Nora Ephron Tributes: Meryl Streep, Billy Crystal, Carrie Fisher Remember the Late Writer-Director
Industry friends share personal memories with THR, from her "amazing" skills in the kitchen to her "brilliant observation" to the legacy of films like "When Harry Met Sally."
This story first appeared in the July 20 issue of The Hollywood Reporter.
"In her brilliant observation of women and their relationships with men in When Harry Met Sally …, she discerned the high notes that only the dogs of comedy could hear, if that makes any sense. The movie is such an important piece of comedy literature because Nora was open to the recipe of adding the ingredients of everybody in the room -- Rob Reiner and me and Meg Ryan -- and being the final chef. When you see in Internet polls, 'What's the best romantic couple of all time?' you see Meg and me first. I don't think any of us thought it would have that impact. She will be missed." -- Billy Crystal
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"She was f--in' alert; she was on her game. She was on mine, too; she was on everybody's game. She was alert to everything you were saying and what you weren't saying. She believed in herself. She knew what was funny. She knew the bottom line of stuff. Her writing was clear; there was no gristle. She wasn't really fun, like, 'Let's go, Skippy.' She was someone who said what she meant. That's fun for me but not everybody. It's exhausting. But you'd want to meet her in a restaurant in New York, and when she'd speak with you, you'd lean in like it was a fire, to warm yourself by the fire of her personality." -- Carrie Fisher
"She was so unique. She would throw a party at the drop of a hat. When I first met her, she told me about marrying Nick and said, 'I should have catered it.' She was an amazing cook, and her dinners always included Mafia, which was her favorite game. You'd go to London with Nora, and the next thing you'd know you'd be walking down a street in Kensington going to that shop that had the perfect glasses that she liked. She was very specific, and a one-of-a-kind, good, warm friend." -- Lauren Shuler Donner, Producer, You've Got Mail
"How do you talk about a friend who said everything you wish you could say? Everything you wanted to say in the world, she could say better and shorter and funnier. … I never saw her sit down all day as a director, and it's a long day. She was literally on her toes at all times, ready with anecdotes, information, expertise, on top of everything: books, news, trends, technology, movies, plays. I wondered when she slept. And then Sally Quinn told me last night, 'Oh, she slept eight hours a night.' I thought, 'Oh, God!' " -- Meryl Streep
"Nora Ephron made the kind of movies I love to watch over and over. If one of them comes on TV, I can't (won't) turn it off till the end. I still wait for my favorite moments. I really don't know how many times I've seen Sleepless in Seattle or When Harry Met Sally … . And to think making movies was only one of Nora's many passions. Remarkable. I read that Billy Wilder leaving [Ernst] Lubitsch's funeral said, 'No more Lubitsch,' and William Wyler responded, 'Worse than that, no more Lubitsch films.' Not to put myself in their shoes, but I can relate." -- Nancy Meyer, Director
"If she's a part of us, we must be more like her: Read everything, savor everything, embrace laughter like a drug, drink more pink champagne and, yes, brush up your style. Mike Nichols suggests that when people pass, keep the conversation going. That's clever because I still need Nora's advice on simply everything." -- Martin Short
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"Nora was brave about her emotions and intelligent about the heart in a very particular way. She actually fed me lines that were so perfect, which I put into song for Heartburn and This Is My Life. There was always something that was going to make you smile and identify. Nora was incapable of doing anything without having a sense of humor about it, and there was never a Nora who was ever embarrassed about the romantic." -- Carly Simon