The When Harry Met Sally... writer, who passed away in June (12) aged 71 after battling acute myeloid leukaemia, left her estate to her husband Nicholas Pileggi, and her two sons from her previous marriage to Watergate journalist Carl Bernstein.
The fortune will be divided up and left in trust funds for Jacob and Max Bernstein, while Goodfellas writer Pileggi will get a cash bequest of $500,000 (£312,500) and enough money to sustain the family's living standards.
The Sleepless in Seattle director was one of 12 women due to be feted on Wednesday (27Jun12) at the Manhattan lunch gathering for the Makers, a documentary series saluting the "women who make America".
But the event turned into a tribute to Ephron as guests including feminist icon Gloria Steinem and fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg watched a touching interview with the filmmaker before Walters stepped up to the podium to praise her.
She told the crowd, "We'd known that Nora was ill, we didn't know that she was dying," adding that she and Ephron had met regularly over 12 years with other high-powered members of 'lunching ladies' group The Harpies.
Walters recalled, "We would discuss facelifts, other people's. We just met with Nora, and she looked great."
Chatting to The Wall Street Journal after the event, Walters added, "We were so shocked because many of us have known that she was ill, but not that ill. To die at 71 is just tragic anyway but for someone like Nora, who's so witty and funny and romantic and scathing, and who can produce and direct and write - it's just an enormous loss on a personal level."
Ephron died after a battle with acute myeloid leukaemia, and her funeral is reportedly set to take place on Thursday (28Jun12). Her son, Jacob Bernstein, has told the Associated Press the family is planning to hold a memorial service for the beloved moviemaker on 9 July (12).
Speculation about Ephron's ill health hit the Internet on Tuesday (26Jun12), with some reports suggesting she had been battling cancer, and Hollywood gossip columnist Liz Smith revealed her family members were planning her funeral.
And now, Ephron has lost her fight for life. No further details were known as WENN went to press.
Ephron, the eldest of four sisters, was born in New York City to screenwriter parents, who moved the family to Beverly Hills in California when she was four.
Despite her love of film, Ephron majored in political science at Wellesley College in Massachusetts and briefly worked as an intern in the White House during President John F. Kennedy's term in the early 1960s. She also served as a reporter at the New York Post and wrote for publications including Esquire and The New York Times Magazine.
Her film career took off in the 1980s when her second husband Carl Bernstein's affair with Margaret Jay, the daughter of British Prime Minister James Callaghan, inspired her to write the novel Heartburn, which she adapted for the big screen in 1986.
She went on to write the BAFTA-winning screenplay for beloved romantic comedy When Harry Met Sally, which became a hit film starring Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal. The film also earned Ephron Academy Award and Writers Guild of America nominations.
She made her directorial debut in 1992 with This Is My Life and reteamed with Ryan a year later for her first big success as a moviemaker, Sleepless in Seattle. Director and star worked together again in 1998 on the movie You've Got Mail.
Ephron was awarded the Women in Film Crystal Award in 1994, and branched into theatre in the 2000s - her play Imaginary Friends, which explored the rivalry between writers Lillian Hellman and Mary McCarthy, was a hit in 2002 and her co-authored production Love, Loss, and What I Wore was a sell-out in Canada, New York and California following its debut in 2008.
Ephron's film projects in more recent years have included 2005's Bewitched and Julie & Julia in 2009.
She is survived by her third husband, screenwriter Nicholas Pileggi, who she married in 1987, and sons Jacob and Max.
Nora Ephron, the writer-director-author-producer behind such hits as Silkwood, When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle, and Julie & Julia, is 'very ill,' according to her agent. Bryan Lourd told ABC News that Ephron was gravely ill with leukemia after gossip columnist Liz Smith posted a eulogy on The Women on the Web. The eulogy has been taken down, but Smith told The Hollywood Reporter that she had spoken with Ephron's son Jacob Bernstein.
“I was told this morning that she was dying, but I can’t confirm it,” Ephron told THR. Smith also said that Bernstein told her that the family was planning for the funeral.
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[PHOTO CREDIT: AP Images]
15 Qs With Meryl Streep, Amy Adams and Nora Ephron of 'Julie & Julia'
Madonna is never one to hold back on voicing her opinions, especially when it comes to hydrangeas. In other words, she's learned to expresses herself. But her vocal antics don't stop at loathing flowers and now it seems Lady Gaga is her next target. If you recall, there was a bit of a controversy last year regarding the similarities between Gaga's "Born This Way" and Madonna's classic hit, "Express Yourself." Some started calling Gaga's song a knock-off, accusing her of copying Madonna's work (rumors she immediately refuted). However, we never heard Madonna's view on the matter...until now.
