Humorist and Screenwriter Nora Ephron Dies at 71

By: From CBS News, Posted by Ralph Hipp
By: From CBS News, Posted by Ralph Hipp

NEW YORK (CBS/AP) -- Nora Ephron, the Oscar-nominated filmmaker and director behind such hits as "When Harry Met Sally" and "Sleepless in Seattle," has passed away, CBS News has learned.

Dr. Gail Roboz, Ephron's oncologist, told CBS News she died at (6:40pm Topeka time) from acute myeloid leukemia at Weil-Cornell/NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital.

Nicholas Latimer of Alfred A. Knopf confirmed to the Associated Press earlier Tuesday her deteriorating condition hours after celebrity columnist and friend Liz Smith published what appeared to be a memorial for the writer.

Liz Smith told The Associated Press that she had spoken to Ephron's son Jacob on Tuesday morning and was told that Ephron was dying. She said when she heard that funeral plans had been arranged, she published the column on the website Women on the Web.

"I was confused because I was told to come to the funeral on Thursday," Smith said. "It's bad enough."

Latimer did not provide any additional information on Ephron's condition.

Ephron, 71, is best known for writing books like "Heartburn" and "Crazy Salad" and for the movies "When Harry Met Sally," ''Sleepless in Seattle" and most recently "Julie & Julia."

Ephron, who has been a director, screenwriter and producer, is considered one of most influential women in Hollywood and one of the literary world's key authors.

"Heartburn," starring Meryl Streep and Jack Nicholson, chronicled her own dissolving marriage with journalist Carl Bernstein and was based on the novel of the same name.

Ephron has two sons, Jacob and Max Bernstein.

In a statement, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said:
"The loss of Nora Ephron is a devastating one for New York City's arts and cultural community. From her earliest days at New York City's newspapers to her biggest Hollywood successes, Nora always loved a good New York story, and she could tell them like no one else. The books, movies and plays that she set in the world's greatest city are classics that will be enjoyed for generations, but New York City will miss Nora very much."n.

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