Marilyn Bergman, Oscar-winning composer, dies aged 93 – Orange County Register


NEW YORK (AP) – Marilyn Bergman, the Oscar-winning lyricist who collaborated with husband Alan Bergman on “The Way We Were,” “How Do You Keep the Music Playing?” and hundreds of other songs, passed away at his home in Los Angeles on Saturday. She is 93 years old.

According to representative Jason Lee, she died of respiratory failure unrelated to COVID-19. Her husband was at her bedside when she died.

The Bergmans, who married in 1958, are one of the longest-running, successful and effective songwriting partners, specializing in introspective ballads for film, television and theater that incorporate the romance of Tin Pan. Alley with the polish of contemporary pop music. They have worked with some of the world’s top melodic artists, including Marvin Hamlisch, Cy Coleman and Michel Legrand, and have been covered by some of the world’s greatest singers, from Frank Sinatra and Barbra Streisand to Aretha Franklin and Michael Jackson.

“If someone is really serious about writing original songs that really speak to people, you have to feel like you’ve created something that hasn’t been done before – that’s the ultimate accomplishment, yes. Are not?” Marilyn Bergman told The Huffington Post in 2013. “And to create something that has never been before, you have to know what comes before you.”

Their songs include Streisand-Neil Diamond’s emotional duet “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers”, Sinatra’s “Nice ‘n’ Easy” and Dean Martin’s dreamy “Sleep Warm”. They helped write uptempo themes for the 1970s sitcoms “Maude” and “Good Times,” and collaborated on lyrics and music for the 1978 Broadway show “Ballroom.”

But they are best known for their contributions to the films, making the themes sometimes remembered more than the film itself. Among the highlights: “It Might Be You” by Stephen Bishop from “Tootsie”; “The Windmill of Your Mind” by Noel Harrison from “Thomas Crown Love Story”; and, for “Best Friends,” the James Ingram-Patti Austin duet “How Do You Keep the Music Playing?”

Their climax was “The Way We Were”, from Streisand-Robert Redford’s romantic film of the same name. Set to Hamlisch’s moody, pensive tunes, with Streisand’s vocals ringing through, it was a 1974 best-selling song and an instant standard, proof that right from the time In the rock music era, the public still accepted an old-fashioned ballad.

Fans will struggle to identify a photo of the Bergmans, or even recognize their names, but they have no trouble calling the words “The Way We Were”:

“Memories, can be beautiful, but nothing is too painful to remember / We simply choose to forget / So it’s laughter / We will remember / Whenever we remember / Just like we used to.”

The Bergmans have won three Academy Awards — for “The Way We Were,” “Windmills of Your Mind” and Streisand’s “Yentl” soundtrack — and received 16 nominations, three of them in 1983 alone. won two Grammy Awards and four Emmy Awards and was inducted into the Writers’ Hall of Fame.

Composer Quincy Jones called the news of her death very heartbreaking. “You, along with your beloved Alan, are the epitome of Nadia Boulanger’s belief that ‘an artist can never be more or less than them as a human being’,” he tweeted.

“To those who love Bergmans lyrics, Marilyn spends a little of our souls and hearts with her today,” tweeted Norman Lear, creator of “Maude” and “Good Times.”

Marilyn Bergman became the first woman elected to the American Association of Composers, Authors, and Publishers and later served as president and president. She was also the first chair of the National Recording Sound Preservation Board of the Library of Congress.

Streisand has worked with them throughout her career, recording more than 60 of their songs and dedicating an entire album, “What Matters Most,” to their material. The Bergmans met her when she was 18, a nightclub singer, and quickly became close friends.

“I just love their words, I love their feelings, I love exploring their love and relationships,” Streisand told The Associated Press in 2011.

On Saturday, she posted a photo of herself with the Bergmans on Twitter, saying they are like a family, as are excellent lyricists.

“We met more than 60 years ago backstage at a small nightclub, and never stopped loving and working together,” Streisand wrote. “Their songs are timeless, and so is our love. You can rest in peace.”

Like Streisand, the Bergmans were Jewish from lower-middle-class families in Brooklyn. They were born in the same hospital, Alan four years earlier than Marilyn, unmarried name Katz, they grew up in the same neighborhood and have been fans of music and movies since childhood. They both moved to Los Angeles in 1950 – Marilyn studied English and psychology at New York University – but didn’t meet until a few years later, when they were working for the same composer.

Bergmans seem to lack the boundaries and tensions of many compositional groups. They liken their chemistry to housework (one wash, one dry) or baseball (throw and catch), and are so in tune with each other that they struggle to recall who wrote the lyrics. certain.

“Our partnership as writers or as husband and wife?” Marilyn told The Huffington Post when asked about their relationship. “I think aspects of both are the same: Respect, trust, all of those things are needed in a written partnership or a business partnership or in a marriage.”

In addition to her husband, Bergman is survived by their daughter, Julie Bergman.


AP journalist David Bauder contributed to this report. Marilyn Bergman, Oscar-winning composer, dies aged 93 – Orange County Register

Huynh Nguyen

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