UPDATE, 8:40pm: It has been widely reported that writer and director Nora Ephron has died at 71.
While news of Nora Ephron’s supposed death hasn’t trickled out at all, Liz Smith seemingly eulogized the screenwriter and director in a post on wowOwow. “I won’t say, “Rest in peace, Nora,'” writes Ms. Smith. “I will just ask “What the hell will we do without you?'”
Beloved writer of books like Heartburn and films like When Harry Met Sally…, the 71-year-old Ms. Ephron had a late-career renaissance wheun she directed the 2009 hit Julie and Julia. Ms. Ephron’s representatives have issued a blanket no-comment policy on Ms. Smith’s post.
UPDATE, 5:46pm: Liz Smith is said to have pulled the piece from wowOwow, though we are still able to access it; the language in the piece is consistently past-tense regarding Ms. Ephron’s traits, but never explicitly states she has died. A Times publishing reporter has Tweeted that Ms. Ephron is alive, per Knopf, her publisher.
UPDATE, 6:08pm: TMZ reports that Ms. Ephron is gravely ill, though not dead. The Atlantic Wire states that this was a case of premature publication of the obituary, prepared in advance per media custom.
UPDATE, 7:31pm: Liz Smith has emailed The Observer: “Nora Ephron is not [confirmed] dead. We have killed all pre released material & corrected. One can only say she is deathly ill in New York Hospital. I am broken-hearted over this but sorry if I misled anyone inadvertently. I did not even know Nora was ill.” Per The Hollywood Reporter, Ms. Smith had been informed by Jacob Bernstein, Ms. Ephron’s son, that the family was planning a funeral.