She is a composer, songwriter and author born Marilyn
Katz in Brooklyn, New York.
She attended the High School of Music & Art in New York New York
University where she studied English and Psychology and at some point after
graduation she moved to Los Angeles.
Here she met up with Alan Bergman who had been raised in the same
neighbourhood as her and had been born at the same hospital but it took all
those years and thousands of miles before they would come face to face for
the first time. They married in
1958 and have since become known as one of the most successful
collaborations in songwriting.
They began to see success as early as 1959 when Dean Martin recorded
their "Sleep Tight" which was also the title track of the album conducted
by Frank Sinatra who, in turn, recorded their "Love Looks So Well on You"
for his 1962 Sinatra Sings of Love and Things. The following decades saw them
writing the lyrics for hit songs such as "You Don't Bring Me Flowers", "Ol'
MacDonald", "The Windmills of Your Mind", "In the Heat of the Night", "Yellow
Bird", "Nice 'n' Easy", "Moonlight", "What Are You Doing the Rest of Your
Life" and countless others. Having been nominated 16 times and receiving an Academy Award
for "Windmills of Your Mind", the score of Yentl
and "The Way We Were", she and her husband
were the first to have three out of five songs nominated for an Academy
Award in the same year in 1983.
They were Yes, Giorgio - "If We Were In Love", Tootsie
- "It Might Be You" and Best Friends - "How Do You Keep the Music
Playing?" Writing countless
other lyrics for music scores on television, movies and theatre their work
has been heard on Yentl, The Way We Were, Sabrina, Ballroom, Good Times,
Maude, A Star is Born, The Thomas Crown Affair, Once Upon a Time in
America and Never Say Never Again. With her husband she received a commission from The
Kennedy Center in 2001 for a jazz song cycle and with collaboration with Cy
Coleman, the result was Portraits in Jazz: A Gallery of Songs, which
was premiered in May 2002. It
has since run a series of performances in Los Angeles and will appear on
Broadway with the title Up, Close and Musical. More recent work has seen her and
her husband in collaboration with Michel Legrand and Rupert Holmes on the
musical The Man Who Was Magic. In recognition for her contribution
to music she was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1989, received
an honorary doctorate from Berklee College of Music in 1995, was made
Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters in France in 1996, received the
Johnny Mercer Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award and currently serves as
chairman and president of ASCAP. Her daughter Julie Bergman Sender is a
producer of independent films.
Jim Ed Brown & Helen Cornelius recordings
You Don't Bring Me Flowers (Neil
Diamond/Marilyn Bergman/Alan Bergman)