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, leaving 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] She was a teenage Mambo queen, competing in local competitions and during 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.