Burt Bacharach facts: Songwriter's family, songs, wife and career revealed

9 February 2023, 15:15

Burt Bacharach in 2013
Burt Bacharach in 2013. Picture: Getty

Burt Bacharach was one of the most successful songwriters of all time.

Often working alongside Hal David, Burt was a six-time Grammy Award winner and three-time Oscar winner, and his songs have been recorded by over 1,000 different artists.

Working well into his 90s, Burt continued to perform live and was an inspiration to many artists. Here's all the important facts about the talented star:

  1. Who was Burt Bacharach?

    Burt Bacharach was an American composer, songwriter, producer, and pianist, who wrote hundreds of pop songs from the late 1950s to the 1980s, many in collaboration with lyricist Hal David.

    He won six Grammys and three Oscars. His songs have been recorded by over 1,000 different artists.

    He wrote 73 US and 52 UK Top 40 hits, and was considered one of the most important composers of 20th-century popular music.

  2. What are his most famous songs?

    Dionne Warwick - Walk On By

    Among his many classic songs include:

    - The Look of Love (Dusty Springfield)

    - Make It Easy on Yourself (Walker Brothers)

    - Walk on By (Dionne Warwick)

    - I Say a Little Prayer (Aretha Franklin)

    - Anyone Who Had a Heart (Cilla Black)

    Patti LaBelle - On My Own (Official Music Video) ft. Michael McDonald

    - I'll Never Fall in Love Again (Deacon Blue)

    - Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head (BJ Thomas)

    - Close to You (Carpenters)

    - On My Own (Patti Labelle and Michael McDonald)

    - Arthur's Theme (Christopher Cross)

    - Magic Moments (Perry Como)

    - I Just Don't Know What to Do with Myself (Dusty Springfield)

  3. How old was Burt Bacharach and where was he from?

    Burt Bacharach in 1987
    Burt Bacharach in 1987. Picture: Getty

    Burt Bacharach was born on May 12, 1928. He marked his 94th birthday in 2022.

    He was born in Kansas City, Missouri, and grew up in New York City.

    He was the son of Irma Freeman and Mark Bertram 'Bert' Bacharach, a well-known syndicated newspaper columnist.

    His mother was an amateur painter and songwriter who helped Burt learn piano during his childhood.

  4. Was he married and did he have any children?

    Burt Bacharach and Angie Dickinson in 1976
    Burt Bacharach and Angie Dickinson in 1976. Picture: Getty

    Burt Bacharach was married four times in total.

    His first marriage was to Paula Stewart from 1953 to 1958.

    His second marriage was to actress Angie Dickinson, lasting for 15 years from 1965 to 1980. The couple had a child, a daughter named Nikki Bacharach. Nikki struggled with mental health problems and died by suicide in 2007, aged 40.

    Burt Bacharach and Carole Bayer Sager in 1987
    Burt Bacharach and Carole Bayer Sager in 1987. Picture: Getty
    Burt Bacharach and Jane Hansen in 2015
    Burt Bacharach and Jane Hansen in 2015. Picture: Getty

    Burt's third marriage was to songwriter Carole Bayer Sager from 1982 to 1991. They adopted a son named Christopher.

    He married his fourth wife, Jane Hansen, in 1993. They had two children: a son named Oliver and a daughter named Raleigh.

  5. Did he fall out with Hal David?

    Burt Bacharach and Hal Davis in 1969
    Burt Bacharach and Hal Davis in 1969. Picture: Getty

    Burt Bacharach first met Hal David at the famous Brill Building songwriting factory in the late 1950s, and they soon forged a very successful partnership.

    However, they parted ways on bad terms in the early 1970s.

    Speaking about their relationship upon Hal's death in 2012, Burt said: "Hal and I never really socialized, except for going to the bar at the local Chinese restaurant to celebrate a particularly good recording session.

    "Basically, we did our work and didn’t hang out. Like many relationships, ours had its bumps. The big bump — a disagreement that arose during the failed attempt to remake the film Lost Horizon as a musical — was most unfortunate.

    "Hal and I didn’t speak for 10 years except through our lawyers, and I will take the count for that one — my fault. What we might have written in those 10 years we’ll never know.

    "Hal, we had a great run and I’m so grateful we ever met."