Nora Ephron dead at 71‎

Nora Ephron, the essayist, author and filmmaker who thrived in the male-dominated worlds of movies and journalism, has died. She was 71.
She died of leukemia Tuesday night at New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, her family said in a statement.
“She was so, so alive” – said her friend Carrie Fisher. “It makes no sense to me that she isn’t alive anymore.”
Born into a family of screenwriters, Ephron was a top journalist in her 20′s and 30′s, then a best-selling author and successful director. Loved, respected and feared for her devastating and diverting wit, she was among the most quotable and influential writers of her generation.
She wrote and directed such favorites as “Julie & Julia” and “Sleepless in Seattle,” and her books included the novel “Heartburn,” a roman a clef about her marriage to Washington Post reporter Carl Bernstein. And the popular essay collections “I Feel Bad About My Neck” and “I Remember Nothing.”
She was tough on others (Bernstein’s marital transgressions were immortalized in “Heartburn”) and relentless about herself. She wrote openly about her difficult childhood, her failed relationships, her doubts about her physical appearance and the hated intrusion of age.

Nora Ephron dead at 71
Nora Ephron.

Ephron (who had suffered from acute myeloid leukemia) died on Tuesday evening at New York’s Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Centre surrounded by her family, they said in a statement.
Reactions poured in from around the arts and entertainment community for the screenwriter who delighted millions with her flair for comedy, romance and the ability to tackle serious subjects with insight.
“She brought an awful lot of people a tremendous amount of joy. She will be sorely missed” – her publisher, Alfred A. Knopf, said in a statement.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg called her death “a devastating one” for the city’s arts and cultural community, and the Los Angeles-based Directors Guild of America called her “an inspiration for women filmmakers when there were few.”
Writer and actress Carrie Fisher called Ephron “inspiring, intimidating, and insightful” and actor Martin Landau said she was “able to accomplish everything she set her mind to with great style.”
Ephron, who often parlayed her own love life into movies like Heartburn and gave her acerbic take on aging in the 2010 essay collection, I Remember Nothing: And Other Reflections, had kept her illness largely private except for close friends and family.
“At some point, your luck is going to run out … You are very aware with friends getting sick that it can end in a second” – Ephron told Reuters in a 2010 interview while promoting the book.
The elegant Ephron, known for habitually dressing in black, urged aging friends and readers to make the most of their lives.
“You should eat delicious things while you can still eat them, go to wonderful places while you still can … and not have evenings where you say to yourself: ‘What am I doing here? Why am I here? I am bored witless!’” she told Reuters.

Nora Ephron was born on May 19, 1941, on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, the eldest of four sisters, all of whom became writers. That was no surprise; writing was the family business. Her father, Henry, and her mother, the former Phoebe Wolkind, were Hollywood screenwriters who wrote, among other films – “Carousel,” “There’s No Business Like Show Business” and “Captain Newman, M.D.”
“Everything is copy,” her mother once said, and she and her husband proved it by turning the college-age Nora into a character in a play, later a movie, “Take Her, She’s Mine.” The lesson was not lost on Ms. Ephron, who seldom wrote about her own children but could make sparkling copy out of almost anything else – the wrinkles on her neck, her apartment, cabbage strudel, Teflon pans and the tastelessness of egg-white omelets.
She turned her painful breakup with her second husband, the Watergate journalist Carl Bernstein, into a best-selling novel, “Heartburn,” which she then recycled into a successful movie starring Jack Nicholson as a philandering husband and Meryl Streep as a quick-witted version of Ms. Ephron herself.
When Ms. Ephron was 4, her parents moved from New York to Beverly Hills, where she grew up, graduating from Beverly Hills High School in 1958. At Wellesley, she began writing for the school newspaper, and in the summer of 1961 she was a summer intern in the Kennedy White House. She said later that perhaps her greatest accomplishment there was rescuing the speaker of the house, Sam Rayburn, from a men’s room in which he had inadvertently locked himself. In an essay for The New York Times in 2003, she said she was also probably the only intern that President John F. Kennedy had never hit on.
After graduation from college in 1962, she moved to New York, a city she always adored, intent on becoming a journalist. Her first job was as a mail girl at Newsweek. There were no mail boys, she later pointed out. Soon she was contributing to a parody of The New York Post put out during the 1962 newspaper strike. Her piece of it earned her a tryout at The Post, where the publisher, Dorothy Schiff, remarked – “If they can parody The Post, they can write for it. Hire them.”

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