Hollywood is mourning the loss of Harper Lee, who died on Friday in her hometown of Monroeville, Ala. She was 89. The legendary author of “To Kill a Mockingbird” was remembered by the stars of the classic 1962 film adaptation of her bestselling novel, as well as other actors, screenwriters and authors.
Robert Duvall, who played the mysterious Boo Radley in “To Kill a Mockingbird” — his bigscreen debut — praised the late author’s body of work in a statement.
“Harper Lee was a fine person and a wonderful writer,” he said. “‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ was a masterpiece. I was privileged to be in the film version adapted to the screen by her good friend Horton Foote. I only hope that the film did justice to the book. She will be fondly remembered by many.”
Mary Badham, the actress who played Scout, Atticus Finch’s (played by Gregory Peck) daughter in the film, had maintained a friendship with the author for more than 50 years. She was nominated for a best actress Oscar in 1963 for the role — the youngest actress to receive that honor at the time.
“I think that we have all benefited from her work and her fight for social justice,” Badham told the Daily News Friday. “I’m very sad at her loss. She will be very fondly remembered.”
Aaron Sorkin, who’s writing a new Broadway adaptation of “To Kill a Mockingbird,” also released a statement
“Like millions of others, I was saddened to learn this morning of the passing of Harper Lee, one of America’s most beloved authors,” he said. “I’m honored to have the opportunity to adapt her seminal novel for the stage.”
Oprah Winfrey, Ava DuVernay, Reese Witherspoon and Apple CEO Tim Cook also mourned the author.
“Harper Lee (was) my 1st favorite author! I always wanted to interview her. She said ‘Honey, I already said everything I had to say.’ #RIPHarperLee,” Oprah Winfrey tweeted.
“‘You never really understand a person … until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.’ Thank you, #HarperLee,” Ava DuVernay said.
“She revealed it all … the glory and the fear and the hate and the beauty. May she rest in peace. #HarperLee,” wrote Reese Witherspoon.
“‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ was the first book I remember reading over start to finish. It propelled me toward my love for lit. #HarperLee = icon,” Josh Gad tweeted.
“Rest in peace, Harper Lee. ‘The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience,'” said Tim Cook.
“Oh no. The Great Harper Lee has passed away. She changed the world with ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,'” Debra Messing wrote on Twitter.
“So sorry to hear about Harper Lee’s passing. ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ was a gift to us all,” Katie Couric said.
“Thank you Harper Lee for Atticus, Boo, Scout & the rest. … Peace,” Daryl Hannah wrote.
“Let’s celebrate the life of Harper Lee, who wrote an American classic and helped her friend Truman Capote write another,” Stephen King tweeted.
“When my son Henry was born, Ms. Lee signed a copy of ‘Looking for Alaska’ for him with the inscription, ‘Welcome to the world Henry Atticus,'” John Green recalled.
“RIP #HarperLee. What a magnificent writer she was. She taught us all so much about tolerance and love. Blessed were we to have read her,” James Martin said.
“I’m deeply saddened by the passing of Nelle Harper Lee,” said Marja Mills, author of “The Mockingbird Next Door: Life with Harper Lee.” “Her friendship was a gift to me, as were her stories, which I was honored to share with readers. Some of my happiest memories are hearing her infectious laugh wash across a room. Her wit was one of the essential ways she experienced the world, and it was a joy to spend time with her. I am grateful for the hours I got to spend riding the back roads of Alabama with Nelle and her sister Alice, listening to the stories of their family, that land, its history, and its people. I will always be grateful to have known Nelle in the last years of life as she had known it for so long, sharing their father’s house with her sister in the town that inspired ‘To Kill a Mockingbird.'”