‘E.T.’ screenwriter Melissa Mathison dies, aged 65
Screenwriter Melissa Mathison has passed away at the age of 65.
Mathison received an Oscar nomination for her original screenplay to Steven Spielberg’s 1982 classic E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial, which was partly inspired by the divorce of the director’s parents. “Melissa had a heart that shined with generosity and love and burned as bright as the heart she gave E.T.,” Spielberg said in a statement yesterday.
Mathison’s other screenwriting credits include 1997’s Kundun, a film about the 14th Dalai Lama directed by Martin Scorsese. Mathison forged a friendship with the Dalai Lama while working on the film’s screenplay and later became an activist for Tibet freedom.
Her other screenplays included 1979’s The Black Stallion and 1995’s The Indian In The Cupboard. She also wrote the screenplay to Steven Spielberg’s forthcoming adaptation of Roald Dahl’s The BFG, which will open in cinemas next year.
Mathison was married to Harrison Ford from 1983 to 2004 and is survived by their two children. Her brother confirmed she had died yesterday following a battle with neuroendocrine cancer.