Hollywood Iconoclast Phillips Dies
Movie producer Julia Phillips, 57, who in 1973 made Hollywood history as the first woman ever to win a Best Picture Oscar (for "The Sting"), died Tuesday at her West Hollywood home. Yet the outspoken Hollywood figure, who made no secret of her many indulgences, will probably be best remembered for her rage-ridden 1990 memoir "You'll Never Eat Lunch in This Town Again," which skewered such former colleagues as Goldie Hawn and Steven Spielberg. Family members said she had been diagnosed with cancer in August. After the success of "The Sting," which she coproduced, Phillips closed out the '70s with successes including Martin Scorsese's acclaimed "Taxi Driver" in 1976 and Spielberg's 1977 smash, "Close Encounters of the Third Kind." Her candid and highly scandalous book, whose title had to do with her being banned from the popular industry hangout Morton's (because she was told her presence would upset people), set a precedent of sorts for Hollywood autobiographies. It was an insider's chronicle of petty indiscretions and vindictiveness within studio corridors of power. For once, in a town that often prides itself on whitewash, a player named names. Her son-in-law, Modi Wiczyk, told the Los Angeles Times that Phillips based her life on a two-word philosophy: "No rules." Phillips is survived by daughter Kate Phillips (by ex-husband and former business partner Michael Phillips), and a brother, Matthew Miller of Connecticut. In a statement, Scorsese said, "She was a friend, and I am sad for her loss."
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