She wasn’t born in a trunk, but she certainly has baggage.
Lorna Luft not only had to create a name for herself while in the shadows of her mother, Judy Garland, her half-sister, Liza Minnelli, and her father, noted film producer Sid Luft—but she has also successfully battled the bottle, proudly reminding all who listen that she has been sober “for 27 years.”
Luft, 58, recently opened the 2011 season at Feinstein’s, the intimate Madhattan nightspot. There, she will explore her critically-acclaimed one-woman show, Songs My Mother Taught Me: The Judy Garland Songbook, which runs through January 9.
We caught up with Luft in London, before she arrived back home, and tossed out some questions.
She gave us the answers.
The best thing about being Judy Garland’s daughter is . . .
Being her daughter. I had a great mom. I knew I was loved throughout everything. I feel cheated that she left so early.
What was the greatest gift she gave you?
The ability to laugh at myself. It was a defining gift—she was self-effacing, and she didn’t take anything very seriously. Except her art.
All those drag queens! Why do gays gravitate toward your mother?
There is no answer to that question. I have spoken to many gays–they all have different answers. I think people—not just gays—relate to her artistry and her vulnerability.
Suicide attempts, pills, failed marriages. There was also her tragic side . . .
My mother had tragedies in her life, but she wasn’t tragic. That’s the one myth I have always wanted to put to bed.
The last time we spoke, you told me you were seriously thinking of permanently moving to England. Are the bags packed?
I am thinking of it. I have a great deal of trouble with what is going on in this country. Americans are looked at as bullies in many parts of the world—we are not liked because it‘s out way or the highway. I find this to be really sad and incredibly upsetting.
The greatest gift I ever received from a stranger was . . .
The realization of how lucky I am. I see people on the street that aren’t as fortunate as I am, and I think, ‘I am so blessed to be able to give back.’
Nobody knows this about me, but deep down, I have a secret wish to . . .
Hit the notes Renee Fleming hits. She’s my favorite singer in the world.
New Year, New Year’s Resolution?
My resolution is to never make them because all I do is disappoint myself when I screw up.