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Gloria Katz, who co-wrote 'American Graffiti' and quietly worked on 'Star Wars' script, dead at 76


Gloria Katz has died at 76. (Rodrigo Vaz / FilmMagic)

Gloria Katz, who penned the scripts for some of George Lucas’ most iconic films, has died following a fight with ovarian cancer.

She was 76.

The longtime Hollywood screenwriter passed away at Los Angeles’ Cedars-Sinai Medical Center on Sunday, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Katz wrote or contributed to the scripts for classic blockbusters including “American Graffiti,” the original “Star Wars” and “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.”

She collaborated with her husband, fellow screenwriter Willard Huyck, on a number of projects, including co-writing “American Graffiti” with him and Lucas. The classic 1973 comedy netted an Oscar nomination for Katz, Huyck and Lucas.

Katz opened up in an interview last year about her clandestine contributions to 1977’s “Star Wars,” telling the website The Mary Sue that she and her husband wrote about 30% of the script.

“George was writing the script and he had a lot of reservations about it, but he knew filming had to start,” she recalled. “He said, ‘Polish it–write anything you want and then I’ll go over it and see what I need.’ George didn’t want anyone to know we worked on the script, so we were in a cone of silence.”

Katz explained that they helped add humor to the script while ensuring Princess Leia was a strong, assertive character rather than someone just waiting to be rescued.

Huyck, who confirmed his wife’s passing to THR, and Katz had one child together — a daughter named Rebecca, who is now 35.

Katz’s other notable works include serving as the writer of “Howard the Duck” and “Best Defense.”