Tributes flow for ET screenwriter Melissa Mathison, who has died aged 65

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Melissa Mathison with her ex-husband Harrison Ford, the pair separated after 21 years.

Melissa Mathison with her ex-husband Harrison Ford, the pair separated after 21 years.

Melissa Mathison, the screenwriter who crafted the enchanting worlds of iconic family films including E.T. the Extra Terrestrial, has died.

She passed away on Wednesday at age 65 after a bout with neuroendocrine cancer, her sister, Melinda Mathison Johnson, confirmed.

The LA native had a humble but high-profile start - her first credited work was in assistant roles on The Godfather: Part II and Apocalypse Now, before she broke out with her script for The Black Stallion.

She often collaborated with producers Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall and worked with directors like Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese and Frank Oz.

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Her last credited work is on Spielberg's adaptation of Roald Dahl's The BFG, which comes out next year.

Mathison was married to Harrison Ford for 21 years. The pair have two children.

News of her death has prompted fans and Hollywood personalities to pay tribute to the writer whose work has touched so many.

AAP