Grew up in Hollywood Hills, CA
Baby-sat for the children of family friend Francis Ford Coppola
Acquired a job as a TIME magazine stringer through a friend of her father's who was a bureau chief
Took a leave from UC, Berkeley to work as Coppola's assistant on "The Godfather, Part II" (date approximate)
Credited as "executive assistant" on Coppola's "Apocolypse Now"
Feature screenwriting debut, co-scripted (with Jeanne Rosenberg and William D. Wittliff) "The Black Stallion" at the urging of Coppola who also executive produced
Began dating actor Harrison Ford
Traveled with Ford on location for the shoot of Steven Spielberg's "Raiders of the Lost Ark"; Spielberg asked her to write a screenplay about a little alien stranded on Earth; wrote the first draft in eight weeks (date approximate)
Co-scripted (with Stephen Zito) the screenplay for "The Escape Artist", a poorly received Coppola production
Received first sole screenplay credit on Spielberg's landmark children's fantasy "E.T., the Extra-Terrestrial"; also credited as associate producer; first original screenplay; nominated for Oscar
Benefited from the Writers Guild of America's winning of an arbitration which entitled her to a 5 percent share of all revenue received by Universal--or its parent company, MCA--from the merchandising of the E.T. character; also entitled to 4 percent of the gross from merchandise in which E.T. is joined by other characters from the film
TV writing debut, "Son of the Morning Star", an ABC miniseries biopic about General George Custer
Returned to screenwriting after 13 years, scripted "The Indian in the Cupboard"