Eleanor Bergstein

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Eleanor Bergstein
BornEleanor Bergstein
(1938-04-17) April 17, 1938 (age 84)
New York, New York, U.S.
Alma materUniversity of Pennsylvania
SubjectAmerican film
Michael Paul Goldman
(m. 1966)

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.[1]

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,[2] 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.[3]

Bergstein was a teenage Mambo queen, competing in local competitions. While at college, she worked as a dance instructor at Arthur Murray dance studios.[4] Bergstein graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1958.[citation needed]

In 1966, she was married to Michael Paul 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".

The movie Dirty Dancing was released in theaters in 1987.[5]

In 2004, Bergstein also adapted the movie into a stage version of Dirty Dancing, which became a musical.[6] The show 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. ^ Stannard, Lauren. "Behind the Scenes of Dirty Dancing: An Interview with Eleanor Bergstein". Greenwich International Film Festival. Retrieved 2022-01-23.
  2. ^ 1940 United States Federal Census
  3. ^ Ann Kolson: Fairy Tale Without An Ending auf nytimes.com
  4. ^ Posner, Michael (November 14, 2007). "Dance dirty with me". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved December 20, 2018.
  5. ^ "Interesting Facts about Dirty Dancing | Her Campus". www.hercampus.com. 2020-02-29. Retrieved 2022-01-23.
  6. ^ "To Live & Dialogue in LA: Eleanor Bergstein – Dirty Dancing Screenwriter on Apple Podcasts". Apple Podcasts. Retrieved 2022-01-23.

External links[edit]