Lorrae’s ancestry is pioneer stock from rural Australia. Maybe the pioneering urge for adventure was the reason for the indomitable spirit that compelled her to travel overseas alone while still a teenager. Armed with two “GLAM” dresses and a handwritten list of goals to achieve, she landed in London. Achieving the list of goals took seven years, with “Meet Lorrae Desmond” BBC TV….. “Swing Along With Lorrae”, also BBC TV…“Twelve Thousand Miles from Home” BBC Radio. She has guest starred on most TV and Radio shows, Variety Theatres throughout Britain, Pantomimes, Summer Seasons, recording contracts with Decca and Parlaphone (her producer at Parlaphone being Sir George Martin of the Beatles fame). She also became a “Cabaret Act”; writing and performing with many major Stars in the UK i.e. Terry-Thomas – she worked with him on stage as well as TV. They created many original musical “SPOOFS” together.
It was then time to “come home” briefly; she began 5 years of commuting between Australia and the UK, stopping off to play cabaret in Kenya and Africa en route. During this time Lorrae was the first female to win Australian TV’s highest accolade – the Gold Logie, in “The Lorrae Desmond Show”, which was subsequently awarded the “Best National Variety Show”…. “My fondest memory of this time was putting the shows together!”
Jack Benny was in Australia for stage shows in Sydney and Melbourne and to also make a TV special. Jack invited Lorrae to guest on the shows…. At the completion of his Aussie season, Jack said to her…. “If you ever come to the USA I’d like you to do a guest spot on my show there”…. Lorrae went to the US and appeared with him in “The Jack Benny Show”. She did other TV guest spots, played cabaret in Chicago, through Texas, New Mexico and was appearing in Las Vegas. She was also a Cabaret headliner back in Australia.
The Australian Government invited her to tour Vietnam, to entertain the troops…. After 5 tours Lorrae was awarded an M.B.E. for Welfare of Australian Troops serving overseas and for Contribution to Australian Show Business.
Then came the record breaking TV Series “A Country Practice”. Lorrae created the much loved Shirley Gilroy, for which she received a “Best Supporting Actress” Logie and a Penguin Award for “Best Sustained Performance by an Actress”. The show ran for 10 years and was seen in 37 countries.
She followed Country Practice with 2 National Tours of the musical “High Society”. After which she was recognised, along with other showbiz icons, in the highly successful “Legends in Cabaret”, televised by the ABC.
In 2000 she wrote and toured with her 3rd one-woman show “Archival Revival”, for the “Million Smiles Campaign” raising awareness for the Sydney Paralympic Games.
Following that she donated several years assisting Mission Australia, at the same time adapting Bryce Courtenay’s novel ‘Smokey Joe’s Café’ into a play with music retitled ‘Honey’. After an initial ‘showing’ at Parramatta Riverside of several weeks ‘Honey’ received the Glugs award for Best New Australian Play 2008.
Her desire is to find a producer for a major production of ‘Honey’ – not any easy task.
The sequins are now in mothballs!