Nora Ephron, Filmmaker and Journalist, Dead at 71
Nora Ephron, who is probably best known to movie-goers as the writer/director responsible for such motion pictures as “Sleepless in Seattle”, “Michael”, and “You’ve Got Mail”, passed away on Tuesday from pneumonia brought on by acute myeloid leukemia. She was 71.
Ephron, who was once an intern for President John F. Kennedy, was married to journalist Carl Bernstein during the infamous Watergate scandal. As a result, Ephron claimed she was one of the few people who knew the real identify of Deep Throat. Following the couple’s divorce, the filmmaker would often give speeches to large groups of people, during which she would reveal the source’s identify as Mark Felt.
At her husband and Bob Woodward’s request, Ephron was tapped to rewrite the script for “All the President’s Men”, a film centered around Woodward and Bernstein’s journey through Watergate. The journalists were apparently unhappy with the script, and while Ephron’s final version wasn’t used for the film, it did help her land more work in the industry.
Although Ephron wrote the script for the 1983 drama “Silkwood”, which starred Meryl Streep, Cher, and Kurt Russell, she really left her mark on audiences with the Carl Reiner flick “When Harry Met Sally…”, a romantic comedy starring Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan. Her follow-up to this endeavor, “This is My Life”, also served as a her directorial debut. Unfortunately, the film was a box office flop. Despite this setback, Ephron would drop “Sleepless in Seattle” one year later, cementing herself as a force to be reckoned with in the industry.
In addition to writing and directing movies, Ephron was also an accomplished journalist and essayist, with a number of her articles appearing in such publications as New York magazine, Esquire, and The New York Times Magazine. What’s more, Ephron’s journalistic contributions during the 60’s were considered pioneering; her inspired work was part of the “”New Journalism” movement, which involved authors inserting their own voice and opinions into their stories. During the latter part of her life, Ephron would enjoy further success as a blogger for the Huffington Post.
Ephron is survived by her son, Jacbo, and her husband, “Wiseguy: Life in a Mafia Family” author Nicholas Pileggi. A number of folks have taken to Twitter this morning to express their sadness regarding Ephron’s passing. You can sample their thoughts and feelings in the space below.
“Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.” – Nora Ephron
RIP Nora Ephron ‘When you slip on a banana peel, people laugh at you. When you tell people you slipped on a banana peel, it’s your laugh.’
You’re going to hear a lot of stories about all the people Nora Ephron helped. They’re all true.
Nora Ephron: “Try to have as many waffles as you can b/c you know you’re going to miss them. Apropos of which, I did make waffles yesterday”
RIP Nora Ephron. All comedy writers are just ladies staring in awe at her talent from a nearby table, saying “I’ll have what she’s having”