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Lyricist Marilyn Bergman, who teamed with her husband Alan Bergman on Oscar-winning songs, died at the age of 93 in her Los Angeles home on Saturday. She died of respiratory failure which was not related to COVID-19, according to a representative. Her 96-year-old husband and daughter Julie Bergman were at her bedside when she died.
The Bergman duo
The Bergmans married in 1958 and were one of the most enduring, successful and productive songwriting partnerships in movie music history. Their songs were covered by some of the world's greatest singers, from Frank Sinatra and Barbra Streisand to Aretha Franklin and Michael Jackson.
They collaborated to compose hits which include the Streisand-Neil Diamond duet "You Don't Bring Me Flowers," Sinatra's snappy "Nice 'n' Easy," "The Windmills of Your Mind," and "The Way We Were."
The husband-wife pair specialized in introspective ballads for film, television, and the stage that combined the romance of Tin Pan Alley with the polish of contemporary pop.
The Bergmans won three Academy Awards and received 16 nominations, three of them in 1983 alone. They also won two Grammys and four Emmys and were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Tributes pour in
Fellow composer Quincy Jones called the news of her death crushing. "You, along with your beloved Alan, were the epitome of Nadia Boulanger's belief that an artist can never be more or less than they are as a human being," he tweeted.
Streisand posted a picture of herself with the couple, saying the Bergmans were like family. She worked with them throughout her career, recording more than 60 of their songs and dedicating an entire album, "What Matters Most," to their material.
Born in 1925, Marilyn Bergman came from a lower-middle-class family in Brooklyn, just like Alan. They were raised in the same neighborhood and were fans of music and movies since childhood. Marilyn had studied English and psychology at New York University. Both moved to Los Angeles in 1950 but didn't meet until a few years later when they were working for the same composer.
adi/nm (AP, dpa)
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