Eleanor Bergstein

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Eleanor Bergstein (born 1938) is an American writer, known for writing and co-producing Dirty Dancing, a popular 1980s film based in large part on her own childhood.

Life and career[edit]

Bergstein was born in 1938 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. She has one older sister, Frances, in her Jewish family. Their father, Joseph,[1] was a doctor who left much of the care of the girls to their mother, Sarah. The family spent summers in the luxury resorts Grossinger's Catskill Resort Hotel in the Catskill Mountains; and, while her parents were playing golf, Bergstein was dancing.[2]

Bergstein was a teenage Mambo queen, competing in local competitions. While at college, she worked as a dance instructor at Arthur Murray dance studios.[3]

In 1966, she was married to Michael Goldman and worked as a novelist, including Advancing Paul Newman. This novel contains many of the themes of her famous movie. She also tried her hand at scriptwriting and had success with It's My Turn, a film starring Michael Douglas and Jill Clayburgh. During production, the producers cut an erotic dance scene from the script. That sparked Bergstein into writing a more extensive story, focusing on "dirty dancing".

In 2004, she also created the stage version of Dirty Dancing, which opened in 2004 in Australia.


  • Dirty Dancing: The Musical, 2004 stage production
  • Let It Be Me, 1995 film
  • Ex-Lover: A Novel, 1989 novel
  • Dirty Dancing, 1987 film
  • It's My Turn, 1980 screenplay
  • Advancing Paul Newman, 1973 novel


  1. ^ 1940 United States Federal Census
  2. ^ Ann Kolson: Fairy Tale Without An Ending auf nytimes.com
  3. ^ Posner, Michael (November 14, 2007). "Dance dirty with me". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved December 20, 2018.

External links[edit]