Oscar award-winning lyricist Marilyn Bergman passed away Saturday morning at her home in Los Angeles and according to Deadline, she was accompanied by her husband and writing partner, Alan Bergman, and their daughter Julie Bergman at the time of her passing, which was due to a non-Covid respiratory failure.
Marilyn Bergman’s Life and Career
She was born on November 10, 1929, at the same Brooklyn hospital where her future husband and creative partner, Alan Bergman, had been born only four years earlier and would eventually study music at The High School of Music & Art in New York before deciding to study psychology and English at New York University. After college Bergman moved to Los Angeles in the late 1950s, where she would meet Alan and her passion, songwriting after she fell and broke her shoulder. Since she couldn’t play piano with a broken shoulder, she decided to give songwriting a shot. Soon thereafter, she would meet Alan after a friend suggested she work with him, and they got married in 1958.
The Bergman lyricists pair got their first start working on a song for Dean Martin in 1958 and then for Frank Sinatra in 1960, then wrote their first title song for a motion picture in 1961, and then in 1964, they worked on lyrics for their first Broadway musical. Then after working as lyricists from that point on, they eventually got to work on the song “The Windmills of Your Mind” for The Thomas Crown Affair (1968), which earned them their first Oscar Award for Best Original Song at the 1969 Oscars and just 4 years later they would win their second Oscar for Best Original Song for the song, “The Way We Were” from the motion picture of the same name.
Marilyn Bergman was more than just a lyricist; she was also a political and social activist as she was one of the first women to participate in the American Film Institutes’s first-ever Women’s Directing Workshop in 1975. Years later, she would be one of the founders of the political PAC, Hollywood Women’s Political Committee, which was praised as the single most powerful entertainment group in politics as they have raised millions for Democratic candidates.
Bergman also was the first woman to serve on the Board of Directors of the American Society of Authors and Publishers in 1985, later she would be appointed as the U.S. Department of Commerce Private Sector Advisory Council on the National Information Infrastructure and would serve two terms as the President of the International Confederation of Performing Right Societies and would go on to garner more prestigious titles and impactful awards up until her passing in 2022.