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E.T. Screenwriter Melissa Mathison Dies at 65

11/4/2015 3:40 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

1104-melissa-mathison-getty-01Melissa Mathison, the woman who coined the phrase, "E.T. phone home" ... has died. She was 65 years old.

Mathison wrote the screenplay for the 1982 classic and was married to Harrison Ford for more than 20 years. Her brother confirmed she died Wednesday in L.A. after an illness, according to reports.

She and Ford had two children together ... Malcolm and Georgia. 

Melissa also wrote screenplays for blockbusters like "The Black Stallion," "The Indian In The Cupboard," and "The Escape Artist."

She will likely have one more hit with 'E.T.' director Steven Spielberg. She wrote the highly anticipated family fantasy "The BFG" ... which comes out next year.


LAPD to Quentin Tarantino We Have Your Back Even If You Don't Have Ours

11/4/2015 1:00 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF

1103-quentin-tarantino-tmz-getty-02Quentin Tarantino called the cops 13 days before whipping a crowd up into a frenzy over when he called police murderers, asking them to come over and deal with someone who broke onto his property.

Law enforcement tells TMZ, Quentin was at his L.A. home October 11th at around 2 PM when he noticed someone in his backyard. We're told Quentin asked the guy to leave but he refused. Either Quentin or a member of his staff then called 911 and asked cops to come help.

We're told cops arrived minutes later and talked to the intruder who left without incident.

Just 13 days later, Quentin addressed a crowd at a NYC rally against "police terror," and fired them up by saying, "When I see murders, I do not stand by ... I have to call a murder a murder and I have to call the murderers the murderers."   

Quentin just clarified his comments, saying he was not referring to all cops as "murderers."

A member of the LAPD hierarchy tells us the word going around the Dept. is that the famed director is "an ass but [they] will still respond to calls for service at his home in a professional and timely manner."

Mark Hamill I CAN'T WATCH 'STAR WARS' ... Force Is Too Strong

11/4/2015 6:17 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF

Somebody call Yoda, 'cause Luke Skywalker has some serious confidence issues.

Mark Hamill tells TMZ ... unlike millions of nerds across the galaxy, he refuses to watch the old "Star Wars" movies ... and it's all because he's super insecure about seeing himself on-screen. 

Hamill was leaving Greenblatt's Deli on the Sunset Strip when we asked him if there was a proper order to watch all of the "Star Wars" flicks. 

That's when the Jedi master told us he just can't do it ... "I just don't like really watching myself ... because you see all the flaws."

Hamill says he LOVES everyone else in the flicks -- Harrison, Carrie, Billy Dee -- but when it comes to Luke, all he sees is the dark side. 

For the record ... DUDE, YOU WERE AWESOME!!!!! 

Melanie Griffith Selling Empty Nest In Aspen

11/3/2015 1:32 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

Melanie Griffith is learning that a home in the middle of nowhere might be hard to sell ... even if it’s posh Aspen, you know, where the beer flows like wine.

Griffith just lowered the price of her incredible Aspen retreat by a mil, after originally listing it for $9.9 million back in June.

We're told Melanie is ready to let go of the place now that all her kids are older and the massive home is not worth the hassle. She plans on staying at hotels when she visits.

She should find a buyer … the 7 bedroom pad has breathtaking 360 views of the Maroon Bells ... with a major bonus -- its own private ski run! It's also not too far from the lifts at Aspen Highlands and Ajax.

Griffith’s been suffering major empty nest syndrome since her split with ex Antonio Banderas … first getting rid of the LA home they shared and now the Aspen mega-cabin.

Kurt Russell I Just Wanna Celebrate ... Quentin's Protest Not My Problem

11/2/2015 6:47 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF

Kurt Russell's been around long enough to know how the game's played -- if your movie wins an award, shut up about the director being embroiled in a controversy about police brutality!

We got Kurt -- with Tim Roth and Walton Goggins -- hours after their flick, "Hateful Eight" won the Hollywood Film Award for best ensemble. Quentin Tarantino wrote and directed the movie ... long before he joined a NYC protest against police brutality.

Quentin's vocal stance reportedly got him in hot water with executive producer Harvey Weinstein, who probably doesn't want controversy affecting the box office.

As Kurt and the cast left Mr Chow Saturday night, they were obviously trying to keep it light. Translation: Just win, baby.

Fred Thompson Ex Senator & 'Law & Order' Star Dies

11/1/2015 3:53 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

1101-fred-thompson-getty-01Former U.S. Senator and longtime Hollywood actor Fred Thompson died in Tennessee today after battling cancer.

Thompson famously co-starred in tons of big budget movies, like "Die Hard 2," "The Hunt for Red October" and "Cape Fear" -- before going on to win office as a U.S. Senator for Tennessee.

Thompson served in the Senate from 1994 to 2003. He was also an attorney and was appointed minority counsel for the Republican Senators who were on the Watergate Committee.

