The memorial service of filmmaker Nora Ephron held at the Alice Tully Hall at the Lincoln Center in New York started out as a somber affair. It quickly turned into a joyous laughter filled event as friends and colleagues fondly remembered her.
Among those who came for the memorial were Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks who starred alongside each other in some of Ephron's films. Other famous attendees included Steven Spielberg, Bette Midler, Steve Martin, Larry David, Shirley McClaine and multitudes of other members of the industry.
Comedian Martin Short came to pay his final respect as well. He was the first to go on stage. "Don't be afraid to be funny," he said, speaking of instructions given by Ephron's son Jacob Bernstein before the memorial.
There were ten other speakers which included the departed writer's sister, Delia Ephron, who told the story of how Nora kidnapped a landlord so that she could secure a lease. Her son Jacob described her as "my best friend, my biggest cheerleader, and a total drill sergeant, which is basically what a great parent is supposed to be."
Much of the service was, in some way, planned by Nora herself. Prior to her June 26 passing, she listed details of her memorial including whom she wanted to speak and how long was the duration. All these details were put in a folder that was labeled, "exit."
The "Sleepless in Seattle" director passed last month, June 26 due to pneumonia that was brought on by acute myeloid leukemia. She was 71.