Open Candice Bergen’s A Fine Romance and be prepared to settle in for an evening filled with a few drinks, casual grazing, laughter, tears and rollicking tales from one of America’s finest actresses.
In this follow-up to Knock Wood, Bergen reveals the glorious days of her long and passionate love for French filmmaker Louis Malle, their frenetic and full marriage, the birth of their daughter, Chloe, and the success of her Emmy-winning sitcom, “Murphy Brown.”
Bergen married Malle in 1980 after a four-year courtship that had an inauspicious beginning but grew tentatively and then blossomed into a colorful marriage. Bergen calls Malle an “incredibly courtly and charming dynamo . . . always leaning into whatever he was heading for; he was never idle.”
Ambivalent about having children, Bergen pondered the ways that becoming a mother might add a new dimension to her life. When Chloe—a “potent and tiny spirit who had clearly been fighting to get here”—was born, Bergen declared that her child would be her first priority “by miles.”
Three years later, the script for a sitcom about a cantankerous TV newswoman landed on her desk. Despite what she calls a “horrible” audition, she won the part, bringing a natural sense of comic timing to her role in “Murphy Brown,” a show that had a celebrated 10-year run.
Fifteen years after their wedding, Malle succumbed to cancer. A light in Bergen’s life was extinguished, though she and Chloe grew closer. Three years after Malle’s death, she met and eventually married real estate developer Marshall Rose. The union has brought her much joy, though Bergen candidly chronicles her struggles with the differences between her two husbands.
Bergen’s rapier wit, warm personality and unflinching honesty make these stories of life and love all the more appealing.