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Writer-director Nora Ephron dead at 71

Nora Ephron, celebrated screenwriter, director and mother of some of the best known romantic comedies, died today in her beloved New York City.

Earlier in the day, various media outlets first revealed that she was gravely ill. The New York Times cited her son, Jacob Bernstein, also a freelance reporter for the paper, as confirming her death brought on by complications from leukemia.

During her long career, the three-time Oscar nominee published many books and articles. Though, she was best known for writing romcom classics like "When Harry Met Sally" and writing and directing "Sleepless in Seattle," "You've Got Mail," and most recently, "Julia & Julia."

She is survived by her husband, writer Nicholas Pileggi, and her two sons, Jacob and Max Bernstein. 

The Last Word had the opportunity to speak with Ephron in December of 2010. During her visit to our set, she discussed her own character studies of D.C. politicians and explained to MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell the romanticism of being a Democrat: "They break your heart. You believe them. They make promises hope spring eternal."

Ephron was 71-years-old.