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Stephen Sondheim
Stephen Sondheim - smoking.JPG
Sondheim c. 1976
Background information
Genres Musical theater
  • Composer
  • lyricist
Years active 1952–2021
Stephen Joshua Sondheim

(1930-03-22)March 22, 1930
Manhattan, New York City, U.S.
Died November 26, 2021(2021-11-26) (aged 91)
Alma mater Williams College
Jeff Romley (m. 2017)

Stephen Joshua Sondheim ( March 22, 1930 – November 26, 2021) was an American composer and lyricist. One of the most important figures in 20th-century musical theater.

Sondheim's best-known works as composer and lyricist include A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1962), Company (1970), Follies (1971), A Little Night Music (1973), Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (1979), Sunday in the Park with George (1984), and Into the Woods (1987). He was also known for writing the lyrics for West Side Story (1957) and Gypsy (1959).

Sondheim's accolades include nine Tony Awards (including a Lifetime Achievement Tony in 2008), an Academy Award, eight Grammy Awards, a Pulitzer Prize, a Laurence Olivier Award, and a 2015 Presidential Medal of Freedom. He also had a theatre named for him on both Broadway and the West End in London. Sondheim wrote film music, contributing "Goodbye for Now" for Warren Beatty's Reds (1981). He wrote five songs for 1990's Dick Tracy, including "Sooner or Later (I Always Get My Man)", sung in the film by Madonna, which won the Academy Award for Best Original Song. Film adaptations of Sondheim's work include West Side Story (1961), Gypsy (1962), A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1966), A Little Night Music (1977), Gypsy (1993), Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007), Into the Woods (2014), West Side Story (2021), and Merrily We Roll Along (TBA).

Early and personal life

Sondheim was born into a Jewish family in New York City and grew up on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and later near Doylestown, Pennsylvania. He lived with dramatist Peter Jones for eight years in the 1990s.The composer married Jeffrey Scott Romley on December 31, 2017; together they owned two black French Poodle dogs. They lived in Manhattan and Roxbury, Connecticut.


Sondheim died at his home in Roxbury on November 26, 2021, at the age of 91.

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