessier, Bruce. "Singer Lorna Luft, of Rancho Mirage, diagnosed with brain tumor". The Desert Sun. Retrieved February 12, 2023.
- "Judy Garland Songbook tour shortened due to Luft cancer surgery". What's On Stage. June 23, 2015. Retrieved June 26, 2015.
- "Lorna Luft's Breast Cancer Reemerges, JUDY UK Tour to Wrap Run Early". Broadway World. Retrieved June 26, 2015.
- "Lorna Luft diagnosed with brain tumour after collapsing". The Guardian. London. Press Association. March 10, 2018. Retrieved March 11, 2018.
- BWW News Desk. "Lorna Luft Undergoes Successful Brain Surgery to Remove Tumor". Broadwayworld.com. Retrieved December 15, 2020.