Marilyn Bergman, Oscar-winning lyricist, dies aged 93 | Music

Marilyn Bergman, the Oscar-winning lyricist who teamed with husband Alan Bergman on The Means We Had been, How Do You Preserve the Music Taking part in? and tons of of different songs, died at her Los Angeles residence Saturday. She was 93.

She died of respiratory failure not associated to Covid-19, in keeping with a consultant, Jason Lee. Her husband was at her bedside when she died.

The Bergmans, who married in 1958, have been among the many most enduring, profitable and productive songwriting partnerships, specialising in introspective ballades for movie, tv and the stage that mixed the romance of Tin Pan Alley with the polish of up to date pop.

They labored with a number of the world’s high melodists, together with Marvin Hamlisch, Cy Coleman and Michel Legrand, and have been lined by a number of the world’s biggest singers, from Frank Sinatra and Barbra Streisand to Aretha Franklin and Michael Jackson.


“If one actually is critical about wanting to put in writing songs which can be authentic, that actually communicate to individuals, you need to really feel such as you created one thing that wasn’t there earlier than – which is the final word accomplishment, isn’t it?” Marilyn Bergman advised HuffPost in 2013. “And to make one thing that wasn’t there earlier than, you need to know what got here earlier than you.”

Marilyn Bergman and her husband, Alan, arriving at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards in 2018.
Marilyn Bergman and her husband, Alan, arriving on the Artistic Arts Emmy Awards in 2018. {Photograph}: Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP

Their songs included the Streisand-Neil Diamond duet You Don’t Convey Me Flowers, Sinatra’s Good ’n’ Simple and Dean Martin’s Sleep Heat. They helped write the uptempo themes to the Nineteen Seventies sitcoms Maude and Good Occasions and collaborated on phrases and music for the 1978 Broadway present Ballroom.

However they have been finest identified for his or her contributions to movies, turning out themes typically remembered greater than the flicks themselves. Among the many highlights: Stephen Bishop’s It May Be You, from Tootsie; Noel Harrison’s The Windmills of Your Thoughts, from The Thomas Crown Affair; and, for Finest Pals, the James Ingram-Patti Austin duet How Do You Preserve the Music Taking part in?

Their peak was The Means We Had been, from the Streisand-Robert Redford romantic drama of the identical identify.

Set to Hamlisch’s moody, pensive melody with Streisand’s voice, it was the top-selling music of 1974 and an instantaneous normal, proof that properly into the rock period, the general public nonetheless embraced an old school ballad.

Followers would have struggled to establish an image of the Bergmans, and even recognise their names, however they’d no hassle summoning the phrases to The Means We Had been: “Recollections, could also be lovely and but / What’s too painful to recollect / We merely select to overlook / So it’s the laughter / We are going to keep in mind / Every time we keep in mind / The best way we have been.”

The Bergmans received three Oscars – for The Means We Had been, Windmills of Your Thoughts and the soundtrack to Streisand’s Yentl – and acquired 16 nominations, three of them in 1983 alone. In addition they received two Grammys and 4 Emmys and have been inducted into the Songwriters Corridor of Fame.

Fellow composer Quincy Jones known as information of her loss of life crushing. “You, alongside along with your beloved Alan, have been the epitome of Nadia Boulanger’s perception that ‘an artist can by no means be roughly than they’re as a human being,’” he tweeted.

“To these of us who beloved the Bergmans’ lyrics, Marilyn takes a bit our hearts and souls along with her immediately,” tweeted Norman Lear, creator of Maude and Good Occasions.

Marilyn Bergman turned the primary girl elected to the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers and later served because the chair and president. She was additionally the primary chair of the Nationwide Recorded Sound Preservation Board of the Library of Congress.

Streisand labored with them all through her profession, recording greater than 60 of their songs and dedicating a whole album, What Issues Most, to their materials. The Bergmans met her when she was 18, a nightclub singer, and shortly turned shut pals.

“I simply love their phrases, I really like the sentiment, I really like their exploration of affection and relationships,” Streisand advised The Related Press in 2011.


Like Streisand, the Bergmans have been Jews from lower-middle-class households in Brooklyn. They have been born in the identical hospital, Alan 4 years sooner than Marilyn, whose single identify was Katz, and so they have been raised in the identical neighbourhood and have been followers of music and flicks since childhood.

They each moved to Los Angeles in 1950 – Marilyn had studied English and psychology at New York College – however didn’t meet till a number of years later, after they have been working for a similar composer.

The Bergmans seemed to be freed from the boundaries and tensions of many songwriting groups. They likened their chemistry to home tasks (one washes, one dries) or to baseball (pitching and catching), and have been so in tune with one another that they struggled to recall who wrote a given lyric.

“Our partnership as writers or as husband and spouse?” Marilyn advised HuffPost when requested about their relationship. “I feel the features of each are the identical: Respect, belief, all of that’s essential in a writing partnership or a enterprise partnership or in a wedding.”

Apart from her husband, Bergman is survived by their daughter, Julie Bergman.

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