LOS ANGELES, Jan. 3 (UPI) -- Movie producer Julia Phillips -- the first woman every to take home a best picture Oscar, and the author of a scandalous tell-all memoir -- has died after a months-long battle with cancer. She was 57.
Family members said Phillips had been diagnosed with cancer in August.
Phillips made history when she became the first woman to win a best picture Oscar, taking the honor for "The Sting" in 1973. She went on to co-produce Martin Scorsese's groundbreaking movie, "Taxi Driver" in 1976.
She was also a co-producer on Steven Spielberg's "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" in 1977, but was dismissed from the project, beginning a career downturn from which her professional standing never improved.
Phillips made headlines in 1990 with her take-no-prisoners autobiography, "You'll Never Eat Lunch in This Town Again," in which she named names and told tales of petty, vindictive behavior in the corporate suites of Hollywood.
She said many of her former friends cut her off after the best-selling book was published.
Her son-in-law, Modi Wiczyk, told the Los Angeles Times that Phillips based her life on a two-word philosophy: "No rules."
But he said she was always hardest on herself.
Born Julia Miller on April 7, 1944, Phillips grew up in New York and Wisconsin, graduating from Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts. According to the Times, she failed math and French but won prestigious awards for her short-stories.
She married investment banker Michael Phillips in 1965. They had one child, Kate.
Phillips parlayed a career in magazine publishing into a job with Paramount Pictures in 1969 as East Coast story editor. She went on to head Mirisch Productions in New York, and eventually was appointed creative executive for First Artist Productions, a coalition of actors intent on engineering greater creative control over the projects they worked on.
She wrote a second memoir, "Driving Under the Affluence," in 1995. It did not sell well.
In 2000, Phillips co-wrote "The Drudge Manifesto" with online political gossip maven Matt Drudge. He told the Times Phillips was almost entirely disconnected from Hollywood when she died.
"By the end," said Drudge, "no one was speaking to her. It's probably not fair to say it was all her doing, though probably a lot of it was. She was difficult, difficult in a way that she wouldn't take any (guff). She was angry with the club for cutting her off."
Phillips and her husband divorced in the 1970s. She is survived by her daughter Kate Phillips and a brother, Matthew Miller of Connecticut.
Private services are planned.