Lorna Patterson (born July 1, 1956) is an American film, stage and television actress and, more recently, a Jewish cantor. As an actress, her best-known roles were as Randy, the singing stewardess, in Airplane!, and as the lead in the television series Private Benjamin.


Patterson was born in Whittier, California, where she attended Rio Hondo College for a single semester. Patterson began her professional career while still in high school, performing melodrama at The Bird Cage Theatre at Knott's Berry Farm.[1]


She is a founding member of the Musical Theatre Guild and has appeared in many stage musicals.[2]

She played Randy, the blonde stewardess in the 1980 comedy Airplane! She co-starred with Tony Randall in the 1981 television pilot Sidney Shorr: A Girl's Best Friend. By the time this became the television series Love, Sidney, she had won the lead role in the 1981–1983 television version of the film Private Benjamin, so her Sidney Shorr role was played in Love, Sidney by Swoosie Kurtz. Earlier, she had been a regular on two short-lived series, Working Stiffs and Goodtime Girls.[3] She also played Liz Drever in 1984, in Royal Flying Doctor Service, episodes 2, 3 and 4, in Australia.

Personal life

Patterson was married to actor Robert Ginty. (Patterson worked with Ginty's first wife, Francine Tacker in the 1980 series Goodtime Girls, which also starred a pre–Designing Women Annie Potts and Georgia Engel.) She is currently married to actor/director Michael Lembeck, and the couple have two children.

Patterson converted to Judaism a few years after marrying Lembeck, after having developed an interest in the religion and completing courses in the Louis and Judith Miller Introduction to Judaism Program, a division of the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies at the American Jewish University.[4][5] In 2009 she received her cantorial ordination from the Academy for Jewish Religion in Los Angeles.[6]