Nora Ephron, the Hollywood screenwriter turned director, has lost her battle with cancer at the age of 71, with her publisher, Alfred P. Knopf, confirming her death on Tuesday night. Ephron had been suffering from acute myeloid leukaemia.
Famed for writing the script for rom-com mega-hit
When Harry Met Sally
, she went on to carve out a successful secondary career as a director on the likes of
Sleepless In Seattle
You've Got Mail
, both of which she also wrote.
Billy Crystal was among the first to lead the tributes to Ephron. "She was a brilliant writer and humorist," said Crystal. "Being her Harry to Meg's Sally will always have a special place in my heart. I was very lucky to get to say her words."
Tom Hanks was similarly fulsome in his praise, in an official statement released after the news broke. "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. 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."
Steve Martin, who worked with Ephron on her films
, took to Twitter to express his condolences. "She was the one you wanted to read, to listen to, to be in the company of," he said. "Nora Ephron. Incomparable wit; delightful friend. Sadness reigns."
Ephron is survived by her husband, screenwriter Nicholas Pileggi, and two sons.