Stephen Sondheim and Jeff Romley. | Source: Getty Images
Jeff Romley was Stephen Sondheim’s husband for the last four years of the legendary Broadway composer’s life. They had been together since the late 2000s.
Jeff Romley has had a delightfully diverse career since making his living on Manhattan Island. He has worked in sales, events and media. The Emmys recognized his producing talents with multiple nominations.
He is a licensed ski instructor, avid triathlete and loves taking his dogs, Willie and Addie, for walks in the countryside.
Everything we know about Jeff Romley’s youth
Romley is said to have been born in 1978 or the following year and raised in a town an hour’s drive north of New York. In 2000, he earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from James Madison University in Virginia, where he also took acting classes “for his mental health.”
In college, he was in the theater society and volunteered with March of Dimes. After graduating, the young performer embarked on his eclectic career in theater and media from his home base in Manhattan.
The New Yorker has been an avid photographer for 30 years. His latest work is a black and white study of people in classic American settings, such as carnival. At one point, the producer also trained in massage therapy.
Jeff has worked in several fields over the past decades
In Romley’s first job after college, he dabbled in the theater scene as an assistant at the William Morris agency between February 2001 and mid-2005, where he developed the Department of agency theatre.
As an assistant to a Broadway/West End producer, the comedian worked on the business side of productions such as “The Producers,” “Hairspray,” and Sondheim’s biggest hit, “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber. of Fleet Street”.
He has held various sales and marketing positions at Bustle, CollegeHumor and Broadband Enterprises. The JMU graduate launched Romley Ventures in early 2018, through which he produced “The Chris Mann Show” and “The Randy Rainbow Show.”
Romley received Outstanding Short Form Variety Series Emmy Award nominations for producing “The Randy Rainbow Show” on YouTube for three consecutive years from 2019-2021.
Despite their fifty-year age difference, Romley and Sondheim have become an object.
His photography will be on display at Artsee Eyewear, a hip retail space that doubles as a gallery, in the spring of 2023. The photographer previewed the event with a bizarre shot of a man in Ronald McDonald clothes, smoking.
Laura Lofaro Freeman, Stephen Sondheim, Jeff Romley and James Dinan attend the Museum of the City of New York Hosts CABARET! and the presentation of the 2013 Louis Auchinclos Prize to Stephen Sondheim at the Museum of the City of New York on November 19, 2013 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images
Jeff Romley was Stephen Sondheim’s only husband
The man responsible for Broadway classics such as ‘Into the Woods’ and ‘Westside Story’ considered himself a ‘late sex’. Stephen Sondheim didn’t come out as gay until his 40s.
The author discovered what love is when he fell in love with playwright Peter Jones at the age of 60. They remained close friends and collaborators long after their decade-long romance ended.
Despite their fifty-year age difference, Romley and Sondheim became an object in the late 2000s. The May-December couple split their time between New York and Connecticut, where the photographer set up his darkroom. They got married in 2017.
Stephen Sondheim attends the 2019 American Songbook Gala at Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center on June 19, 2019 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images
What did Jeff inherit when Stephen Sondheim died?
Romley, then 41, remained with Sondheim until his unexpected death at 91 a day after Thanksgiving at his compound in Roxbury, Connecticut on November 26, 2021.
According to reports, the Broadway sweetheart left behind a $75 million estate, which was placed in the Stephen J Sondheim Revocable Trust. An informed source has praised the writer’s careful estate planning which will benefit 20 people and charities.
Signage to Stephen Sondheim’s ‘Into the Woods’ on Broadway as it begins previews at the St. James Theater on June 29, 2022 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images
Romley and Sondheim’s first love, Jones, and her gardener, Rob Girard, were among the beneficiaries of her generous inheritance.
The lyrist put his good friend and lawyer, F. Richard Pappas, and an unnamed person in charge of his estate. Some of the recipients of his generosity, such as the co-founders of the Irish Repertory Theatre, found the bequest a “nice surprise”.