• Lorna Patterson is an actress and Jewish cantor best known for her role in the movie "Airplane!" in 1980.
• She retired from acting in 1993 and has been working as a Jewish cantor since.
• Her picture is still featured on the "Birds Who Have Flown" wall at her former high school's theater.
• She has been married twice and has three children.
• Her net worth is estimated at over $1 million.

Known for movies

Short Info

SpouseMichael Lembeck

Who is Lorna Patterson from “Airplane”?

Lorna Patterson was born in Whittier, California USA, on 1 October 1956 – her zodiac sign is Libra and she holds American nationality. She is an actress and a Jewish cantor, who is perhaps still best known for her portrayal of Randy in the critically acclaimed comedy movie “Airplane!” in 1980, written and directed by Jim Abrahams and David Zucker, and which starred Robert Hays, Julie Hagerty and the late Leslie Nielsen. The story follows a man who is terrified of flying, and who now has to land a plane after its pilots lose consciousness – the film won two awards and was nominated for seven others, including a Golden Globe.

Where is she today?

Lorna retired from acting in 1993 and has since been working as a Jewish cantor.

Childhood and education

Lorna was raised an only child in Whittier by her father who was a theatre actor, and her mother who was a housewife. Motivated by her father, Lorna became interested in acting while still attending elementary school, at which she was a member of the drama club and appeared in nearly all the plays performed there. She also practiced her acting skills at The Bird Cage Theatre while attending high school, and her picture can be seen even today on the theatre’s ‘Birds Who Have Flown’ wall. She matriculated in 1974, and then attended Rio Hondo College, however, she quit after a single semester as she wanted to focus on her acting career – she spent the following five years acting in theatre plays.

Roles in movies

Lorna made her debut film appearance in 1979, when she portrayed Shirley Brahms in the short comedy “Beane’s of Boston”, written by Sheldon Bull and David Croft, directed by Jerry Paris, and which starred John Hillerman, Charlotte Rae and Alan Sues – the story follows Franklin Beane who is working at his father’s department store, Beane’s Boston. In the same year, she played her first lead character, Janine Burley in another short comedy – “The Lovebirds” – which also starred Eugene Levy and Ellen Regan and which is about two married couples The Burleys and The Wexelblatts who are getting adjusted to their married lives.

The year 1981 saw Lorna play Laurie Morgan in her first full-length film, “Sidney Shorr: A Girl’s Best Friend” which starred Tony Randall and David Huffman, and follows a gay gentleman as he befriends a single mother and her daughter while walking in Central Park – the film won a Writers Guild of America Award for Original Comedy Anthology, while it was also nominated for a Primetime Emmy. In 1982, Lorna reprised her role in the science fiction comedy “Airplane II: The Sequel”, both written and directed by Ken Finkleman, and which again starred Robert Hays and Julie Hagerty – it follows the same man who now has to control a space shuttle which is heading straight for the Sun.

In 1984, Lorna played Julie in the drama “The Impostor”, and in 1987, she made her voicing debut when she lent her voice to Dr. Susan Rand in the animated science fiction film “Ultraman: The Adventure Begins”, which starred Michael Lembeck, Chadd Everett and Adrienne Barbeau, and follows three pilots who can transform into Ultra beings and can therefore fight the four Sorkin Monsters.

Lorna’s final roles in movies before she retired were in the 1990 short animated family film “Joseph and His Brothers”, in which she voiced Potiphar’s wife, the comedy movie “Basic Values: Sex, Shock & Censorship in the 90’s” which starred Kimberly Beck and Greg Evigan in 1991, and the short animated adventure film “Nick & Noel” in which she voiced Leslie in 1993.

Roles in TV series

Lorna made her debut TV series appearance in 1979, when she guest starred as The Girl in the episode “Samaritan” of the crime drama “Lou Grant”, which starred Edward Asner and Robert Walden, and is about a former TV station manager who has become a newspaper editor – the series was a huge hit as it won 27 awards including three Golden Globes, while it was nominated for 73 others. In the same year, Lorna played Nikki Evashevsky, one of the lead characters in eight episodes of the short lived comedy series “Working Stiffs”, which follows two janitors working in a Chicago office building.

The year 1980 saw Lorna guest star in the episode “Angie and Brad’s Close Encounter” of the comedy series “Angie”, and in the same year star as Betty Crandall in the comedy “Goodtime Girls”, which also starred Annie Potts and Georgia Engel, and follows four women who are sharing an apartment in Washington, D. C. during the Second World War.

Lorna is still known today for her performance as the titular character in the comedy “Private Benjamin”, also starring Hal Williams and Eileen Brennan, and which follows a spoiled young girl who joins the army – the series won three awards including a Golden Globe, and was nominated for four others. She went on to guest star in the episode “Yankees vs. the Cubs” of the action crime drama “Hawaiian Heat” in 1984, and was then invited to play the lead role as Liz Drever in the romantic mini-series “The Flying Doctors”.

