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Lorna Luft

In today's world, Lorna Luft is a topic that has captured the attention of many people. Whether due to its relevance in today's society, its impact on history or its influence in the workplace, Lorna Luft has been the subject of multiple research and debates. From its origins to its evolution today, Lorna Luft has been a fascinating topic that has sparked the interest of scholars, experts, and enthusiasts alike. In this article, we will explore different aspects related to Lorna Luft, delving into its importance, opportunities and challenges that it currently presents.

Lorna Luft
Luft in 2010
Born (1952-11-21) November 21, 1952 (age 71)
Alma materHB Studio
Occupation(s)Actress, singer, author
Years active1963–present
Spouses
  • (m. 1977; div. 1993)
  • Colin Freeman
    (m. 1996)
Children2
Parents
RelativesLiza Minnelli (half-sister)

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

Early life

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.

Career

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.

Luft in 2007

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.

Film

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.

Author

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."

Personal life

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, also 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.

Health

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.

In March 2018, Luft was diagnosed with a brain tumor after she collapsed following a performance in London. Later that month, Luft underwent successful surgery to remove the tumor.

Discography

Studio albums

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

Singles

Year Single Label
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 Records
"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"
"The Whole World's Goin' Crazee" b/w "Jesse's Theme"
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

Soundtracks

Year Album Label Songs
1982 Grease 2: Original Soundtrack Recording RSO
  • "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

Album appearances

Year Song(s) Role Album / Label
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 with Hilly Michaels
1984 with Adrian Zmed
1991 "A Gift of Hope" Lead vocal
  • The Christmas Album... A Gift of Hope / Children's Records
1992 "Blow, Gabriel, Blow"
1996 "Not Even Nominated" (Medley)
  • Stairway to the Stars / First Night Records
1998 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 / Royal Crown Records
2019 "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" with Randy Rainbow

DVD releases

Year Title Label
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

Filmography

Film

Year Title Role Notes
1963 I Could Go On Singing Girl on Boat Uncredited
1982 Grease 2 Paulette Rebchuck
1984 Where the Boys Are '84 Carole Singer
1989 Fear Stalk Doris Television film
1998 My Giant Joanne
54 Elaine's Patron
2017 The Fabulous Allan Carr Herself – Interview Documentary

Television

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"
The Twilight Zone Sheila Cunningham Segment: "Children's Zoo"
1985–86 Trapper John, M.D. Nurse Libby Kegler Main cast, 19 episodes (Season 7)
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 Cut"
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"

Theatre

Year Title Role Venue
1967 Judy Garland at Home at the Palace Herself – Performer Broadway: Palace Theatre
1970 The Boy Friend Madcap Maisie The Banff Centre, Banff, Alberta
1971–72 Promises, Promises Fran Kubelik Broadway: Shubert Theatre
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
Extremities Terry Off-Broadway: Westside Theatre
1986 Little Shop of Horrors Audrey Lobero Theatre, Santa Barbara, California
1987 The Unsinkable Molly Brown Molly Brown Burt Reynolds Dinner Theatre, Jupiter, Florida
1987–88 Mame Agnes Gooch
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

Published works

  • 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

References

  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. ^ Lorna Luft - Songs My Mother Taught Me, retrieved July 8, 2022 (Allmusic)
  11. ^ Stern, Danielle (April 23, 2009). "Theo Adams: More Liza Minnelli than Marilyn Manson". W. Retrieved March 11, 2018.
  12. ^ 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.
  13. ^ 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.
  14. ^ Lorna Luft biography Archived May 15, 2011, at the Wayback Machine at her official website, "Theatre and Concerts" section
  15. ^ Moore, Paul (1998) "In Judy Garland's dark maternal shadow", The Baltimore Sun, May 24, 1998.
  16. ^ Handelman, Jay. "Actress Lorna Luft speaks of hospice care in Sarasota event". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Retrieved February 12, 2023.
  17. ^ Fessier, Bruce. "Singer Lorna Luft, of Rancho Mirage, diagnosed with brain tumor". The Desert Sun. Retrieved February 12, 2023.
  18. ^ "Judy Garland Songbook tour shortened due to Luft cancer surgery". What's On Stage. June 23, 2015. Retrieved June 26, 2015.
  19. ^ "Lorna Luft's Breast Cancer Reemerges, JUDY UK Tour to Wrap Run Early". Broadway World. Retrieved June 26, 2015.
  20. ^ "Lorna Luft diagnosed with brain tumour after collapsing". The Guardian. London. Press Association. March 10, 2018. Retrieved March 11, 2018.
  21. ^ BWW News Desk. "Lorna Luft Undergoes Successful Brain Surgery to Remove Tumor". Broadwayworld.com. Retrieved December 15, 2020.

External links