Susan Romanoff, Actress
Are you a Romanoff Romanoff?
Maybe I shouldn’t answer that so the world thinks I’m some countess who escaped as the bullets were flying. The real story is that it was my ex-husband’s name and I kept it because I thought it was magical for theater. I’m an actress. He wasn’t a Russian Romanoff either; he was a Jew from Ohio.
What’s your next performance?
I’m actually on my way to pick up a script from the playwright Randy McHaney. It’s funny you stopped me in Union Square, by the way, because Bill Cunningham photographed me here in 2016. I was buying lilies and wearing this lavender hat, and I turned around and he had his camera right in my face. He said, “That’s a beautiful hat,” and I said, “I love you.” I’m not certain he heard me; he was very hard of hearing.
You always wanted to act?
Yes, I was the lead in all the plays in college. I was frequently discouraged, though, especially by the drama coach who lorded over the acting department. She told me not to go to New York, that it would eat me alive. Ten years later, I saw her at an audition and she looked like she’d stuck her finger in a wet socket — she was nuttier than a fruitcake. The lesson, of course, being: Never listen to a soul.
Neighborhood: Curry Hill.
Former job: “I taught aerobics for 15 years at one of Jacki Sorensen’s exercise studios.”
Last read: “The Rose Tattoo, by Tennessee Williams. And a book about the wonderful Marlene Dietrich.”
Favorite hat: “This leopard-print one. People holler, ‘I love your hat!’ when I wear it. I bought two of them so when this one wears out, I’ll have another. It’s from Kmart. Can you believe it?”
*This article appears in the December 24, 2018, issue of New York Magazine. Subscribe Now!