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Thursday, 3 January, 2002, 09:37 GMT
Oscar-winner Phillips dies
Phillips transformed herself into an author
Phillips transformed herself into an author
Julia Phillips, the first woman to win a best picture Academy Award, has died from cancer at the age of 57.

One of Hollywood's most controversial figures, she produced three of the most iconic pictures of the 1970s - The Sting, Taxi Driver and Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

In the 1990s she wrote a scathing attack on the Hollywood system with her memoirs You'll Never Eat Lunch In This Town Again.

Ruth Vitale, co-president of Paramount Classics, told Variety: "She was as ferocious a friend as she was a foe.

"She said what she meant and always said it. In this town, that's a rare asset."


Ms Phillips was born Julia Miller in New York in 1944.

Her father was one of the top scientists in the US, working on the atom bomb.

After marrying Michael Phillips she helped set up Bill/Phillips Productions, along with actor Tony Bill.

She shot to fame aged 26 when she became the first woman to pick up a best picture Academy Award, for her work producing The Sting in 1973.

Another nomination followed when she teamed up with Martin Scorsese to make Taxi Driver, starring Robert De Niro and Jodie Foster in 1976.


Success continued a year later when she worked with Stephen Spielberg on the space drama Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

However, problems entered her life when she became a heavy drug user.

In 1991 she transformed herself into an author with You'll Never Eat Lunch In This Town Again and her brutally honest assessment of the industry made the book a bestseller.

She wrote a 1995 sequel to the book, Driving Under The Affluence.

A TV movie about her life is in development.

See also:

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Obituaries: 2001
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Obituaries: 2000
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Obituaries: 1999
01 Jan 02 | Showbiz
Screen and singing legends mourned
26 Aug 01 | Music
Aaliyah: A rising star lost
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