Gloria Loring is an American singer, songwriter and actress. She is known for playing Liz Chandler on Days of Our Lives for six years (1980–86). She and singer-actor Carl Anderson performed the duet “Friends and Lovers,” which reached number two on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1986.
Gloria Jean Goff was born in New York City, the daughter of Dorothy Ann (née Tobin), a singer, and Gerald “Buzzy” Lewis Goff, a professional trumpet player with the Tommy Dorsey big band as well as other renowned swing groups; a salesman and hospitality/restaurant industry consultant.
Loring began her music career at age 14, singing with a folk group known as Those Four. Loring released her first album in 1968. It was titled Today on MGM Records. Several singles, including cover versions of Harry Nilsson‘s “Everybody’s Talkin’” and Roger Whittaker‘s “New World in the Morning” were released on the Evolution label, though none charted. She also released, as a single, an early cover version of Joni Mitchell‘s “Chelsea Morning” in 1968.
She went on to perform on a wide range of television shows in the late 1960s and 1970s, from The Carol Burnett Show (Season 1, Episode 4, which first aired October 2, 1967) to the Academy Awards ceremony. Signed to Atco Records, she released the single “Brooklyn”, produced by Mike Post, in 1977 under the alias Cody Jameson, and it became her first chart single, climbing to No. 74 on the Billboard Hot 100 and also appearing on the Adult Contemporary and Country Charts.
In March 1977, she flew to Toronto to be the special guest star on the popular weekly variety program The Bobby Vinton Show which was seen all across the United States and Canada. The program was produced by her husband Alan Thicke. Loring performed “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” and performed a duet with Vinton on “Breaking Up Is Hard to Do”.
In 1978 and 1979, Loring and then-husband Alan Thicke composed the theme songs to Diff’rent Strokes and The Facts of Life. There were two versions of the Facts of Life theme song that Loring sang. One version was used from seasons two through six, and a second was used from seasons seven to nine.
Her son, Brennan, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 1979. A year later, Loring joined Days of Our Lives and got the idea to create and self-publish the Days Of Our Lives Celebrity Cookbook to raise money for diabetes research. Volume One was published in 1981 and the follow-up Volume Two in 1983. The cookbooks, along with her recording “A Shot in the Dark”, raised more than $1 million for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (“JDRF”). She followed that success with three commercially published books, Kids, Food and Diabetes, Parenting a Child with Diabetes, and Living with Type 2 Diabetes: Moving Past the Fear.
For more than 30 years she has served as a spokesperson for JDRF. JDRF was the official philanthropy of her college sorority, Alpha Gamma Delta, before shifting its focus to fighting hunger in 2017.
In 1980, when Loring joined the NBC daytime soap Days of Our Lives as chanteuse Liz Chandler, the show was going through a dry spell, with many veterans dropped and many new faces alienating long-time fans. Of the nine new characters introduced in the 1980–1981 season, only Liz garnered a fan following, and was the only one to have her contract renewed. For three years, in real-life, Loring dated Don Diamont, the actor who played Carlo Forenza who was murdered by her TV husband Dr. Neil Curtis.
In 1986, Loring scored a No. 2 Pop and No. 1 Adult Contemporary hit record in the United States with “Friends and Lovers“, with Carl Anderson (also a No. 1 country hit in 1986 for Eddie Rabbitt and Juice Newton under the title “Both to Each Other”). She originally performed “Friends and Lovers” on Days of Our Lives more than a year before it hit the charts. Her performance of the song generated the largest mail response of any song in NBC daytime history. First recorded as a duet with Anderson (who appeared on Days of Our Lives to sing the song with Loring) in 1985, its release as a single was delayed for a year by legal complications.
Loring left Days in 1986 and made sporadic film and television appearances over the next few decades. Her main efforts were spent in theater and in her recording career (though “Friends and Lovers” was her only major hit single).
In 2003, Loring released her first holiday album, You Make It Christmas. In 2008, she released A Playlist, which included a new recording of the song “Friends and Lovers” with Carl Anderson, recorded one year before he died.