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Thread: Melissa Mathison, ET screenwriter, dies aged 65 in Los Angeles

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    Default Melissa Mathison, ET screenwriter, dies aged 65 in Los Angeles

    Melissa Mathison, ET screenwriter, dies aged 65 in Los Angeles

    The Guardian
    Nigel M Smith 1 hour ago

    © PA Melissa Mathison with her former husband of 17 years, Harrison Ford, in 1998. The screenwriter behind ET has died in Los Angeles.

    Melissa Mathison, the Oscar-nominated writer behind Steven Spielberg’s 1982 classic ET: The Extra Terrestrial has died in Los Angeles.

    The screenwriter, 65, also known for The Black Stallion and Martin Scorsese’s Kundun, died on Wednesday after an illness.

    Mathison was married to actor Harrison Ford from 1983 to 2004 – the pair met on the set of Apocalypse Now – and had two children with the Star Wars star.

    In a statement, Spielberg, who worked closely with Mathison on ET, said: “Melissa had a heart that shined with generosity and love and burned as bright as the heart she gave ET.”

    Spielberg credited her heavily for the film’s enormous success, saying on the DVD special edition: “It was a script I was willing to shoot the next day. It was so honest, and Melissa’s voice made a direct connection with my heart.”

    Mathison also served as assistant producer on the film.

    The pair recently reunited for the big screen adaptation of Roald Dahl’s beloved children’s novel The BFG, starring Mark Rylance, which is in post-production. The project marked her first screenplay in nearly two decades. The film is set to open in 2016.

    Mathison also wrote the scripts for Franz Oz’s adaptation of the children’s book The Indian in the Cupboard (1995), The Escape Artist (1982), and Spielberg’s Kick the Can segment of Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983).

    After striking up a friendship with the Dalai Lama while working on Kundun for Scorsese, Mathison became an activist for Tibetan freedom, according to Deadline.

    Before her death, she served on the board of the International Campaign for Tibet.

    Revisiting ET on its 20th anniversary, the Guardian film critic Peter Bradshaw picked out Mathison’s final “inspired” speech for Elliot, writing: “You simply don’t have a pulse if you don’t feel your spine tingling and scalp prickling at these lines: ‘I don’t know how to feel; I can’t feel anything any more. I love you, ET.’ ”

  2. #2
    Elite Member gas_chick's Avatar
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    Man did I love ET. I still cry when I watch it. RIP.
    Fly_On_TheWall likes this.
    I am going to come and burn the fucking house down... but you will blow me first."

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    Very sad. 65 is so young.

  4. #4
    Elite Member Mrs P's Avatar
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    Oct 2008


    Quote Originally Posted by tulip View Post
    Very sad. 65 is so young.

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