It is with profound sadness, and an overwhelming sense of loss that we mark the passing of our dear friend and colleague, Marilyn Bergman.
Along with her husband Alan, they formed arguably the most important
lyric-writing team in the history of film and television, creating an unparalleled catalogue of songs over six decades. Advisory Board Members since the SCL’s inception, Marilyn and Alan were officially honored as Ambassadors in 2010.
As the first female President and Chairman of ASCAP from 1994-2009, Marilyn was devoted to the rights and interests of music creators, and rose to become their voice throughout the halls of power in Washington.
Current SCL Vice President, and life-long friend of the Bergmans, Charles Bernstein, has offered a personal tribute below.
Rest in peace Marilyn. We will remain eternally grateful for the love and respect you so graciously gave to our community, and our profession.
Marilyn Bergman was a unique, powerful and gifted force in our community. She was also beloved. We may remember her for her remarkable leadership and performance-rights activism as president of ASCAP, or for her peerless talents as a lyricist with Alan—her lifelong partner, love and collaborator. Much will be said of her abundant creativity and her groundbreaking achievements. But now in remembrance, there is something else that comes to mind. Marilyn had a rare gift that she gave freely, without effort or intention. It was simply herself. It was the gift of being in her company. Spending time with Marilyn was rewarding, amusing and informing.
Over the years that so many of us have known her, Marilyn’s humanity and personal warmth remain indelible in our hearts. It always felt like a privilege—a special treat— to hear her thoughts. Regardless of the subject, she had so many keen perceptions to share—original and penetrating insights—punctuated with a twinkle and dry wit that made everything seem novel and quotable. But unlike her lyrics with Alan, or her moving speeches at ASCAP, so many of these casual conversations and views on the world around her are lost to us, unrecorded.
Today we celebrate what she brought to each of us, individually and collectively. We hold these treasured moments of “pure Marilyn” in our hearts. The world has lost a rare talent and formidable voice. We in our community have lost a mentor and trailblazer, and a dear and beloved friend.
– Charles Bernstein
Read more about Marilyn Bergman’s career in this tribute by Jon Burlingame