Lorna Luft

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Lorna Luft
LornaLuftMay10.jpg
Luft in May 2010
Born (1952-11-21) November 21, 1952 (age 64)
Santa Monica, California, U.S.
Occupation Actress, author, singer
Years active 1963–present
Spouse(s) Jake Hooker
(m. 1977; div. 1993)
Colin Freeman
(m. 1996)
Children 2
Parent(s) Judy Garland
Sid Luft
Relatives Liza Minnelli (maternal half-sister)
Joey Luft (brother)
John Luft (paternal half-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 Sid Luft, and the half-sister of singer and actress Liza Minnelli.

Early life[edit]

Lorna 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.

Career[edit]

Stage and television[edit]

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

She 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.[1] In this month-long engagement, Judy Garland "shared" the bill with Lorna (then 14 years old) and son Joey (12 years old). The show was recorded live and released on ABC Records as Judy Garland: At Home At The Palace.[2]

Luft is married to her second husband, musician Colin R. Freeman.[3]

Luft made her Broadway debut in 1971 at the Shubert Theatre as a replacement cast member in the musical Promises, Promises,[4] adapted from the classic 1960 Billy Wilder film The Apartment. The show 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[5] (a sequel to You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown[6]) and later that year she co-starred in Extremities with Farrah Fawcett.[6][7]

Luft appeared as Nurse Libby Kegler on the CBS television series Trapper John, M.D. during that show's 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, she 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, she performed in the UK premiere of Irving Berlin's White Christmas: The Musical, a new stage adaptation based on the film. Lorna reprised her role in White Christmas 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.

She appeared in two episodes of the 2007 Logo animated series Rick & Steve: The Happiest Gay Couple In All The World.

In October 2007, she 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 the music of her mother. 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, the stage show of the movie that made her mother 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 1939 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 her mother's life and music. The show featured Garland's signature songs and recreations of film scenes from her MGM years.

Film[edit]

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 had cameo appearances in the 1963 film I Could Go On Singing.

Published works[edit]

She 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.[3] In 2001, the book 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.

Health[edit]

On December 17, 2012, Luft discovered a lump on her right breast. "I was in total denial", Luft 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 OK." To save her breast, Luft opted for a lumpectomy followed by adjuvant chemotherapy and radiation. She completed her final chemotherapy treatment in 2013.[10]

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 Luft returned to the United States for surgical treatment.[11][12]

Recordings[edit]

Singles[edit]

  • "Our Day Will Come"'Is it Really Love At All" (Epic Records single)
  • "Long Time"/"Somethings Got A Hold of My heart" (European single)
  • "Born Again" (European single)
  • "Where the Boys Are"/"Prove Me Wrong" (CBS Records single)
  • "The Whole World's Goin' Crazee"/"Jesse's Theme" (CBS Records dance single)
  • "Dancin' In The Street"
  • "the Music That Makes me Dance"
  • "Too Many Lonely people"/"Go Now"
  • "Hopelessly Devoted To You"/"I Still Believe In Love"
  • "Head Over Heals"/"I Did it All For Love"

Albums[edit]

  • Songs My Mother Taught Me (October 2007, UK)

DVDs[edit]

  • Lorna Live in Oz (2009, Australia)
  • Rufus Wainwright sings Judy at Carnegie Hall Live in London
  • Judy Garland The Concert Years
  • Jerry Herman's Broadway At the Hollywood Bowl

Cast albums and compilations[edit]

  • Grease 2 (film soundtrack)
  • George and Ira Gershwin's Girl Crazy: Complete Original Soundtrack
  • Stairway to the Stars (live concert recording)
  • Cole Porter Centennial Gala (live concert recording)
  • The Christmas Album...A Gift of Hope
  • Rick Derringer and friends
  • Hilly Michaels Calling All Girls
  • Adrian Zmed as guest vocalist
  • Matt Dusk Live in Las Vegas
  • Rufus Wainwright Does Judy at Carnegie Hall

Other recordings[edit]

Stage appearances[edit]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1963 I Could Go On Singing Girl on boat Feature film (uncredited)
1982 Grease 2 Paulette Rebchuck Feature film
1984 Where the Boys Are '84 Carole Singer Feature film
1989 Fear Stalk Doris Television film
1998 My Giant Joanne Feature film
1998 54 Elaine's Patron Feature film

Television[edit]

Year Title Role/Credit Notes
1973 Love, American Style Margie Currie 1 episode: "Love and the Blue Plate Special" segment
1975 McCloud Marlene Morgan 1 episode: "Park Avenue Pirates"
1985 Murder, She Wrote Patti Bristol 1 episode: "Broadway Malady"
1985–86 Trapper John, M.D. Nurse Libby Kegler 19 episodes (main cast)
1985 The Twilight Zone Sheila Cunningham 1 episode: "Children's Zoo" segment
1986 Tales from the Darkside Christine Matthews 1 episode: "The Shrine"
1988 Hooperman Peaches Markowitz 1 episode: "The Naked and the Dead"
1990 Murder, She Wrote Patsy Dumont 1 episode: "If the Shoe Fits"
1995 The Nanny Cousin Susan 1 episode: "The Unkindest Gift"
1995 Caroline in the City Mindi (Travel Agent) 1 episode: "Caroline and the Christmas Break"
2001 Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows Co-executive producer Television miniseries
2007–09 Rick & Steve: The Happiest Gay Couple in All the World Joanna (voice) 4 episodes (recurring role)
2014 Sean Saves the World Francine 1 episode: "The Wrath of Sean"

References[edit]

  1. ^ Judy Garland: At Home at the Palace (show) at Internet Broadway Database
  2. ^ Judy Garland: At Home at the Palace (recording) at Allmusic
  3. ^ a b Luft, Lorna (May 1998). Me and My Shadows: A Family Memoir. Living with the Legacy of Judy Garland (first hardcover printing). New York: Pocket Books, a division of Simon & Schuster. p. 20. ISBN 0-671-01899-X. 
  4. ^ "Lorna Luft - Broadway Cast & Staff". Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved 4 November 2016. 
  5. ^ The New York Times, Display ad, February 21, 1983, p. C12
  6. ^ a b Me and My Shadows, p. 321.
  7. ^ "Extremities - Lortel Archives". 
  8. ^ W magazine article, April 23, 2009.
  9. ^ Lorna Luft biography at her official website, "Theatre and Concerts" section
  10. ^ 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. Retrieved June 26, 2015. 
  11. ^ "Judy Garland Songbook tour shortened due to Luft cancer surgery". What's On Stage. June 23, 2015. Retrieved June 26, 2015. 
  12. ^ "Lorna Luft's Breast Cancer Reemerges, JUDY UK Tour to Wrap Run Early". Broadway World. Retrieved June 26, 2015. 
  13. ^ "Lorna Luft unable to continue in NMST's Hello, Dolly!". broadwayworld.com. 11 May 2012. Retrieved 4 November 2016. 

External links[edit]