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'Murphy Brown's' Candice Bergen Felt Guilty Marrying Again in Front of 1st Husband's Kids after His Death

Esther NJeri
Mar 18, 2022
03:20 P.M.
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Candice Bergen's love for her husband Louis Malle was undeniable, but upon his death, she found love with her second husband, real estate developer Marshall Rose. However, marrying him in the presence of Malle's children left her feeling guilty.

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Candice Bergen and Louis Malle met at Diane von Furstenberg's home in Cloudwalk farm in Connecticut. They introduced themselves, and Bergen was thrilled to meet Malle, a renowned French director.

They met again four months later, and Bergen remembers it being mostly awkward because she had on a caftan that kept falling off. They did not talk much. However, Bergen's photographer friend, Mary Ellen Mark, insisted that Malle was the perfect man for her and was certain Bergen would marry him. 

Actress Candice Bergen and daughter Chloe Malle on November 6, 1988 at Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California. [Inset] Candice Bergen as television journalist Murphy Brown from the CBS sitcom, California, 1990. | Source: Getty Images

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Then, out of the blues, Malle called Bergen to ask to have lunch with her. They met up at the Russian Tea Room, and surprisingly they were still there four hours later. They went on their first official date two weeks later. 

Louis Malle was compulsively creative and productive. When he was not shooting a documentary, he would be directing a play.

Candice Bergen during Film Set of "The Adventurers," September 3, 1968 in Rome, Italy. | Source: Getty Images

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He would do several activities simultaneously, like smoke his pipe as he grabbed a snack, walked down the hall, or even did yoga. However, what Bergen loved about him were his charming and courtly ways.

He loved kissing ladies' hands as a greeting. When he met and kissed Bergen's mother's hand, Bergen says she thought her mother would faint, as she told her:

"Oh, Candy, can't you marry him?"

Candice Bergen and Louis Malle at the Ziegfeld Theater circa 1981 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

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The two grew close, but unlike many lovebirds whose goal is to get married eventually, it was different for Bergen and Malle. They were both not big on making their union official. Bergen had been on her own since she was 19 and was unsure she wanted to surrender her independence.

On the other hand, Malle had been married before, and even though his union with his first wife had borne him two children, it was shortlived and only lasted three years. It is thus not a surprise that they were both skeptical about getting married. 

MARRYING MALLE AND CREATING A BOND WITH HIS TWO CHILDREN

Candice Bergen during "Rich and Famous" New York Premiere at Ziegfeld Theater in New York City, New York, United States. | Source: Getty Images

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As their relationship grew, the pair began warming up to the idea of marriage. Bergen realized getting married did not mean losing herself. Malle, however, was still on the fence and would say to Bergen:

"Maybe we should just not get married and say we are. Or get married and say we are not."

Bergen would soon realize that Malle was famous for being indecisive, and she put her foot down, asking him to decide whether or not they would get married.

Louis Malle and Candice Bergen November 6, 1991 at Century Plaza Hotel in Century City, California, United States. | Source: Getty Images

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They decided they would and finally exchanged vows in France on September 27, 1980. Both Malle's children, Bergen's mother and brother attended the beautiful country wedding.

The first five years of being married were a happy time for the couple, and as Bergen would later say in her book, she loved being married to Malle. Malle was always thoughtful and would report whenever he thought he'd come home late. 

Candice Bergen and Louis Malle during 60th Annual Academy Awards at Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, CA, United States. | Source: Getty Images

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However, after the birth of their child, things began to change. Bergen then took a full-time job, and between that and caring for a new-born, her attention shifted almost entirely from her husband. 

There was also the balance of power issue, as her fame in "Murphy Brown" continued to skyrocket. Unfortunately, 15 years into their marriage, Malle succumbed to lymphoma, passing on during Thanksgiving Day in 1995.

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Bergen would find love again and walk down the aisle with Marshall Rose, a widowed real estate developer and philanthropist five years later. However, she felt guilty marrying someone else after Malle's death, especially in front of his two children, whom she had created a close bond with. 

She regrets how she handled the situation, referring to it as "awkward." Luckily, it all worked out in the end. She gushed over them, saying:

"They are two exceptional kids whom I care a great deal about, and I would hate not to have them in my life."

"I WAS OBSESSED"

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Candice Bergen and Chloe Malle during "Oliver & Company" Los Angeles Premiere at Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California, United States. | Source: Getty Images

The arrival of her daughter Chloe Françoise in 1985 was a blessing and the most incredible event of Bergen's life. The pregnancy had been challenging. And as the days moved along, Bergen's obstetrician discovered that Chloe was breeched.

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Bergen had to spend the rest of the pregnancy resting with her feet up. Chloe's birth was not any easier, but Bergen forgot all her troubles once she welcomed her baby girl into the world. The actress says she was happier than she thought she would ever be.

Actress Candice Bergen, left, and her daughter Chloe Malle arrive at the White House Correspondants dinner, on May 1, 2004 in Washington D.C. | Source: Getty Images

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She fell in love with her little girl, and it almost felt as if she was betraying her husband's love. She writes in her New York Times bestseller "A Fine Romance":

"I was obsessed."

Candice Bergen with Chloe Malle Bergen and Marshall Rose on June 19 2007 | Source: Getty Images

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Bergen practically raised her daughter alone for the formative years of Chloe's life. Malle's detest for Los Angeles had escalated following him losing the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film for the 1987 film "Au Revoir Les Enfants." 

That, coupled with the shift of his wife's attention, had informed his decision to go back to France for work. That meant Bergen had Chloe all to herself, and the mother-daughter bond only became stronger. 

BERGEN IS THRILLED TO BE A GRANDMOTHER

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Their bond has only grown stronger over the years, and today, mother and daughter are just as inseparable. In addition to being a doting mother, she now also takes pride in being a grandmother to Chloe's child, Arthur Louis Albert. An insider told Closer Weekly:

"Candice is exuberant. She's thrilled to embrace this new chapter in her life. It's pure love."

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She spoils her grandson with gifts, and even though she is always there whenever her daughter needs her, she is careful not to meddle and gives Chloe space to live her life.

More than being a doting grandmother, Bergen is also an entrepreneur. Together with her daughter, she paints the solar system and pets, from hamsters to horses and dogs, on thousand-dollar designer handbags she calls Bergenbags. 

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She runs her burgeoning business in her East Hampton home's backyard and has garnered clients in high places, including Julie Andrews, Lena Dunham, and Barbra Streisand. All proceeds from her projects go to charities.

When she's not painting, she loves watching "The West Wing" and eating vegetarian meals with her philanthropist and real estate developer husband, Marshall Rose. 

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