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Lorna Luft

Lorna Luft may have hailed from Hollywood royalty, but it didn’t guarantee her an easy ticket into the world of stardom. She tells Richard Barber the truth behind her childhood, her children and her love of Coronation Street

montage DecemberWhen the teenage Lorna Luft told her mother that she, too, was planning a career in show business, Judy Garland’s reaction was, “Why? Why are you doing this to me?”

Lorna smiles. “She had this look on her face like she was thinking, ‘Oh God, another one bites the dust!’ But she went on to give me good advice. She said, ‘Study, audition and work hard because you’re not getting in on my name!'”

It says something for Lorna Luft’s determination that she pressed on regardless. From the start, she was overshadowed by the reputations of her mother and her half-sister, Liza Minnelli. “Billboards screamed ‘Judy Garland’s daughter’ and ‘Liza Minnelli’s sister,’ she recalls. “Then, in tiny letters, it said ‘Lorna Luft’. I was her daughter but I wasn’t her. I was her sister but I wasn’t her. I was myself but, at 19, I hadn’t yet found out who that was.”

Now, at 56, Lorna knows exactly who she is. “I’m very opinionated. I have trouble seeing the greys – everything is black or white to me. You could certainly never call me wishy-washy.”

We talk just days before she moves from LA to Palm Springs and then to the UK to tackle her role as the Wicked Witch of the West in a new production of The Wizard of Oz at The Lowry Theatre in Salford. She’s only too happy to chat. “Anything that gets me away from packing cases and bubble-wrap!”

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