Bettina Gilois, ‘McFarland USA’ and ‘Bessie’ Screenwriter, Dies at 58

Emmy-nominated screenwriter died on Sunday after a battle with cancer

Bettina Gilois, a screenwriter who worked on “McFarland USA” and “Bessie,” has died from cancer. She was 58.

Gilois passed away on Sunday, her friend told multiple media outlets. TheWrap has reached out to representatives for Gilois.

Along with “McFarland USA,” Gilois co-wrote the film “Glory Road” about Texas Western college basketball team of the 1960s, and “The Lost Wife of Robert Durst,” a 2017 Lifetime TV movie that starred Katharine McPhee. The HBO pic “Bessie” starred Queen Latifah as Bessie Smith. Gilois received an Emmy nomination for co-writing the biopic about the legendary blues singer, which she shared with Dee Rees, Christopher Cleveland and Horton Foote.

Gilois was in the middle of writing the series “Muscle Shoals” about the famed Alabama recording studio, which was being produced by Johnny Depp, with Nancy Wilson of Heart composing the music.

In the 1990s, Gilois served as a producer on “Fire Birds,” starring Nicolas Cage, and “Triple Bogey on a Par Five Hole.”

Another friend of Gilois, Robbie Brinkley, posted a tribute on Instagram.

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