Star Wars screenwriter Gloria Katz who gave Princess Leia her spunk dies at age 76

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Star Wars screenwriter Gloria Katz has died.

The writer-and-producer – who secretly helped Lucas finish his script for the first movie in the sci-fi franchise, 1977’s A New Hope – passed away at the age of 76 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre in Los Angeles on Sunday.

She had battled with ovarian cancer.

Legendary writer: Star Wars screenwriter Gloria Katz has died. The writer-and-producer - who secretly helped Lucas finish his script for the first movie in the sci-fi franchise, 1977's A New Hope - passed away at 76  in Los Angeles on Sunday; seen in 2013

Legendary writer: Star Wars screenwriter Gloria Katz has died. The writer-and-producer - who secretly helped Lucas finish his script for the first movie in the sci-fi franchise, 1977's A New Hope - passed away at 76  in Los Angeles on Sunday; seen in 2013

Legendary writer: Star Wars screenwriter Gloria Katz has died. The writer-and-producer – who secretly helped Lucas finish his script for the first movie in the sci-fi franchise, 1977’s A New Hope – passed away at 76 in Los Angeles on Sunday; seen in 2013

 She did it well: The writer gave Princess Leia, played by Carrie Fisher, her spunk. Carrie in 1977's A New Hope with Harrison Ford as Han Solo, left, and Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker, right

 She did it well: The writer gave Princess Leia, played by Carrie Fisher, her spunk. Carrie in 1977's A New Hope with Harrison Ford as Han Solo, left, and Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker, right

 She did it well: The writer gave Princess Leia, played by Carrie Fisher, her spunk. Carrie in 1977’s A New Hope with Harrison Ford as Han Solo, left, and Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker, right

Sunday also marked her 49th wedding anniversary to Willard Huyck.

Katz and Willard’s impact on Star Wars included them helping Lucas redefine Carrie Fisher’s alter ego Princess Leia by convincing him to make her a tougher character. 

‘She can take command; she doesn’t take any s**t, but at the same time she’s vulnerable … instead of just a beautiful woman that schlepped along to be saved,’ she said.

Katz also revealed that Lucas wanted her and her husband to polish what he had created, but didn’t want people to know that anyone else had worked on it.

A team: Sunday also marked her 49th wedding anniversary to Willard Huyck. Katz and Willard's impact on Star Wars included them helping Lucas redefine  Fisher's alter ego Princess Leia by convincing him to make her a tougher character

A team: Sunday also marked her 49th wedding anniversary to Willard Huyck. Katz and Willard's impact on Star Wars included them helping Lucas redefine  Fisher's alter ego Princess Leia by convincing him to make her a tougher character

A team: Sunday also marked her 49th wedding anniversary to Willard Huyck. Katz and Willard’s impact on Star Wars included them helping Lucas redefine Fisher’s alter ego Princess Leia by convincing him to make her a tougher character

She explained: ‘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 often collaborated with her spouse Willard on Lucas’ movies, including Indiana Jones And The Temple of Doom and American Graffiti – which was nominated for five Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay for Lucas, Huyck and Katz.

The couple met through friends in the 1960s while she was a film student at U.C.L.A. and Willard was studying the same subject at U.S.C. – where he befriended Lucas.

A lot of attitude for a princess: Leia was no victim, she was a brave fighter who helped the resistance and was a role model for women

A lot of attitude for a princess: Leia was no victim, she was a brave fighter who helped the resistance and was a role model for women

A lot of attitude for a princess: Leia was no victim, she was a brave fighter who helped the resistance and was a role model for women

Daddy issues: Leia also stood up to the dark and menacing Darth Vader, who audiences found out in Return Of The Jedi was her father

Daddy issues: Leia also stood up to the dark and menacing Darth Vader, who audiences found out in Return Of The Jedi was her father

Daddy issues: Leia also stood up to the dark and menacing Darth Vader, who audiences found out in Return Of The Jedi was her father

Carrie, who played Leia, died in December 2016 just before her mother Debbie Reynolds passed away.

Leia has been in several of the Star Wars movies and will re-appear in the next installment as director JJ Abrams has revealed he has extra footage of her from Force Awakens. 

Carrie’s daughter Billie Lourd will also reprise her role in the film.

Star Wars: Episode IX is due to be released on December 20, 2019. It will be the third and final installment of the Star Wars sequel trilogy and the ninth and final installment of the main Star Wars film franchise, following The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi. 

The show must go on! Carrie, who played Leia, died in December 2016 just before her mother Debbie Reynolds passed away. Leia has been in several of the Star Wars movies and will re-appear in the next installment as director JJ Abrams has revealed he has extra footage of her from Force Awakens. Carrie's daughter Billie Lourd will also reprise her role in the film. Seen in 2015 in Los Angeles

The show must go on! Carrie, who played Leia, died in December 2016 just before her mother Debbie Reynolds passed away. Leia has been in several of the Star Wars movies and will re-appear in the next installment as director JJ Abrams has revealed he has extra footage of her from Force Awakens. Carrie's daughter Billie Lourd will also reprise her role in the film. Seen in 2015 in Los Angeles

The show must go on! Carrie, who played Leia, died in December 2016 just before her mother Debbie Reynolds passed away. Leia has been in several of the Star Wars movies and will re-appear in the next installment as director JJ Abrams has revealed he has extra footage of her from Force Awakens. Carrie’s daughter Billie Lourd will also reprise her role in the film. Seen in 2015 in Los Angeles

 


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