Via USAToday.com

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Hollywood writer and director has announced the death of his wife and longtime collaborator, Gloria Katz, who co-wrote “American Graffiti” and helped give Princess Leia her power in “Star Wars.” She was 76.

Willard Huyck told the Hollywood Reporter that Katz died on Sunday, their 49th wedding anniversary, at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles after battling ovarian cancer.

The couple shared an Oscar nomination with director George Lucas for “American Graffiti” and secretly doctored his script for “Star Wars.” The Reporter quoted Katz as saying they shaped Carrie Fisher’s Leia into someone who “can take command,” not “just a beautiful woman that schlepped along to be saved.”

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