Imagine you’re the daughter of movie star Judy Garland and that your father is legendary film producer Sid Luft. Having show business in the blood would be an understatement. From the time Lorna Luft sang with her mother at the Palace Theater to impressive concert performances, acclaim on Broadway, and in television, Lorna proves again and again that she’s a stellar entertainer and humanitarian, proudly carrying the torch of her family’s legendary show business legacy. These days Luft is still a force to be reckoned with. She’s a much sought after performer and was recently the guest talent at the Human Rights Campaign fun dinner in Austin. She also executive produced the Emmy-award winning television film about her famous family, Me & My Shadows. Here, we get up close and personal with this dynamic woman on her career and how Judy Garland still affects her today.
Lance Avery Morgan: Roger Edens, MGM’s famed music supervisor during the Golden Age of Hollywood was known to have said, “Of the three, Lorna is the one that inherited Judy's musical talent". What an honor.
Lorna Luft: Really? I didn’t know that. I know he said something similar, but not that. He was such a dear to my mom.
LAM: You’ve really performed almost all of your life, tell me about your experience with that.
LL: The hardest thing to do is concert work because you have no one to hide behind. You can’t come off a stage and if you don’t feel you’ve done a great job…you can’t say, ‘I didn’t write it, don’t look at me.’ In the theater you get to hide behind a character and that is much easier. I admire people who do nightclubs and concert work because there is nothing there and you are just stripped down to yourself. It took me years and it’s frightening if you don’t know how to speak with an audience. It really is an art.
LAM: You always do a great job performing. What entertainers do you like these days?
LL: I love Christina Aguilera and Jennifer Hudson. They really sing well but the last person that really inspired me was Whitney Houston. I listen to a lot of stuff, but nothing that my 16 year old daughter listens to.
LAM: Do you ever get stage fright?
LL: Yes, still to this day. I was absolutely terrified when I did White Christmas in England. The story is based on the film, but we only had three weeks to practice. On the opening night Irving Berlin’s daughter came to see the show, so you can imagine how I felt.