CHICAGO Producers Establish Endowment in Memory of Long-Time Standby, Jeff Loeffelholz

By: Aug. 14, 2018
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Last month, it was reported that Jeff Loeffelholz, an original cast member of the 1996 revival of Chicago, had taken his own life. Since then, both the producers of the show and Actors' Equity Association have begun investigations looking into the circumstances of his tragic death.

The show's producers previously told BroadwayWorld:

Our focus at the moment is on healing. We called company members when we learned of Jeff's passing to offer grief counseling. Along with many who loved him, we continue to mourn the great loss of a beloved cast member.

The producers are working with members of the current cast to pay tribute to Jeff.

BroadwayWorld has just learned that a framed photo of Jeff performing as Mary Sunshine is being hung at the Ambassador Theatre. Additionally, producers Barry and Fran Weissler, in partnership with the company members of CHICAGO, have announced that they will establish an endowment in Jeff's name at the University of Oklahoma's Weitzenhoffer School of Musical Theatre.

CHICAGO Producers Establish Endowment in Memory of Long-Time Standby, Jeff Loeffelholz

According to notes made by Loeffelholz following a June 22 rehearsal, the longtime standby was allegedly subject to a particularly grueling rehearsal, which he described as including harsh insults about his performance in front of the company of the show.

Peter De La Cruz, Loeffelholz's partner of more than thirty years, confirmed that Jeff had been distraught after the incident and had filed a complaint with Actors Equity. Several days later, he was admitted to the hospital for a lethal combination of painkillers and alcohol, and passed away shortly thereafter.

Loeffelholz made his Broadway debut with Chicago as an standby for the role of Mary Sunshine. He had been a member of the Broadway company for 22 years and was the last remaining original company member.

Loeffelholz was the co-creator as star of the MAC-Award winning musical-comedy review Dangerous Duets. Loeffelholz also opened for Betty Buckley at New York's Bottom Line, and appeared at La Mama E.T.C. and MGM Grand in Las Vegas. He originated the role of the "Eunuch" in the workshop of Kander & Ebb's The Visit with Angela Lansbury. Read his full obituary here.


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