Photo Credit: Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic
Screenwriter and director Nora Ephron died Tuesday at the age of 71 following a private battle with leukemia, her son Jacob Bernstein confirmed to the New York Times. Ephron, who only told a select group of confidants she had been diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia, passed away June 26 in her hometown of Manhattan.
Ephron's death elicited many tributes from celebrity friends and admirers, all of whom wanted to pay their respects to the woman responsible for such memorable Hollywood romantic comedies as When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle and You've Got Mail.
"Nora Ephron was a journalist/artist who knew what was important to know; how things really worked, what was worthwhile, who was fascinating and why," Tom Hanks and wife Rita Wilson (who both appeared in Sleepless in Seattle) said in a statement. "At a dinner table and on a film set she lifted us all with wisdom and wit mixed with love for us and love for life. Rita and I are so very sad to lose our friend who brought so much joy to all who were lucky enough to know her..."
Meryl Streep -- a good friend who played a version of Ephron in the movie Heartburn and starred in her last film, Julie & Julia -- emailed the New York Times with her tribute: "Nora just looked at every situation and cocked her head and thought, ‘Hmmmm, how can I make this more fun? You could call on her for anything: doctors, restaurants, recipes, speeches, or just a few jokes, and we all did it, constantly. She was an expert in all the departments of living well."
Other celebrities, from Ron Howard and Steve Martin to Zooey Deschanel and Jessica Biel, also paid homage to the writer via Twitter. Here's what they had to say about the renowned writer.
Steve Martin: "She was the one you wanted to read, to listen to, to be in the company of. Nora Ephron. Incomparable wit; delightful friend. Sadness reigns."
Justin Timberlake: "R.I.P. Nora Ephron... Funny, charming, witty, full of heart, and one of the greatest who put it all down in timeless, quotable classics."
Zooey Deschanel: "I'm very sad about Nora Ephron, a hero for all funny ladies."
Ron Howard: "RIP Nora Ephron brilliant gracious and FUNNY"
Christina Applegate: If a Nora Ephron movie is on, I always stop and watch. Her movies were like comfort food for the soul. We will miss her..
Andie MacDowell: "In my sex fantasy nobody ever loves me for my mind....'Nora Ephron ' NORA we loved everything about you and we will miss you."
Michael Moore: "Nora Ephron, one of a kind. She stopped me on Broadway one day & asked me 2 act in her movie. Yes, she was that funny. Will be missed dearly"
Joe Mantegna: "My thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Nora Ephron at the news of her passing. Especially to her husband and my friend Nick." (Ephron's widower is Wise Guy author Nicholas Pileggi.)
Jessica Biel: "Nora Ephron...thank you for your ground breaking contributions for women in the film industry. You have truly paved the way. With respect..."
Alan Cumming: "So sad to hear about the death of Nora Ephron. I worked with her recently and she was kind and funny and fascinating."
Julianne Moore: "I am so very sad about Nora Ephron. A great loss."
Henry Winkler: "NORA EPHRON : PEERLESS R.I.P."
WATCH: How Nora Ephron Made Me a Better Friend, Wife and Woman