The immensely talented Judy Garland was known for her gorgeous jazzy voice since she was a young child. However, her personal life was filled with turmoil, as she faced personal battles with drug addiction and five failed marriages in the public eye.
Before her tragic death caused by a barbiturate overdose at the age of 47, she mothered three children. She welcomed her first child, Liza Minnelli in 1946 with second husband and acclaimed director Vincente Minnelli. Her third marriage with businessman Mr Luft resulted in two other children. Her daughter Lorna Luft was born in 1952, and her only son Joey Luft was born in 1955, according to People.
All three of Judy’s children decided to follow their mother’s footsteps and pursue the entertainment industry. However, they all have varying degrees in the spotlight. Keep reading for more fascinating information about the lives of Judy Garland’s three children.
There’s no denying that Judy’s eldest daughter, Liza Minnelli, has broken out of her mother’s shadow, making quite the name for herself and achieving massive mainstream success with both her vocal and acting chops. Although she has had a slew of critically acclaimed roles in both Broadway and film, perhaps her most notable achievement to this date was playing Sally Bowles in the 1972 musical film cabaret, which won her an Academy Award. Since then, she’s also gone on to win two Tony Awards, one Golden Globe, and one Emmy.
Liza’s life resembles her mother’s in more ways than one. She was also divorced multiple times, and married to a man who later came out as gay, mirroring Judy’s relationship with Vincente. However, none of Liza’s marriages resulted in any children.
Despite Judy’s unstable nature, Liza reflects fondly of her relationship with her mother, speaking positively about Judy’s parenting skills. “One of the biggest misconceptions about my mama is that she didn’t provide me with a happy childhood,” she said in an interview with Closer Weekly. “There were highs and lows, for sure, but I can say I was very happy.”
In her younger years, Liza even performed with her mother on television as a guest star on The Judy Garland Show, clearly inheriting the Wizard of Oz‘s star’s musical talents. “As a teenager, I became her best friend and confidante. We would laugh and talk for hours,” Liza enthusiastically recalled.
In recent news, the now 76-year-old took the stage with Lady Gaga at the 2022 Oscarslooking as glamorous as ever in all black attire.
Judy’s middle child, Lorna Luft, also decided to pursue a path in music. In 1971, Lorna made her Broadway debut as a cast member in the musical Promises, Promises. She also participated in tours of Grease, gypsy, and Guys and Dolls. Other notable accomplishments include performances at Carnegie Hall and Studio 54, according to DC Metro Theater Arts. In 2001, she also published a best-selling memoir recalling her life with her mother titled Me and My Shadows.
“I was born famous, I didn’t become famous, so I don’t know how not to be famous, but I never equate fame with talent, or work, or art. It’s addictive, like a drug, and it’s also fleeting and fickle; It’s a double-edged sword. One minute you can be on top, the next minute on the what-happened-to-her list.” She said of being born into a well-known family.
Fortunately, the now-69-year-old singer is very close with her older sister Liza. “Born into what we were born into, we didn’t have a choice, but we made a choice to say to one another, it will always be the two of us, and who we decide to invite to the party will be our decision and that’s why,” she said in an interview with Entertainment Tonight.
Like Liza, Lorna also recalls her mother’s nature in a loving light, noting that she passed down some admirable personality traits and life philosophies to her children. “She was not tragic, and she didn’t pass it on to us. … Our mom had such an extraordinary sense of humor, and that was her survival guide. That is what I can tell you has been my lifeline is to find the funny — just find the funny. And we do, we just find the funny because I think that is the way that we were raised and brought up and we watched a woman who found the funny,” she added.
When it comes to Judy’s youngest, Joey Luft, he has managed to stay mostly out of the spotlight. Although he made a few appearances on his mother’s talk show as a child, little is known about his career or whereabouts. Sisters Liza and Lorna noted that their younger brother is “camera shy.”
In a rare interview, he opened up about witnessing his mother’s addiction. “There were times when my mom wasn’t acting right, so I’d ask my dad, [Sid Luft], ‘Is she sick?’ and he explained it all to me. It was exceptionally hard to deal with as a kid. I was powerless. She was a great person, but she had that addiction.” He told Closer Weekly. However, he doesn’t only associate his mother’s memories with suffering. “I remember having a lot of fun with her when we were alone,” the now 67-year-old added in a different interview with the same outlet.