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Nora Ephron

Writer / Director / Journalist

Born: 19 May 1941
Died: 26 June 2012 (leukemia)
Birthplace: New York, New York
Best known as:

The writer and director of Sleepless In Seattle

Nora Eprhon is the stylish and sharp-witted New York author who directed the hit romantic comedies Sleepless in Seattle and You've Got Mail. Nora Ephron grew up in Los Angeles. Her parents were the screenwriters Phoebe and Henry Ephron, who wrote the James Cagney film What Price Glory? (1952) and the Fred Astaire vehicle Daddy Long Legs (1955). Nora Ephron graduated from Wellesley College in 1962, and after a brief stint as an intern for the John F. Kennedy administration, she turned to journalism. She wrote for the New York Post, did magazine pieces and doing celebrity interviews, and wrote an Esquire column on women's issues. Her 1970 collection Wallflower at the Orgy was an early success. In 1976 she married Carl Bernstein, famous as half of the Watergate muckraking duo of Woodward and Bernstein. She and Bernstein did a rewrite of the script for the Watergate film All The President's Men. The script wasn't used, but Ephron got the screenwriting bug. Her first major feature script, for the 1983 drama Silkwood, won her an Oscar nomination. She then wrote the 1986 film Heartburn, based on her own book of the same title, about her bitter divorce from Bernstein. Always stylish and often dressed in black, Nora Ephron became a popular figure in both movie and literary circles in the 1980s, and her script for the 1989 romantic comedy When Harry Met Sally was widely praised and won her a second Oscar nomination. With This Is My Life (1992) she moved into the director's chair. She directed eight films in all, including the popular romance Sleepless in Seattle (1993, with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan) and  the just-as-popular romance You've Got Mail (1998, also with Hanks and Ryan). Her last film, Julie and Julia (2010), starred Meryl Streep as chef Julia Child. Meanwhile she continued to write essays; her 2006 collection I Feel Bad About My Neck was a best-seller. Her other books include Scribble Scribble (1979) and Crazy Salad (2000). 

Extra credit:

Nora Ephron was 5'6" tall, according to a 2010 profile in The New Yorker... She and Carl Bernstein had two sons, Jacob and Max. They were divorced after Ephron discovered, while 7 months pregnant with Max, that Bernstein was having an affair... She was married two other times: to Dan Greenburg (from 1967 until their divorce in 1976) and to Nicholas Pileggi (from 1987 until her death). Pileggi wrote the 1986 book Wiseguy, which became the 1990 movie Goodfellas, for which he also wrote the screenplay... Nora Ephron's sister Delia Ephron is also a writer; she co-wrote the screenplay to The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (2005)... Nora Ephron was nominated for writing Oscars three times (for Silkwood, When Harry Met Sally, and Sleepless in Seattle) but never won.

 

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