Bergren shared the adapted screenplay Academy Award nom with his writing partner Christopher De Vore and David Lynch, who directed the 1980 film based on Bernard Pomerance’s 1977 play. The trio also scored Golden Globe, WGA and BAFTA noms for the pic, which starred John Hurt as a severely deformed but smart and sensitive man who makes a living as a sideshow freak in Victorian London. Anthony Hopkins played the surgeon who helps him. The Elephant scored eight Oscar noms in 1981 but went home empty-handed.
The Elephant Man was the first screenplay for Bergren, who went on to write Frances (1982), which starred Jessica Lange, and co-penned Errol Morris’ The Dark Wind (1991) with Neal Jimenez.
Bergren’s survivors include his daughters Erin Condit-Bergren and Elysse Condit. Details on a memorial service is pending.