Nora Ephron Mourned by Tom Hanks, Nicole Kidman, Meryl Streep

Celebrity News Jun. 27, 2012 AT 8:45AM
Nora Ephron Mourned by Tom Hanks, Nicole Kidman, Meryl Streep Credit: Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images; Ray Tamarra/Getty Images; LOIC VENANCE/AFP/GettyImages

When Hollywood met Nora, it was a match made in heaven.

Nora Ephron -- the legendary screenwriter and director whose credits included When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle, You've Got Mail and more -- passed away at age 71 in an NYC hospital after a private battle with acute myeloid leukemia, her family confirmed in a statement.

The stars with whom Ephron worked in her storied career were quick to share their memories and their grief.

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"I am very sad to learn of Nora's passing," Billy Crystal said in a statement. "She was a brilliant writer and humorist. 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."

Added Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson: "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. 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."

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"She was so smart, warm and funny," said Bewitched star Nicole Kidman. "I am so grateful that she was my friend and we had the opportunity to work together. My thoughts and love are with her family at this time. I will never forget the dinners, games and laughter we all share."

Meryl Streep wrote to the New York Times: "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."

Stars paying their respects via Twitter included Justin Timberlake ("funny, charming, witty, full of heart"), Ron Howard, Albert Brooks, Sarah Silverman, Andie MacDowell, Bette Midler and many others.

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Ephron is survived by husband, author Nick Pileggi, younger sisters Delia, Amy and Hallie (all writers) and two grown sons, journalist Jacob Bernstein and guitarist Max Bernstein.

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