'Sleepless in Seattle' Director Nora Ephron Dead at 71 (UPDATE)

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Oscar-nominated filmmaker Nora Ephron, who was responsible for some of Hollywood's most iconic romantic comedies of a generation, has died. She was 71.

Recognized as a screenwriting legend, Ephron penned hit movies When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle and most recently, Julie & Julia.

Late Tuesday night the screenwriter's family confirmed she had passed away after battling leukemia.

"Nora Ephron passed away June 26, 2012 at 7:40 pm at New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center surrounded by her family," Ephron's family said in a statement to Celebuzz.

"The cause of death was acute myeloid leukemia.

"We thank you all for your thoughts."

Ephron has worked with some of Hollywood's biggest stars, including Meg Ryan, Tom Hanks, Alec Baldwin and Billy Crystal.

Her condition was not publicly released until Tuesday when a representative for Ephron's publisher revealed the author was very ill just hours before her death.

Nicholas Latimer of Alfred A. Knopf confirmed her condition hours after Huffington Post and Women of the Web columnist and friend Liz Smith published what appeared to be a memorial for the writer.

Following the sad news Ephron family asked for donations to be made in her honor to The Public Theater and The Motion Picture and Television Fund.

 

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