After his time in office Thompson went back to acting, and most notably starred in a couple of "Law and Order" TV series as D.A. Arthur Branch.

In 2007, he briefly jumped back into politics ... attempting to win the Republican nomination for President. He eventually dropped out of the race in early 2008.

His family said he died peacefully in Nashville, surrounded by loved ones. They said he'd been battling lymphoma.

Thompson was 73.


Ice Cube Jerry Heller Lawsuit?? That's News to Me

10/30/2015 3:13 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Ice Cube is true to his name -- the guy who just got sued for the millions and millions of dollars he made off "Straight Outta Compton" doesn't seem the least bit concerned.

Cube touched down at LAX just a few hours after Jerry Heller filed a lawsuit against him, and Dr. Dre, and NBC Universal for defaming him and ripping him off with the 'Compton' script.

There's potentially more than $100 million on the line, so you might expect Ice Cube to be pissed -- but check out the clip.

It's like you just saw the Goodyear Blimp, and ... 

Jerry Heller Sues Dr. Dre, Cube and 'Compton' Producers for Defamation

10/30/2015 10:38 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

1030-jerry-heller-dr-dre-TMZ-01Jerry Heller is suing everyone connected with "Straight Outta Compton," alleging the movie defamed him ... and he wants $110 MILLION minimum.

Heller has just filed suit against Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, the Estate of Eazy-E, NBC Universal and others, claiming the portrayal of him in the movie was false and damaging.

Heller says he was portrayed as "the bad guy" and "a sleazy manager who took advantage of Eazy-E, Dr. Dre and Ice Cube." And he says there are other lies in the movie, including:

-- He withheld a $75k check from Ice Cube

-- He fraudulently induced Dre and Cube to sign unfavorable contracts 

-- He enjoyed lobster brunches while the contracts were being signed

-- He was fired by Eazy-E

He claims he never gave permission to use his likeness and he wants profits from the movie as well because NBC sold tickets off his back.  He also claims producers used his book without permission for pivotal scenes, including the one where Suge Knight strong-armed Eazy-E into signing away his rights to Death Row.

And this is funny ... he says producers didn't even bother to give his character a fake name, like "Gary Beller."

You'll recall Heller sat in the front row with his lawyers when the movie premiered.

He's suing for $35 million in compensatory damages and at least $75 mil in punitives ... plus all profits from the flick.

Zola The Stripper Hollywood's Knockin' At My Door

10/30/2015 12:50 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

1029-zola-instagram-01Zola -- the woman whose Twitter tale has taken the Internet by storm -- might soon have her own movie or TV series because Hollywood execs are hitting her up left and right.

Unless you've been living under a rock this week, Zola gained global attention when she took to Twitter and told the story of her trip to Florida to strip with a "white bitch" named Jessica. Zola tells TMZ her story captivated execs at MTV, VICE, WME and a few independent film makers.

Zola says she'd like her own TV series about her days as a dancer and wants Meagan Good or KeKe Palmer to play her.  

Zola's married to the guy from the saga and she's expecting a kid. She tells us she hasn't stripped since her wild weekend in March.   

We smell an Oscar.   

Robert Englund Freddy Krueger Resurfaces for Halloween

10/30/2015 6:53 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

It's Robert Englund's day for sure, and he gave us his best Freddy Krueger impersonation at LAX.

The 'Nightmare on Elm Street' star said he's working with the folks on "The Walking Dead" to celebrate Halloween.

He also gave up his idea for a 'Nightmare' sequel.


Dennis Quaid Thanks Donald For Inspiring My 'Don't-Give-a-F***' Character

10/28/2015 2:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Dennis Quaid can thank Donald Trump for inspiring him on his new Crackle show, "The Art Of More."

We're told Quaid and Trump are buds and his "I don't give a f***" persona perfect fits Quaid's character. In fact, the two have played golf together so Dennis knows Trump's mannerisms.

The show's about the shady secrets of the art world. Quaid plays a billionaire real estate tycoon who wants to try his hand in politics.   

The show premieres next month. 

Prince Harry The One Question You Want Him to Answer

10/29/2015 6:42 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

If you were a TMZ photog and could fire off one question to Prince Harry, what would it be?

From our vantage point our photog Colin did it right, because it could have at the very least gotten a chuckle.

You may disagree ...

DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg Car Crashes, Surgeries and Bum Arms Won't Keep Me From Work!!!

10/24/2015 12:30 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

1024-jeffery-katzenberg-getty-02Jeffrey Katzenberg can't drive right now but he's still a driven man ... because he won't let a pesky car accident that landed him in a hospital O.R. keep him from running his super successful company.

We've learned Jeffrey was driving his Tesla in Bev Hills Monday when he got in a bad accident ... so bad he was taken to a nearby hospital.

We're told doctors operated on his arm and when they were done they put the appendage in a full cast.

Painful for sure, but Tuesday morning the DreamWorks Animation CEO was back at work, holding meetings and making deals ... pain be damned.

You wanna be a big shot ... work through the pain, and keep on working.

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