Melissa Mathison, the screenwriter of “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial” and ex-wife of Harrison Ford, died Wednesday at the age of 65 in Los Angeles, Variety reported. She suffered from an illness, but the publication didn’t identify the sickness.
Mathison was nominated for an Oscar for “E.T.,” the 1982 blockbuster directed by Steven Spielberg. She also wrote the original screenplays for “The Black Stallion,” Martin Scorsese’s 1997 “Kundun,” “The Indian in the Cupboard” and “The Escape Artist.” Most recently, she wrote the screenplay for Spielberg’s Roald Dahl adaptation “The BFG,” which has wrapped production.
Ford, 73, had not issued a response about the death of his second wife at the time this story was written.
After 18 years of marriage, Mathison filed for legal separation from the A-list actor in 2001, People magazine wrote at the time. She cited irreconcilable differences. "The separation is amicable, and the couple remain very friendly,” Ford's longtime manager, Patricia McQueeney, said in 2001.
By 2004 they were divorced. "It's a damn shame," writer Warren Adler told People when the couple broke up. "Obviously they've been having their problems, but such is life. They are very devoted family people, so a split comes as a shock."
While Mathison never remarried, Ford found love again with “Supergirl” actress Calista Flockhart. The two were married in 2010. They have one child, Liam Flockhart, together. Like Ford, she has yet to release a comment about Mathison’s death.
Mathison is survived by the two children she had with Ford, Georgia and Malcolm.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.
— Variety (@Variety) November 4, 2015
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