Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Remembering Nora

Nora Ephron, known for her wit and humor through many media, including plays, essays, articles, books and movies, died Tuesday at her home in Manhattan at the age of 71. Her eldest son, Jacob Bernstein, said the cause was pneumonia brought on by acute myeloid leukemia.

Ephron was a master of the humorous essay, and published several collections, including the 2008 bestseller, I Feel Bad About My Neck and Other Thoughts on Being a Woman, and the most recent, I Remember Nothing.

She directed eight feature films (her most recent box office hit was Julie and Julia), and received screenplay credits on more than a dozen. She also earned three Oscar nominations for writing--for Sleepless in Seattle, When Harry Met Sally, and Silkwood.

She was born (on May 19, 1941) and died in New York City. She was the eldest of four daughters of two screenwriters (Phoebe Wolkind and Henry Ephron), and two of her sisters--Delia and Amy--are also screenwriters, while her youngest sister, Hallie, is a journalist who also writes crime fiction. Ephron graduated from Beverly Hills High, in California, and then from Wellesley College, in Massachusetts, with a degree in political science.

She was married three times--to writer Dan Greenburg, journalist Carl Bernstein (famous for exposing the Watergate scandal), and screenwriter Nicholas Pileggi, with whom she spent her last 20 years. Her novel--and screenplay--Heartburn was based on the breakup of her marriage to Bernstein, with whom she had two children, Jacob (a senior reporter at The Daily Beast) and Max (a guitarist for Ke$ha and lead singer for Max and the Marginalized).

Her wry and hilarious take on popular culture--in every medium--will be missed.

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