Marilyn Bergman has died in the United States at the age of 93. She and her husband Alan caused a furore as a lyricist of love ballads, mainly for films and television.
The two married in 1958 and together made songs for many popular series and TV series in the 60s, 70s and 80s. They received 16 Oscar nominations, of which they cashed in on three. They also won several Grammy Awards and Emmy Awards for their lyrics.
They won the Oscars for Windmills of Your Mind from The Thomas Crown Affair (1968), sung by Noel Harrison, for the title track of The Way We Were (1974) and for the soundtrack to Yentl (1983). The last two productions were collaborations with singer and actress Barbra Streisand.
Marilyn and Alan Bergman had a special bond with Streisand. The singer recorded more than sixty of their songs, including You Don’t Bring Me Flowers, a duet with Neil Diamond. In 2011, she released the album What Matters Most, containing only songs written by the Bergman couple.
Streisand fondly remembers their friendship and collaboration, she writes on Twitter:
The American songwriter couple also wrote lyrics for artists such as Frank Sinatra, Sting, Aretha Franklin and Michael Jackson. For example, the lyrics to Someone in the Dark from Jackson’s Thriller album came from Alan and Marilyn Bergman.
In addition to being a songwriter, Marilyn Bergman was also more widely active. She was the first female chairperson of the American organization ASCAP, which is committed to musical copyright. She held that position from 1994 to 2009.
Marilyn Bergman died yesterday of respiratory problems at her Los Angeles home, her agent said. Her husband Alan (96) was with her.