Podtalk: Lorna Luft, Daughter of Judy Garland, on Centennial Film Series at Gene Siskel Film Center

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CHICAGO – The Judy Garland Summer Centennial film series is on through July 30th at the Gene Siskel Film Center, and Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com will lead a discussion on her film “The Clock” on June 11th. To celebrate the 100th anniversary of Judy Garland’s birth, he talked to her daughter Lorna Luft about the JG film legacy.

Lorna Luft was born to Sid Luft and Judy Garland, and has created her own legacy with an expansive singing and acting career. She made her debut as a singer at age 11 on Judy Garland’s CBS-TV variety show in 1963, toured with her mother during the rest of the decade. She made her Broadway debut in 1971 in “Promises, Promises,” played Carnegie Hall in 1981 and toured with the hit show “They’re Playing Our Song” in the early 1980s. Also around that time she became a Pink Lady in the now beloved “Grease 2” (1982).

’The Clock’ with Judy Garland at the Gene Siskel Film Center on June 11th
Photo credit: SiskelFilmCenter.org

In the 1990s, she did a virtual duet video with her mother, intercutting the original TV debut on “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and released an album tribute to the Judy Garland iconography in 2007 with “Songs My Mother Taught Me.” She also performed in the British stage version debut of “White Christmas” in 2006-07, and has since toured with the show, including a stop in Chicago. And she continues to tour, with an upcoming Christmas craft travel opportunity.

The nine films in the Judy Summer Centennial are “Meet Me in St. Louis,” “The Clock” (June 11th, discussion led by Patrick McDonald), “Easter Parade” (June 15 & 18), “In the Good Old Summertime” (June 22 & 26), “Summer Stock” (June 29 & July 2), A Star is Born” (July 6 & 9), The Pirate” (July 13 & 16), Judgement At Nuremberg (July 20 & 23) and of course “The Wizard of Oz” (July 27 & 30). All will screen at the Gene Siskel Film Center.

Lorna Luft
Photo credit: Facebook@LornaLuftOfficial

Arguably, Judy Garland is one of the greatest movie stars of her era. She was born Francis Gumm in 1922, and after a vaudeville career with her singing sisters, she was signed to a film contract by Metro Goldwyn Mayer (MGM) in 1935 at the tender age of 13. Garland starred in a series of iconic musical and dramatic films during her time there, and established herself as one of the greatest talents to ever come out of Hollywood. Her film career was waning by the early 1960s, and she passed away at age 47 in June of 1969, after leaving a legacy of cinematic and technicolor dreams.

In a Podtalk with Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com, Lorna Luft talks about her memories of Chicago and her mother’s contribution to film history …

MORE LORNA! Click LORNA LUFT for the full interview, published on June 10th, 2022, Judy Garland’s 100th birthday!

The Gene Siskel Film Center (164 North State Street, Chicago) presents the nine-film “Judy Garland Summer Centennial,” from June 1st through July 31st, 2022. Click GENE SISKEL CENTER for general information.

HollywoodChicago.com senior staff writer Patrick McDonald

Editor and Film Writer

© 2022 Patrick McDonald, HollywoodChicago.com

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