Nora Ephron, the journalist, screenwriter and 'expert in all departments,' dies at 71
Nora Ephron, whose contributions to the world went far beyond her movie work in the '80s, died Tuesday in New York. She was 71. According to reports, Ephron was being treated for acute myeloid leukemia and pneumonia.
To many of us, she'll be known for writing films like 1986's Heartburn and 1989's When Harry Met Sally -- two films that took a laser-sharp look at both relationships and city living. In our decade, she also penned Silkwood and Cookie. She's perhaps better known for her more prolific '90s, when she wrote You've Got Mail, My Blue Heaven and Sleepless in Seattle.
"Ephron also wrote extensively about her own life, often in a sly, self-deprecating style," the LA Times writes. "Her books included I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman, I Remember Nothing: And Other Reflections, Crazy Salad: Some Things About Women, Wallflower at the Orgy and Heartburn, a roman à clef about her marriage to Watergate journalist Carl Bernstein. The 1983 novel was so withering in its depiction of her former husband ... that Bernstein threatened legal action."
The stars she often worked with included Billy Crystal, Nicole Kidman and Tom Hanks.
"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," Hanks and wife Rita Wilson said in a statement to E! News. "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..."
Meryl Streep said of Ephron in an e-mail to the New York Times:
"You could call on her for anything: doctors, restaurants, recipes, speeches, or just a few jokes, and we all did it, constantly. She was an expert in all the departments of living well."
Even toward to end, Ephron maintained a cynical but philosophic look at mortality and youth.
"Why do people write books that say it’s better to be older than to be younger?" the Times quoted her in a collection of essays. "It’s not better. Even if you have all your marbles, you’re constantly reaching for the name of the person you met the day before yesterday."