New York – Marilyn Bergman, Oscar-winning songwriter, with her husband Alan Bergman on “The Way We Were,” “How Do You Play Music?” And hundreds of other songs, died Saturday at his home in Los Angeles. She was 93 years old.
Representative Jason Lee said he died of respiratory failure not related to COVID-19. Her husband was by her bedside when she died.
Married in 1958, Bergmans is one of the most enduring, successful and productive songwriting partnerships that specializes in introspective ballads for the stage, which combines the romance of Tin Pan Alley with film, television and contemporary pop.
He has worked with some of the world’s greatest drummers, including Marvin Hamlish, Cy Coleman and Michael Legrand, and has been covered by some of the world’s greatest singers, from Frank Sinatra and Barbra Streisand to Aretha Franklin and Michael Jackson.
“If you want to write original songs, if you really want to talk to people, you have to feel like you’ve created something you haven’t been to before – that’s the ultimate achievement, isn’t it?” Marilyn Bergman told The Huffington Post in 2013. “And to do what’s not there before, you need to know what happened before you.”
More:Trailblazing star Sidney Poitier, the first black man to win the Best Actor Oscar, died at age 94
His songs include the soulful Streisand-Neil Diamond duet “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers,” Sinatra’s Snappy “Nice ‘N’ Easy” and Dean Martin’s dream “Sleep Warm”. He helped write uptempo themes for the 1970 sitcoms “Maude” and “Good Times” and collaborated on words and music for the 1978 Broadway show “Ballroom”.
‘Mellow Moments’:Jimmy Kimmel-Norman Lear as Viola Davis, Tiffany Haddish Highlights
But he was known for his contributions to films, sometimes throwing out themes that were more memorable than films. Highlights include: “Tootsie” from Stephen Bishop’s “It Might Be You,”; Noel Harrison’s “The Wind Mills of Your Mind” from “The Thomas Crown Affair”; And, “Best Friends,” the James Ingram-Patty Austin duet, “How Do You Play Music?”
His peak was “The Way We Were” from the Streisand-Robert Redford romantic drama of the same name.
Set to the moody, thoughtful melody of Hamlish with the sound of Streisand, the 1974 bestselling song and quick quality, the public still embraced the old-fashioned ballad during the rock era.
Fans were struggling to find a picture of the Bergmans or their names, but they had no trouble calling the words “the way we were”:
“Memories, can be beautiful and still / are too painful to remember / we choose to simply forget / so it is a laugh / we remember / when we remember / the way we were.”
Bergmans won three Oscars – for “The Way We Were,” “Windmills of Your Mind” and Streisand’s “Yentle” – and received 16 nominations, three of them in 1983 alone. He won two Grammys and four Emmys and was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Oscar season mess: Here’s how Omicron created an even more ‘messy’ awards season
Co-composer Quincy Jones The news of her death was called crushing. “You, along with your beloved Alan, are a summary of Nadia Boulanger’s belief that ‘an artist can never be more or less like a man,'” he tweeted.
“For those of us who like Bergman’s lyrics, Marilyn takes our hearts and souls with her today,” tweeted Norman Lear, creator of “Maud” and “Good Times.”
Marilyn Bergman was the first woman elected to the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers and later served as president and president. He was also the first chairman of the National Recorded Sound Preservation Board of the Library of Congress.
Streisand worked with him throughout his career, recording more than 60 songs and dedicating his entire album, “What Matters Most” to his material. Bergmans met her when she was 18, a nightclub singer, and soon became close friends.
“I love his words, I love his feelings, I love his love and his pursuit of relationships,” Streisand told the Associated Press in 2011.
Like Streisand, the Bergmans were Jews from lower-middle-class families in Brooklyn. She was born in the same hospital in Alan four years before Marilyn, whose unmarried name was Katz, and she grew up in the same neighborhood and has been a fan of music and movies since childhood.
The two moved to Los Angeles in 1950 – Marilyn studied English and psychology at New York University – but never met until a few years later, when they worked for the same composer.
Bergmans appeared to be free from the boundaries and anxieties of many songwriting groups. He likened his chemistry to housework (a wash, a drying) or baseball (pitching and catching) and struggled to remember who wrote the song he gave.
“Our partnership as author or husband and wife?” When asked about their relationship, Marilyn told The Huffington Post. “I think the two aspects are the same: respect, trust, all of which are necessary in a writing partnership or business partnership or marriage.”
In addition to her husband, Bergman is survived by her daughter, Julie Bergman.