When Burt Bacharach wrote the classic song “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head” for the 1969 Western film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid; the composer certainly had a right to feel as if there was a dark cloud looming over him. Just a few years previously, Burt’s wife had given birth to a premature daughter that weighed just less than two pounds. That baby would survive and go on to live an incredibly troubled life before committing suicide at the age of 40. Prior to committing suicide, she had locked in a mental asylum for 10 years. Upon her suicide, Burt’s daughter left him a note. To this day, the 93-year-old composer refuses to read it. Join Facts Verse as we explore why Burt Bacharach won’t read the note his daughter left behind.
Burt Bacharach Had a Hard Time Writing His Memoir
When it came time for Burt Bacharach to write his memoir; he knew there was going to be one subject that was going to be particularly difficult for him to broach. Of course, that subject would be the subject of his deceased daughter; who killed herself in 2007 at the age of 40. That daughter’s name was Nikki, and her mother was Angie Dickinson. Angie had been Burt’s second wife, and Burt has remarried twice since divorcing her. Many feel that it was the stress of attempting to raise the troubled Nikki that caused Burt and Angie’s marriage to fall apart. The troubles that caused Nikki to kill herself had been plaguing her for her entire life. And Burt still has deep regrets about the way he chose to help her.
Today, Burt Bacharach is 93 years old and seems happily married to his fourth wife, whom he married in 1993. That wife is Jane Hansen. Of course, Burt Bacharach is best known to the public for his numerous contributions to the world of popular music. Burt is the composer of such classic songs as “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head”. That song written for the film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid only a few years after the birth of Nikki. During the time period, Burt and then-wife Angie were having a very hard time with the young girl’s behavioral issues. In those years, doctors didn’t know what to make of Nikki’s behavior. Shortly before her suicide, Angie Dickinson would come to the realization that her daughter suffered from Asperger’s.
Burt’s Daughter Had Undiagnosed Asperger’s Syndrome
By the time that Angie Dickinson happened upon the magazine article that gifted her the revelation that her daughter suffered from Asperger’s; her and Burt had separated for many years. Burt and Angie had Nikki when their marriage was relatively new. And the tumultuous birth; and ensuing difficulty raising the girl would strike a blow to their relationship that it would never recover from.
At the time of Nikki’s birth, she weighed a little less than two pounds. This came as a result of her being born prematurely. Angie Dickinson advised to remain in bed, as her pregnancy deemed at-risk. Regrettably, Angie chose to ignore the advice. Because of this, she got an infection and went into labor early. Upon Nikki’s birth, Burt and Angie believed there was no way that she was going to make it through the night. Miraculously, the premature baby seemed to take to the incubator she placed in at the hospital.
Three months following Nikki’s premature birth, her parents allowed to bring her home. Burt and Angie thought that it was going to be smooth sailing following the traumatic birth. But Nikki sadly began exhibiting behavior problems early on. These behavior problems only got worse as time went on, and it would be many decades before the aforementioned realization of Asperger’s syndrome would give Burt and Angie any idea how to treat their daughter.
Angie Dickinson Put Aside Work for Her Daughter
When Nikki was still young, Angie Dickinson received the role that still stands today as her most popular. That role, of course, was the titular role on the television series Police Woman. Sadly, following the success of the series, Angie would turn down other lucrative roles in order to spend more time with Nikki, who was beginning to exhibit more and more troublesome behavior. The trouble at home drove Burt and Angie apart, and they eventually divorced. Towards the end of Nikki’s life, she was much closer to her mother than her father. In fact, it seems that Burt didn’t have much contact with either Nikki or Angie by the turn of the century.
From Burt Bacharach’s perspective, he thought things were going relatively well with Nikki by the time that she decided to kill herself. According to Burt, he thought that the worst of Nikki’s days were behind her. Nikki had exhibited extreme behavioral problems her whole life and often threatened to kill herself at the drop of a hat, and Burt had come to take the threats with a grain of salt. By 2007, Burt had assumed that Nikki was past these behaviors thanks to her mother’s realization that she suffered from Asperger’s syndrome.
