Writer/Director Nora Ephron Passes Away at 71 Years Old

Nora Ephron at the 2009 L.A. premiere of 'Julie & Julia'/Photo © Featureflash/Shutterstock
Nora Ephron at the 2009 L.A. premiere of 'Julie & Julia'/Photo © Featureflash/Shutterstock

Writer and director Nora Ephron died today at the age of seventy-one from pneumonia, a complication from the leukemia she's been battling for years, reports CNN.

You may remember Nora Ephron best for her blockbuster movies: "Sleepless in Seattle," "Julie and Julia," "You've Got Mail," "When Harry Met Sally." Or perhaps you think of her most fondly in the context of her often hilarious -- and just as often heartbreaking -- memoirs and novels: I Feel Bad About My Neck, I Remember Nothing (And Other Reflections), Heartburn. Perhaps you're lucky enough to remember her firsthand for her off-Broadway production of "Love, Loss, and What I Wore," co-written with her sister Delia. Regardless of the work of comedic art that comes to mind, it is likely that at the root of your recollections is Ephron's unique brand of comic, personal, poignant insight.

The success of Ephron's work reached bestseller and blockbuster success. Over the course of her career she was nominated for three Academy Awards for her writing. She once said, "Most of us live our lives devoid of cinematic moments." But Ephron didn't fall into the category of "most." The fruits of her labors were steeped in laughter and sometimes tears, and attracted the talents of Meg Ryan, Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep, Stanley Tucci, Steve Martin, and Billy Crystal, among so many others. She played on the heartstrings of the American masses, appealing to both men and women with her commentary on life and culture and relationships, set to the tune of cinematic perfection. She was one of a kind, a true treasure in film and literary circles. With her passing today, we have truly lost one of our greatest contemporary talents.

Signature wishes Ephron's family and friends our condolences and our hope for peace in their hearts during this time.