By Travis Martin
Eric Bergren, the screenwriter most famous for co-writing 1980’s “The Elephant Man,“ has died. He was 62 years old, having passed away on July 14 from complications with liver cancer. His wife Lee Garlinghton and daughters Erin Condit-Bergren and Elysse Condit are Bergren’s survivors.
Bergren’s very first screenplay was a collaboration between him, Christopher De Vore, and David Lynch on “The Elephant Man.” Lynch would go on to direct the film, which centered on John Merrick, an intelligent and gentle man who suffers from severe deformities that make him an outcast within 19th century London society. John Hurt starred as Merrick, with Anthony Hopkins as Merrick’s doctor Frederick Treves. The film would go on to be nominated for 8 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Actor.
After the film’s release, Bergren would only write the scripts for 4 other films. First, in 1982, he wrote “Frances,“ starring Jessica Lange as blacklisted actress Frances Farmer. Then, he wrote and directed a short titled “…They Haven’t Seen This…” in 1988. In 1991, he wrote the script for the Navajo crime thriller “The Dark Wind” starring Lou Diamond Phillips and directed by Errol Morris. His last script was for the TV film “Little Girl Fly Away” in 1998.