Sadly, although the diagnosis of Asperger’s syndrome should’ve meant that Nikki finally got the treatment she deserved, it seems that this sadly wasn’t the case. Instead, those close to Nikki have suggested that her final years were the worst years of her life. Considering that she imprisoned in a mental asylum for a decade, this is certainly saying something! If you’re enjoying this video so far, be sure to hit the like button to show your support! Also, subscribe to the channel if you’d like to be among the first to know when more Facts Verse videos are on their way!
The Details of Nikki Bacharach’s 2007 Suicide
Nikki Bacharach committed suicide in 2007, at one of the rare times that she was alone. It has been said that, after reading about Asperger’s syndrome, Angie Dickinson tried to spend as much time with Nikki as possible and rarely left her alone. Nikki committed suicide by placing a plastic bag over her head and suffocating, and she left behind a note for her father. Shockingly, it seems that 93-year-old Burt Bacharach has still yet to read this note, claiming he knows what it says.
It seems that Burt still has many, many regrets about how he handled things with Nikki. Following Burt’s divorce from Angie, the composer spent a significantly reduced amount of time with his daughter. As established previously, Burt was barely talking to Nikki by the time of her suicide. Nikki exhibited severe behavioral issues throughout her childhood, and these peaked during her adulthood. It was during this peak that Burt and Angie decided to have their daughter confined to a mental asylum for a period of 10 years.
Burt Chooses to Focus on His Music
While Burt was dealing with troubles relating to Nikki, he escaped into his music. As mentioned, he wrote the classic song “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head” when Nikki was first beginning to exhibit her behavioral problems. Burt still works on music today, and it still helps him escape from the guilt that he has about how he treated his daughter. Perhaps the composer would find some more musical inspiration if he found the courage to read his daughter’s suicide note!
Burt Bacharach Always Showed Promise
Burt Bacharach was born in 1928, and started playing piano at the behest of his mother. As Burt recalls, he wasn’t initially fond of being forced to play the instrument. However, he eventually developed a taste for jazz, and found himself sneaking into jazz clubs as a young adult. When Burt realized that being a piano player meant that you got all the girls, he became infinitely grateful to his mother for forcing him to play the instrument all those years previously.
A Notorious Womanizer
While Burt has certainly always had a thing for music, it seems that he’s also always had a thing for women. Burt has been married four times over the course of his life, but these four wives are far from the only women that Burt has ever been with. In fact, the famous composer developed a reputation during his heyday for being one of the most notorious womanizers in the industry. All three of Burt’s failed marriages were plagued with incidents of the composer lusting after and sleeping with other women. Beside his music, it seems that Burt also liked to escape into infidelity! Perhaps Burt has put this poor behavior behind him nowadays, as his marriage to his fourth wife seems to be going well after nearly 30 years of them being together.
Burt Bacharach’s Bad Blood
It was after studying music at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, that Burt started his songwriting career. Initially, Burt found himself decidedly behind with the times. However, pairing up with a lyricist named Hal David proved the ticket to Burt’s success. Together, the pair began selling songs left and right, with the pair finding particular success with recording artist Dionne Warwick. Sadly, the relationship between the pair and Dionne would end in lawsuits over rights and royalties. The relationship between Burt and Hal would end similarly poorly, with the two getting into a disagreement while working on a film score.
Mapping Burt’s Marriages After Divorcing Angie
It was in 1965 that Burt Bacharach married Angie Dickinson, and the two would go on to have Nikki the following year. Burt and Angie would separate many years later, though wouldn’t divorce until after being separated for five years. After divorcing from Angie, Burt went on to marry a songwriter by the name of Carole Bayer Sager. Burt and Carole divorced in 1991, leading to Burt marrying fourth and final wife Jane Hansen in 1993. Jane is a ski instructor.
Although Burt Bacharach’s late daughter Nikki left him a personalized note to read upon her suicide, the 93-year-old composer claims he doesn’t need to. Now it’s time to hear from you: did you know that Burt Bacharach confined his daughter to a mental asylum for 10 years because of her undiagnosed Asperger’s syndrome, and that she ended up committing suicide at the age of 40? As always, like this video to show your support, and subscribe and hit the notification bell if you’d like to be among the first to know when more Facts Verse videos are on their way!