Melissa Mathison, E.T. Screenwriter and Harrison Ford’s Ex-Wife, Dead at 65

Melissa Mathison
Melissa Mathison has passed away -- details Jason Merritt/WireImage

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial screenwriter and Harrison Ford’s ex-wife Melissa Mathison has passed away, her brother Dirk Mathison confirmed to Variety. The Oscar-nominated screenwriter was 65. According to Entertainment Weekly, Mathison died in Los Angeles on Wednesday, Nov. 4, from complications of neuroendocrine cancer.

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“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 THR.

Drew Barrymore and E.T.
Drew Barrymore and E.T. Getty Images

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Mathison was married to the Star Wars actor, 73, from 1983 to 2004, after meeting on set of Apocalypse Now in 1976. Together they share two children Malcolm and Georgia.

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Mathison’s credits also include The Black Stallion, The Escape Artist, Indian in the Cupboard, Kundon, and The BFG.


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