Melissa Mathison, ‘E.T.’ Screenwriter, Dead at 65

The Oscar-nominated writer and Harrison Ford’s ex-wife also penned “The Black Stallion” and Steven Spielberg’s upcoming adaptation of “The BFG”

Last Updated: November 4, 2015 @ 9:03 PM

Melissa Mathison, screenwriter for “E.T.,” “The Black Stallion” and Martin Scorsese‘s “Kundun,” died Wednesday in Los Angeles after an illness. She was 65.

Mathison was married to “Star Wars” actor Harrison Ford from 1983 to 2004 and they had two children together.

The Oscar-nominated writer recently wrote the screenplay for Steven Spielberg‘s Roald Dahl adaptation of “The BFG,” after working with the filmmaker on “E.T.” in 1982, for which she received an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay. “The BFG” is currently in post-production.

“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 to TheWrap.

Mathison also penned screenplays for “The Indian in the Cupboard,” “The Escape Artist,” a segment in the “Twilight Zone” movie and TV movie “Son of the Morning Star.”

Mathison is survived by her two children Malcolm Ford and Georgia Ford. Her death was confirmed by her brother, Dirk Mathison.

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