Melisa Mathison was an American television and a movie screenwriter. She also took part in the Tibetan movement of Freedom. The Oscar-nominated screenwriter wrote the screenplay for some movies including
She took birth in Los Angeles, California on 3rd June 1950. She wrote the screenplay for the Extra-Terrestrial (ET) and the Black Stallion. She won Best Writing Saturn Award for the movie Extra-Terrestrial (ET) and an Academy nomination for Best Original Screenplay.
Melissa Mathison died in Los Angeles on 4th November 2015 due to Neuro Endocrine cancer. She took birth in Los Angeles on 3rd June 1950 in a family of five children. Her parents were Margaret Jean Mathison and Richard Randolph Mathison.
Her father worked as bureau chief of Newsweek in Los Angeles. Her mother worked as a convenience-foods entrepreneur and a cuisine writer. As a child, Melissa went to the Providence High School. After passing out in 1968, she went to the University of California, Berkeley.
She had to leave her studies at Berkeley as her family friend
Francis Ford Coppola
offered Melissa job of an assistant on the sets of The Godfather Part II in 1974. After her start as an assistant, she got encouraged by Coppola and started working on a script for "The Black Stallion" inspired by a 1941 novel under the same name. Her screenplay got the interest of filmmaker Steven Spielberg.
In 1979, the adventure movie adaptation by Melisa and directed by Carroll Ballard got released. The Black Stallion got two Academy Award nominations, a Golden Globe nomination and a British Academy Award nomination.
This film brought Melissa into the limelight. In 1982, she wrote the screenplay of the Extra-Terrestrial (ET). The science-fiction movie became a Steven Spielberg directorial and turned out into a blockbuster. The movie is the highest earning film in the 1980’s.
ET is considered one of the best movies ever made and got nominated for Oscars in the category of Best Original Screenplay. In 1983, she married Henry Ford; they had two children, Georgia and Malcolm, the duo split up in 2004.
She wrote screenplays for several other movies including The Indian in the Cupboard released in 1995. In 1997, she collaborated with
to write the screenplay for Kundun. Melisa had known Dalai Lama from 1990, and that inspired her to write Kundun, the biographical film about his holiness got released in 1997.
marked her final movie with Steven Spielberg; the Roald Dahl’s book adaptation became a movie in her name as she died of Neuro Endocrine cancer in 2015.