Melissa Mathison, most famous for writing the screenplay for one of the most iconic movies ever made, E.T., died on Wednesday from neuroendocrine cancer.
Melissa Mathison was only 65, but the footprint she left in Hollywood was beyond her years.
Only in her early 30’s, Melissa Mathison got her big break when she wrote the screenplay for E.T., which earned her an Oscar nomination.
However, that wasn’t even Melissa Mathison’s beginning. She was a student at UC Berkeley when she left that life for show business. She had been offered a role in crafting The Godfather: Part II as Francis Ford Coppola’s assistant.
From there, Melissa Mathison went on to mold one of Hollywood’s best eras, helping with Apocalypse Now and writing the script for The Black Stallion.
Working on Apocalyps Now Melissa Mathison met Harrison Ford, whom would later become her husband. They divorced in 2004 but is was Ford, along with Steven Spielberg, who convinced her to write the screenplay for E.T. while they were filming Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Spielberg spoke highly of Melissa Mathison after hearing of her passing. He said, “Melissa had a heart that shined with generosity and love and burned as bright as the heart she gave E.T.”
Melissa Mathison also had the privilege of collaborating with Kathleen Kennedy.
Kennedy said of her friend, “Melissa was a remarkable friend not only to me but to everyone who had the privilege to know her. She was fiercely intelligent, confident, soulful, strong and had a smile that would light up a room. I will miss her terribly.”
Melissa Mathison will surely remain an icon in Hollywood history. Do you remember seeing E.T. for the first time?