The legendary singer addressed the similarities between the two songs (somewhat callously) in a new interview with Newsweek, saying, "I thought, this is a wonderful way to redo my song. I mean, I recognized the chord changes. I thought it was . . . interesting." Now that statement can be read in one of two ways: she's genuinely trying to give Gaga a compliment while innocently admitting that the songs are somewhat similar, or she's purposefully trying to undermine Lady Gaga's songwriting skills and achievements by implying that she copied her hit song. It's really hard to tell since the comments seem polite and essentially complimentary, but knowing Madonna's confrontational nature I'm willing to bet there's an underlying meaning in there somewhere.
In another recent interview on the BBC's Graham Norton Show, Madonna additionally mentioned Gaga, saying, "When I first saw her I was really impressed by her and she was cool," adding, "She did remind me of me back in the day." Another compliment or a different way of showing how much she believes Gaga mimics her? You never know with Madonna. Personally, I think it's ridiculous since Gaga's way above stealing content from another artist, although I do have to give Madonna props for dominating in the backhanded compliment category. I guess she was just born that way.
Click on the image below for more photos of Lady Gaga.
Source: NY Mag, Cheat Sheet, Capital FM
As a legendary Coast Guard Rescue Swimmer Ben Randall (Kevin Costner) was all heart and no regret. But it all comes undone in the span of one night when he goes out to the menacing seas with his crew to make a rescue and he is the sole survivor. Following that fateful night he’s ordered to teach at “A” School--a demotion for a man of his stature and seniority--an elite training program that helps turn the best recruits into the best Rescue Swimmers. Randall teaches the cocky students the only way he knows how and his tough tough love is initially met with skepticism by his fellow trainers who think of him as a has-been. But one student in particular Jake Fischer (Ashton Kutcher) catches his eye and draws his ire. Fischer is cocky hotheaded and highly skilled--just the right pedigree to make a great Rescue Swimmer and a lot like Randall was at his age. Randall rides him extra-hard while Fischer only hopes to one day be in the same boat as his mentor. Be careful what you wish for Jake! Costner's always been an acquired taste--sometimes a downright noxious one on first bite--but there's no denying he slides right in here. Roles that feature him as the aging provider of wisdom are now his true calling and the sooner he accepts it the better. And even still Costner gets to flex his action muscle a bit. As for Kutcher the only thing he shares in common with Costner is the last two letters of his last name--as actors these guys are each other’s antitheses! And in a weird way they strike a nice chemistry because of it one that is borderline exciting to watch. As a standalone actor in The Guardian Kutcher is a bit misplaced and seems to know it. He nails the physicality of the role but while the character's attitude and brashness befit Kutcher the peak dramatic scenes with Costner leave something to be desired. A pleasantly surprising turn from relative unknown Melissa Sagemiller (The Clearing) as Kutcher's girl toy and reliable supporting performances from Sela Ward and Neal McDonough round out the cast. Director Andrew Davis' proximity to his career peak The Fugitive cannot be measured in time: He's a lot further away from the mega-hit than a mere 13 years. But in Hollywood if you have a Fugitive under your belt you'll never run out of chances to replicate it. That's the current juncture for Davis--one last shot at Fugitive glory...till his next last shot. It's hard to say what The Guardian will do at the box office but Davis' stodgy direction doesn't necessarily help its chances. The movie can be boiled down to awful pacing: the first and last 15 minutes are high-octane action and everything in between is low-octane Top Gun (the non-action scenes!). That blame belongs to Davis and writer Ron L. Brinkerhoff. But only Davis can shoulder the other flaws such as a single scene of dubious camerawork--filmed to look like handheld-montage style completely deviating from the movie's context--and the special effects during the somewhat cheesy action sequences which may remind you of a theme-park tour during which you learn how they filmed a boat scene...in the '80s!
Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector opens with a man scratching his plumber’s-crack re-using a cotton swab to clean his ear and wearing the sleeveless shirt he uses as a towel. Naturally this is Larry (the Cable Guy) a health inspector. Halfheartedly inspecting the local food joints he’s leading the life that suits him well. But when his boss (Thomas F. Wilson) assigns him a serious-minded female partner (Iris Bahr) his world is turned upside down--or at least made less comfy. Larry’s called in to investigate “some fartin’ Jewish folks” at a swankier restaurant and learns that it’s not an isolated incident. While Larry’s unorthodox methods manage to arouse the interest of a waitress (Megyn Price) with bowel habits that he adores his tactics arouse the ire of the restaurateurs he investigates and it costs him his job. Now he’s forced to do whatever it takes to prove his innocence. Even the D-listers here must’ve gone straight to confession upon accepting these roles to help cushion their bank accounts. Let’s start with Larry the Cable Guy (of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour “Git-R-Done” fame) who is one of the most successful stand-up comics today. He’s right in his element seemingly with fart blanche on toilet humor but to the unconverted he’s a little more than grating. Speaking of grating the (hopefully) affected voice of Bahr makes the movie mostly unlistenable in addition to being unwatchable. But take pity on her for this is no way to jumpstart a movie career. Tony Hale clearly still reeling from the potential cancellation of TV’s Arrested Development (on which he plays Buster) also lowers his star and integrity with an ambiguous character here. And Joe Pantoliano shows his face. The once great character actor reaches a new low with this one even if his performance isn’t all bad. Health Inspector masters the art of the fart. But more disgusting than the settings with which the farts are juxtaposed is the ad nauseam (pun intended) level of over-usage. So congratulations go to along with fart Yoda Larry the Cable Guy director Trent Cooper who makes his feature directorial debut. And might we add what a fart-tastic debut it is! But it’s not all farts ladies and gentleman--all forms of gross-out humor are exploited unlike ever before. On the er serious side the collection of running jokes adds to a few legit laughs. Cooper helms a story that naturally doesn’t work deferring instead to Larry’s natural um charisma. The script offers no segue into Larry’s stand-up persona but anyone who sees this here flick ain’t lookin’ for no dang Oscar winner. Clearly Health Inspector will appeal to Larry’s following but is not meant for those of sound mind.
Ana (Sarah Polley) a hard-working nurse living in a picturesque Wisconsin suburb wakes up early one morning to find a little blonde neighborhood girl chomping on Ana's husband's jugular. She makes a quick getaway only to find her pruned-lawn universe in complete disarray: Houses are on fire cars are careening out of control and people are literally running for their lives--and that's before the title art even appears. It turns out a mysterious plague is transforming people into zombies with an insatiable appetite for living human tissue. Now on the run Ana joins up with other survivors including tough cop Kenneth (Ving Rhames) good guy Michael (Jake Weber) street-smart Andre (Mekhi Phifer) and his very pregnant wife Luda (Inna Korobkina) and decide the Crossroads Mall would be a good sanctuary. After convincing three security guards to let them into their safe haven the group bands together to defend the mall against the growing army of zombies pawing at the glass doors. But while the mall with its stores packed with food clothing TVs and radios serves as an ideal refuge the group realizes that no one is coming to rescue them and their only chance of survival is to plot their own escape. But their getaway is squelched when some of those still living barricaded inside the mall begin to show signs of infection including the expectant Luda.
Drawing a skilled cast to a horror film--a genre that's not taken very seriously--is always a good move because it gives it a certain credibility. Dawn of the Dead's lineup which includes Polley Rhames Weber and Phifer offer up likeable characters despite the lack of character development. As the bleeding-heart nurse Polley (My Life Without Me) is clearly the heroine here: Not only does she care for everyone's medical needs but she is also the film's biggest risk taker diving nose-first into dangerous situations for the group's sake. Her character Ana is a nice balance to Rhames' badass cop Kenneth whose decisions are grounded and never clouded by emotion. Other dueling characters include Weber's (Wendigo) Michael the group's strategic leader and militant security guard CJ played by Michael Kelly (Unbreakable). The cast plays off each other nicely; it's just a shame that they are emotionally disconnected. For example although Phifer is persuasive as the doting father-to-be it's difficult to sympathize with Andre's gut wrenching predicament with his pregnant zombie wife because their bond was never established. Look for actors from the original film in cameo appearances including makeup artist Tom Savini (also a biker in the original) as the sheriff; Scott Reiniger (Roger) as the general; and Ken Foree (Peter) as the televangelist.
Dawn of the Dead marks Zack Snyder's directorial debut--and what a project he chose. Snyder however fittingly resurrects the undead created by Romero 24 years ago into much more menacing zombies for modern-day horror-savvy audiences: They are lightning-fast have shark-like radar for human flesh and demonstrate pack mentality. Of course the film's look is a lot slicker that its predecessor minus a few action sequences involving the zombie hordes that almost appear to have been shot on digital video. Snyder for example was careful not to make the film too CGI-laden and instead relied on special effects makeup designer David Anderson (Men in Black Nutty Professor II: The Klumps) to make the zombies extremely gross lifelike and menacing. But in focusing on creating this fear-provoking look the film loses some of the subtle humor that distinguished the 1978 production from the average horror pic. Remember the scene in the original film that has the zombies robotically trying to walk up the down escalator? Romero had a way of laughing at the film's own absurdity without demeaning it; Snyder's humor here is less sophisticated and instead relies on screenwriter James Gunn's dialogue. But this modern Dawn of the Dead is still a thrilling moviegoing experience with tons of scares to be had.