Marilyn Bergman, Oscar-winning composer, dies at age 93


Marilyn Bergman, the Oscar-winning lyricist who teamed with husband Alan Bergman on “The Way We Were,” “How Do You Keep the Music Playing?” and lots 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, specializing in introspective ballades for movie, tv and the stage that mixed the romance of Tin Pan Alley with the polish of latest pop.

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

“If one really is serious about wanting to write songs that are original, that really speak to people, you have to feel like you created something that wasn’t there before — which is the ultimate accomplishment, isn’t it?” Marilyn Bergman instructed The Huffington Post in 2013. “And to make something that wasn’t there before, you have to know what came before you.”

Their songs included the sentimental Streisand-Neil Diamond duet “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers,” Sinatra’s snappy “Nice ’n’ Easy” and Dean Martin’s dreamy “Sleep Warm.” They helped write the uptempo themes to the Nineteen Seventies sitcoms Maude and Good Times and collaborated on phrases and music for the 1978 Broadway present Ballroom.

But they have been finest recognized for his or her contributions to movies, turning out themes typically remembered greater than the flicks themselves. Among the highlights: Stephen Bishop’s “It Might Be You,” from Tootsie; Noel Harrison’s “The Windmills of Your Mind,” from The Thomas Crown Affair; and, for Best Friends, the James Ingram-Patti Austin duet “How Do You Keep the Music Playing?”

Their peak was “The Way We Were,” from the Streisand-Robert Redford romantic drama of the identical title.

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

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Fans would have struggled to determine an image of the Bergmans, and even acknowledge their names, however they’d no hassle summoning the phrases to “The Way We Were”:

“Memories, may be beautiful and yet / What’s too painful to remember / We simply choose to forget / So it’s the laughter / We will remember / Whenever we remember / The way we were.”

The Bergmans gained three Oscars — for “The Way We Were,” “Windmills of Your Mind” and the soundtrack to Streisand’s “Yentl” — and acquired 16 nominations, three of them in 1983 alone. They additionally gained two Grammys and 4 Emmys and have been inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Marilyn Bergman grew to become the primary lady 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 National 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 complete album, What Matters Most, to their materials. The Bergmans met her when she was 18, a nightclub singer, and shortly grew to become shut mates.

“I just love their words, I love the sentiment, I love their exploration of love and relationships,” Streisand instructed the Associated 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 title was Katz, they usually have been raised in the identical neighborhood and have been followers of music and flicks since childhood.

They each moved to Los (*93*) in 1950 — Marilyn had studied English and psychology at New York University — however didn’t meet till a couple of years later, once 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 house responsibilities (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 wife?” Marilyn instructed The Huffington Post when requested about their relationship. “I think the aspects of both are the same: Respect, trust, all of that is necessary in a writing partnership or a business partnership or in a marriage.”

Besides her husband, Bergman is survived by their daughter, Julie Bergman.



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