The following years saw Lorna appear in single episodes of several series, such as the animated adventure drama “The Greatest Adventure: Stories from the Bible” in 1985 in which she voiced Potiphar’s wife, the romantic drama “Hotel” in 1987 portraying Nancy Stanton, and the 1989 crime mystery drama “Murder, She Wrote” in which she played Edie Lorraine. Her final two roles in TV series before retiring from acting were in the episode “Rumpelstiltzkin” of the animated musical family series “Timeless Tales from Hallmark” in 1990, and in the episode “Anything You Can Do I Can Do Perky” of the family comedy series “Major Dad” in 1991.

Love life and marriage

Lorna met her future first husband Robert Ginty in 1980, at a party organized for actors, and they started dating several months later – Robert is an actor, film writer and director, who is perhaps still best known for his roles in movies “The Exterminator”, “Warrior of the Lost World” and “The Bounty Hunter”. They married in a private ceremony attended by their closest friends and family on 26 November 1983, and not long afterwards Lorna gave birth to their child, but nevertheless the two split several years later.

Lorna went on to marry the actor, film producer and director Michael Lembeck, on 13 April 1990 and they have been together to this day – she gave birth to their two children in the ‘90s.

Lorna Patterson

Lorna hasn’t talked about any other men she might have been with, and as of September 2020, she is married (her second marriage) and has three children.

Hobbies and other interests

Lorna is a highly religious person, and converted to Judaism years after exchanging vows with Michael – she was presented with her cantorial ordination by the Academy for Jewish Religion in 2009.

She has been interested in music and singing since her teenage years, and grew up listening to jazz and blues artists such as Frank Sinatra and Aretha Franklin – jazz is still her favorite genre while she also likes to listen to pop singers such as Elvis Presley and Lady Gaga.

Lorna was very keen on travelling in her 30s and 40s, and has been all around the world, while her two dream travel destinations are Miami in Florida and London in England.

Lorna has her own favorite actors and actresses, some of whom are Robert Downey Jr., Johnny Depp and Anne Hathaway, and some of her favorite movies are “Ironman”, the franchise “The Pirates of the Caribbean”, and “One Day”.

Net worth

Lorna’s age is 63. She has long blonde hair and brown eyes, her height is 5ft 2ins (1.57m) and she weighs around 105lbs (48kgs).

As of September 2020, her net worth has been estimated at over $1 million.

General Info

Full NameLorna Patterson
ProfessionActor, Cantor
EducationRio Hondo College


SpouseMichael Lembeck
ChildrenMarissa Ginty


NominationsPeople's Choice Award for Favorite Actress in a New TV Series
MoviesAirplane!, Ultraman: The Adventure Begins, Beane's of Boston, The Imposter, Sidney Shorr
TV ShowsPrivate Benjamin, Goodtime Girls, Working Stiffs, The Book Of Lists

Social profile links




Nick & Noel1993TV MovieLeslie (voice)
Basic Values: Sex, Shock & Censorship in the 90's1993TV Movie
Major Dad1991TV SeriesSgt. Tammi Rae Perkins
Joseph and His Brothers1990Video short voice
Timeless Tales from Hallmark1990TV Series
Murder, She Wrote1989TV SeriesEdie Lorraine
Hotel1987TV SeriesNancy Stanton
Ultraman: The Adventure Begins1987TV MovieDr. Susan Rand (voice)
The Flying Doctors1985TV Mini-SeriesLiz Drever
The Impostor1984TV MovieJulie
Hawaiian Heat1984TV SeriesAlexis
Private Benjamin1981-1983TV SeriesPvt. Judy Benjamin
Airplane II: The Sequel1982Randy
Sidney Shorr: A Girl's Best Friend1981TV MovieLaurie Morgan
Angie1980TV SeriesSissy
Goodtime Girls1980TV SeriesBetty Crandall
The Lovebirds1979TV MovieJanine Burley
Beane's of Boston1979TV MovieShirley Brahms
Lou Grant1979TV SeriesGirl
Working Stiffs1979TV SeriesNikki Evashevsky


Airplane: Long-Haul Version2005Video documentaryHerself - 'Randy'
The 8th Annual People's Choice Awards1982TV SpecialHerself - Accepting Award for Favourite New Comedy TV Program
The John Davidson Show1980-1982TV SeriesHerself
The Merv Griffin Show1980TV SeriesHerself
Off-Hollywood1978TV MovieHerself
Match Game PM1975TV SeriesPanelist

Source: IMDb, Wikipedia

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