Gloria Katz, ‘American Graffiti’ and ‘Temple of Doom’ Screenwriter, Dies at 76

Alongside her husband Willard Huyck, Katz also punched up the script for George Lucas’ original “Star Wars”

gloria katz
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Gloria Katz, the Oscar-nominated screenwriter who co-wrote “American Graffiti” and “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom,” died Sunday following a battle with ovarian cancer. She was 76.

Katz co-wrote “Graffiti” with her husband of 50 years, Willard Huyck, and director George Lucas. The three went on to win the National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Screenplay and the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Screenplay, and were nominated for an Academy Award.

“Graffiti” was the beginning of a long association between the couple and Lucas, which continued when Katz and Huyck worked uncredited as script doctors on his 1977 blockbuster “Star Wars.”

The pair later co-wrote the Steven Spielberg-directed “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom,” “Howard the Duck,” directed by Huyck, and “Radioland Murders,” all three of which were Lucasfilm productions.

Other films Katz co-wrote include “Lucky Lady” (1975), “French Postcards” (1979), and “Best Defense” (1982). Born in Los Angeles in 1942, Katz attended UC Berkeley and UCLA.

Katz also served on the board of the Writers Guild of America and an adviser at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures.

“My friend Gloria Katz just passed away. She was the producer writer of #HowardtheDuck she was funny and wry and beautiful,” wrote “Howard the Duck” actress Lea Thompson on Twitter. “She also worked on #americangraffiti and #StarWars this photo is from one of the long nights of shooting. #Rip Gloria. And thanks.”

“Very sad news to report tonight. Gloria Katz, who wrote INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM for us with her husband Willard Huyck, has passed awa,” Amblin Entertainment said on Twitter. “Our deepest condolences to Mr. Huyck and loved ones.”

She is survived by Huyck, whom she married in 1969, and their daughter, Rebecca.