The moviemaker died on Tuesday (26Jun12) after losing her secret battle with acute myeloid leukemia, and Wilson, who appeared in Ephron's movies Sleepless in Seattle and Mixed Nuts, has penned a moving tribute to her pal for the Huffington Post website.
In the piece, Wilson, who is married to actor Tom Hanks, brands Ephron a "a one of a kind friend" and "an extraordinary talent" and admits she'll always be thankful to her for casting her in 1993's Sleepless in Seattle.
She explains, "Out of all the roles I have done, it is my favourite part. There was no reason for Nora to cast me but she had faith in people before they knew they could have faith in themselves. I had never experienced that before."
Wilson also reveals Ephron went to great lengths for her loved ones, adding, "Two years ago our apartment suffered horrible water damage. Both Tom and I were working in New York at the time. Nora insisted we stay in an apartment she and (husband) Nick own in their building. How many times can you say that, as adults, you lived with your friends over the course of months? Tom and I were giddy at being able to go up and have dinner with Nick and Nora at the drop of a hat."
The friends enjoyed several trips together, which were often inspired by Ephron's love of fine food, according to Wilson: "She loved snorkelling, searching out the best 'whatever' food happened to be in a place, whether a market or a restaurant, big town, or small. Once we were in a tiny town in Italy and she had read about this amazing breadstick that this place supposedly had. Well, she found it! And, guess what? It was the most amazing breadstick."
And Wilson will always remember fondly the the last time she saw her friend on 9 May (12), recalling, "She knew I was coming to New York to do a show at Joe's Pub. And, as best friends know without having to say a word, she believed a celebration was necessary. I saw her in the audience...
"My friend, Nora, had faith in me on May 9 as she had faith in me in all the years that came before. At Joe's Pub, she wasn't playing the role she had written about so expertly. The Best Friend. She didn't have to. She was the best friend anyone could have asked for."
Wilson's actor husband was also fond of Ephron and penned a touching memorial to her on Wednesday (27Jun12). He appeared in Sleepless in Seattle too, as well as another Ephron hit, You've Got Mail.