The daughter of Judy Garland and producer Sidney Luft, and the half-sister of Liza Minnelli, Lorna Luft was born in 1952 in Santa Monica, California. According to her autobiography, “Me and My Shadows” (1998), she and her younger brother Joey Luft lived an idyllic childhood in Bel Air, oblivious to any problems that may have arisen regarding her mother’s ongoing drug addiction and her parents’ marriage. By the time she was 12, however, her parents were divorced, and she was forced to face her mother’s serious drug problem head-on. But she stuck with her mother, because she knew that Garland truly loved her children when not under the influence of the drugs. She became her mother’s care-giver, administering the medication she needed to function, carefully monitoring the amount she took, and dealing with her whenever her behavior got out of control. Eventually, however, she couldn’t take it anymore and had a mental breakdown. As painful as it was for her, she and her brother left her mother and went to live with their father. Several months later, Garland overdosed and died. Lorna was crushed and guilty, having a hard time coming to terms with the fact that her mother’s death was inevitable, and would have happened had she been there or not. Lorna soon followed in her mother and sister’s footsteps to a show business career. She became a professional singer, though never quite reaching the success her mother and sister had in that field. She also appeared on Broadway in “Promises, Promises” and “Snoopy”, in a summer stock production of “Grease” and in a national tour of “Guys and Dolls”. She hasn’t made many films. The ones she has made include Grease 2 (1982), the disastrous sequel to the film version of “Grease”, and the beach party film Where the Boys Are (1984), as well as small appearances in Studio 54 (1998) and My Giant (1998). In 1985, she took a supporting role in the sitcom Trapper John, M.D. (1979) as a nurse, but a year and a half later, the show ended its seven-year run. In the 70’s and 80’s, she also experienced a drug addiction to cocaine, but is now drug-free. She claims she has had to face her sister Liza’s drug addictions, as well, and helped to get her into the Betty Ford Center once. She was married to rocker Jake Hooker, who later became her manager, but despite two children, the marriage was not happy. They are now divorced, and she lives in California with her children and her second husband, musician Colin Freeman. Currently (1999), plans are in full swing for a miniseries to be made from her book. She will serve as executive producer on the project.
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