Screenwriter/director Nora Ephron kept her health battle secret from friends and family as she refused to be treated differently because of her illness.
The Sleepless in Seattle moviemaker had been secretly struggling with acute myeloid leukaemia and she passed away late last month (Jun12) after contracting a bout of pneumonia.
Ephron's friends and colleagues, including Meryl Streep, Meg Ryan, Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks, were among those who turned out for her memorial service in New York on Monday (09Jul12) and Ephron's husband, Nicholas Pileggi, has now revealed why his wife decided not to tell anyone about her failing health.
He tells the New York Post, "We understood she had only a short time. But Nora believed if anyone knew, they'd view her differently. It would always be, 'How is she?'... 'How do you believe she's feeling?'... 'Think she's able to finish what we're working on?'
"(During the) last six months, as things became worse, she was taking aggressive treatment. And then pneumonia set in."
Streep, who starred in Ephron's films Heartburn and Julie & Julia, said about her friend during the memorial, "She pulled a fast one on us. I feel so privileged to speak, but I'm also p**sed off. I guess sometimes you have to wait for someone to leave the room to say how great they are."