×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Gloria Katz, ‘American Graffiti’ Screenwriter, ‘Star Wars’ Script Doctor, Dies at 76

Gloria Katz, the Oscar-nominated screenwriter of “American Graffiti” who helped polish the final “Star Wars” script, died on Sunday. She was 76.

She died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles following a battle with cancer. Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment confirmed Katz’ passing in a tweet on its official account, writing, “Very sad news to report tonight. Gloria Katz, who wrote INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM for us with her husband Willard Huyck, has passed away. Our deepest condolences to Mr. Huyck and loved ones.”

Katz co-wrote 1973’s “American Graffiti” with her husband Willard Huyck and director George Lucas. In addition to an Academy Award nod, “American Graffiti” won the National Society of Film Critics Award and the New York Film Critics Circle Award for best screenplay.

Later, Katz and Huyck re-teamed with Lucas to revise his fourth and final draft of 1977’s “Star Wars,” including shaping and strengthening Carrie Fisher’s Princess Leia character.

The couple penned the screenplay for Steven Spielberg’s “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom,” along with “Lucky Lady,” “Messiah of Evil,” “French Postcards,” “Best Defense,” “Howard the Duck,” and  “Radioland Murders.” She also served on the board of the Writers Guild of America.

Lea Thompson, who starred in “Howard the Duck,” posted a tribute on Twitter. She wrote, “My friend Gloria Katz just passed away. She was the producer writer of #HowardtheDuck she was funny and wry and beautiful. She also worked on #americangraffiti and #StarWars this photo is from one of the long nights of shooting. #Rip Gloria. And thanks.”

Katz was born in Los Angeles attended UC Berkeley and UCLA and married Huyck in 1969. She is survived by her husband and their daughter.

More Film

  • Mid 90s

    Jonah Hill's 'mid90s,' Pauline Kael Documentary to Screen in Berlin's Panorama Section

    Jonah Hill’s directorial debut, “mid90s,” about a 13-year-old skateboarder’s coming of age, and a documentary on influential film critic Pauline Kael are among the works that will screen in the Panorama section of the upcoming Berlin Film Festival. Films starring Tilda Swinton and Jamie Bell and titles from countries including Israel, Brazil and Japan were [...]

  • 'Your Name' Director Makoto Shinkai Readies

    ‘Your Name' Director Makoto Shinkai Readies 'Weathering'

    Three years after the animation “Your Name” began its long triumphant reign over the Japanese and international box office, its director Makoto Shinkai has announced his next animated feature. Titled “Weathering With You,” the film will arrive in theaters in Japan on July 19 of next year, with Toho distributing. Set in a world where [...]

  • Berlin: The Match Factory Boards New

    Berlin: The Match Factory Boards Competition Titles From Fatih Akin, Emin Alper (EXCLUSIVE)

    German indie powerhouse The Match Factory will handle world sales on two Berlin Film Festival competition titles: German director Fatih Akin’s serial-killer chiller “The Golden Glove” and Turkish director Emin Alper’s family drama “A Tale of Three Sisters.”  Akin, a Hamburg native whose “Head-On” won the Golden Bear in 2004, is returning to the Berlinale [...]

  • First-Look Image Revealed for ‘Monday,’ Starring

    First-Look Image Revealed for ‘Monday,’ Starring ‘Captain America’s’ Sebastian Stan

    The first-look image from Greek director Argyris Papadimitropoulos’ “Monday,” starring Sebastian Stan – best known for “I, Tonya” and the “Captain America” movies – and “Colette’s” Denise Gough, has been released. Protagonist Pictures will launch international sales on the pic in Berlin. “Monday” follows the story of Mickey (Stan) and Chloe (Gough), two Americans in [...]

  • The Wedding

    Film Review: 'The Wedding'

    Two considerations need to exist side by side when discussing “The Wedding,” the debut feature of Egyptian-American multihyphenate Sam Abbas. One involves the film itself, a dull slice of Lower Manhattan mumblecore about a heterosexual New York couple fitfully planning their wedding until she discovers his gay dalliance. The other, getting the lion’s share of [...]

  • The Best Gifts For Film Buffs

    Holiday Gift Guide: The Best Gifts For Film Buffs

    Whether you know a film buff who needs to upgrade their collection, or you just want to upgrade your movie nights at home, here are eight gifts that will cast your favorite flicks in a whole new light. 1. Ingmar Bergman’s Cinema: The Criterion Collection Thirty-nine films from the legendary Swedish filmmaker are collected in [...]

  • Ansel Elgort The Great High School

    Film News Roundup: Ansel Elgort to Star in 'The Great High School Imposter'

    In today’s film news roundup, Ansel Elgort is going to high school, “Rockaway” gets a release, and “Suspiria” producer Bradley Fischer is honored. CASTING Ansel Elgort has come aboard to star in the drama “The Great High School Imposter” for Participant Media and Condé Nast Entertainment. The project is based on a Daniel Riley GQ [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content