Filmmaker Nora Ephron has died at the age of 71.

The screenwriter, author and director - who wrote movies such as Julie & Julia, When Harry Met Sally and Sleepless In Seattle - died of leukaemia.

A host of stars have paid tribute to Ephron, including When Harry Met Sally actor Billy Crystal, who said in a statement: "I am very sad to learn of Nora's passing. She was a brilliant writer and humorist. Being her Harry to Meg's Sally will always have a special place in my heart. I was very lucky to get to say her words."

Sleepless In Seattle star Tom Hanks and wife Rita Wilson said in a statement to E! News: "Nora Ephron was a journalist/artist who knew what was important to know; how things really worked, what was worthwhile, who was fascinating and why. At a dinner table and on a film set she lifted us all with wisdom and wit mixed with love for us and love for life. Rita and I are so very sad to lose our friend who brought so much joy to all who were lucky enough to know her."

Nicole Kidman, who was directed by Ephron in Bewitched, said: "I am so grateful that she was my friend and we had the opportunity to work together. My thoughts and love are with her family at this time. I will never forget the dinners, games and laughter we all shared."

Actor, writer and director Albert Brooks tweeted that Ephron was "a witty, charming, lovely person", while actress Kerry Washington called it a "tremendous loss".

As a screenwriter, Ephron was nominated three times for Academy Awards, for Silkwood, When Harry Met Sally and Sleepless In Seattle.

The filmmaker was married three times and is survived by her third husband, screenwriter Nicholas Pileggi.