December 10, 2018

Obituaries:Oscar-Nominated Screenwriter, Holocaust Survivor,

Eva Chorub and Gloria Katz

Gloria Katz, Oscar-Nominated Screenwriter, 76
Gloria Katz, who partnered with husband Willard Huyck and director George Lucas to write “American Graffiti,” died Nov. 25 — her 49th wedding anniversary — at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, according to The Hollywood Reporter. She was 76. The newspaper said she had ovarian cancer.

Katz made rewrites for the character of Princess Leia for Lucas’ follow-up to “Graffiti,” “Star Wars.” In a 2017 interview with The Hollywood Reporter, she said Lucas had “a lot of reservations” about his “Star Wars” (1977) script as filming was about to begin. “He said, ‘Polish it — write anything you want and then I’ll go over it and see what I need,’ ” Katz said. “George didn’t want anyone to know we worked on the script, so we were in a cone of silence.”

Katz envisioned Princess Leia to be a woman who “can take command; she doesn’t take any s— … instead of just [being] a beautiful woman that shlepped along to be saved,” Katz said.

Katz and Huyck also co-wrote “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” (1984), produced by Lucas from his story. 

The couple shared, with Lucas, an Oscar nomination in 1974 for their “American Graffiti” script.

The couple also co-wrote the screenplays for “Lucky Lady” (1975), directed by Stanley Donen, plus “Messiah of Evil” (1973), “French Postcards” (1979), “Best Defense” (1984), “Howard the Duck” (1986) — all directed by Huyck — and “Radioland Murders” (1994).

Katz was born in Los Angeles on Oct. 25, 1942, and majored in English at UC Berkeley. She earned a master’s degree in film from UCLA, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Katz served on the board of the Writers Guild of America and was an adviser to the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, slated to open in 2019.

She is survived by husband William and daughter Rebecca.


Eva Chorub, Holocaust Survivor, 92
Eva Chorub, a Holocaust survivor and co-founder of the Lodzer Organization, died Nov. 10 at her home in Beverly Hills. She was 92.

She was born in Ozorkow, Poland, on Aug. 12, 1926, one of four children. During World War II, her family was forced from its home and into the Ozorkow and Lodz ghettoes, her son, Jacob Cherub, said in a eulogy. She later was transported to Auschwitz. 

After the war, Chorub returned alone to her hometown and learned that the rest of her family had been murdered by the death squads, Cherub wrote.

During her homecoming, Eva met Isaac Chorub, who also had survived the Nazi concentration camps. They wed and had son Jacob while living in a displaced persons camp in Germany.

The family immigrated to the United States in 1949. The couple’s second child, Judith, was born in the U.S.

The couple lived in Boyle Heights, where she worked as a dry cleaner, wrote Cherub (who modified of his last name). After the family moved to the Fairfax area in 1956. In the early 1960s, they opened a wholesale clothing store in downtown Los Angeles.

With other Holocaust survivors in Los Angeles, Eva and Isaac were among the founders of the Lodzer Organization in 1975.  Their mission was to support Jewish organizations around the world, educating future generations.

The couple were married for 72 years. 

She is survived by husband Isaac, son Jacob, daughter Judith and granddaughter Sarah Gurian.