Marilyn Bergman, who wrote “The Way We Were”, dies at 93


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LOS ANGELES (CNS) – Marilyn Bergman, who co-wrote the 1973 Barbra Streisand classic song “The Way We Were”, died at her Los Angeles home on Saturday at the age of 93.

The cause of death was respiratory failure but was unrelated to the coronavirus, according to several media. Marilyn Bergman has died with her husband and writing partner Alan Bergman and their daughter Julie Bergman by her side, her agent Jason Lee told reporters.


What would you like to know

  • Marilyn Bergman, who co-wrote Barbra Streisand’s 1973 classic song “The Way We Were”, died at her Los Angeles home on Saturday at the age of 93.
  • The cause of death was respiratory failure but was not linked to the coronavirus, according to several media
  • She was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1980
  • In 1985, she became the first woman elected president and chair of the board of directors of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers.

The Bergmans have won multiple Oscars, Emmys, and Grammys over the course of their long career, which has included writing songs for such luminaries as Streisand, Frank Sinatra, and Fred Astaire.

Their three Oscars were for “The Way We Were” – which featured the film of the same name with Streisand and Robert Redford – “The Windmills of Your Mind” and the score for “Yentl” from 1983, another Streisand project.

She was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1980.

In 1984, Marilyn was one of 11 women who founded the Hollywood Women’s Political Committee, which raised millions of dollars for Democratic candidates.

In 1985, she became the first woman elected president and chair of the board of directors of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers.

“There was only one Marilyn Bergman,” legendary television producer Norman Lear tweeted. “No one knew this more than her husband and music partner, Alan. For those of us who loved Bergman’s lyrics, Marilyn is taking a bit of our heart and soul with her today.”

Another industry giant, record producer Quincy Jones, also paid tribute.

“My dear, dear, beautiful Marilyn Bergman, losing you this morning, so close to our brother Sidney, just crushes me,” Jones tweeted. “You, along with your beloved Alan, were the embodiment of Nadia Boulanger’s belief that an artist can never be more or less than he is as a human being. your writing – the unconditional love in your heart for your family, friends and community Your words are an extension of your being.

“… RIP my sweet owl. Your songs will sing in our hearts forever xoxo Q.”

Another great songwriter, ASCAP President and President Paul Williams, made the following statement:

“It is with deep sadness that personally, and all of ASCAP, mourn the passing of Marilyn Bergman – one of the greatest lyricists who ever lived and truly enjoyed the royalty of ASCAP. She was a brilliant composer. who, along with her husband, Alan Bergman, gave us some of the most beautiful and enduring lyrics of all time.She has been a staunch and tireless advocate for music creators, not only during her tenure as president and president of ASCAP, but throughout her life. Her intelligence, her wit and her wisdom. Alan – we mourn with you. “

The Bergmans married in 1958 and started one of popular music‘s most successful songwriting partnerships. Their far-reaching work included the Streisand-Neil Diamond duo “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers”, Sinatra’s “Nice ‘n’ Easy” and the theme songs from Lear’s 1970s sitcoms “Maude” and “Good Times” .


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