Burt Bacharach Daughter's Suicide Still Painful, Autobiography Reveals

Wednesday, 22 May 2013 10:29 AM

By Clyde Hughes

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All the hit records, memorable tunes and award-winning music could not take away Burt Bacharach’s pain after losing his daughter to suicide in 2007, said the noted composer in an interview about his new autobiography.

The revelations about Bacharach and his daughter came to light while the song maker was promoting his memoir “Anyone Who Had A Heart: My Life And Music.”

Nikki Bacharach, the daughter of Burt Bacharach and actress Angie Dickinson, committed suicide at age 40. Nikki grew up with emotional issues and had an undiagnosed case of Asperger's syndrome, a fairly new diagnosis among the autism spectrum disorder.

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Bacharach and Dickinson’s prematurely born daughter grew up with chronic health problems, poor eyesight and little ability to cope with her social awkwardness brought on by Asperger's syndrome.

Bacharach told The Associated Press that despite the challenges, he never thought she would kill herself.

“It's like the boy who cried wolf. Somebody who says, ‘I can't stand it. The helicopters are making too much noise and the gardeners and the blowers are making too much noise and if they don't stop I'm going to kill myself,’ ” he said. “And you hear that enough and you know it's never gonna happen and then one day she just goes and kills herself.”

Bacharach said he would later realize that Nikki’s suicidal signs were there from the start and acknowledged some of the mistakes he believed he made.

“There was always that resentment that I kind of imprisoned her,” he said. “I wish somebody would have just said, you're not going to heal her, let her be.”

Bacharach said in the mayhem of his personal struggles with his daughter, he found refuge in his music.

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“I was always able to alleviate the noise, some of the noise with what was going on with Nikki becoming a Sikh, or whatever, because I would go to my music,” he said. “It was during that time I scored ‘What's New Pussycat,’ and the first ‘Casino Royale.’ I would get engrossed in my music because there's no other way for me.”

Bacharach, 84, is best known for such hits as “I'll Never Fall in Love Again,” the Oscar-winning “Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head,” and The Carpenters' “(They Long to Be) Close to You.”

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