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Screenwriter, BHHS Alumna Nora Ephron Dies at 71

Known for her screenwriting and humor, Ephron was behind such films as "Sleepless in Seattle," "When Harry Met Sally..." and "You've Got Mail."

Nora Ephron wore many hats: wife, mother, journalist, screenwriter, movie director, essayist, playwright, blogger and more. 

She was behind such films as Sleepless in Seattle, When Harry Met Sally..., You've Got Mail and—most recently—Julia & Julia.

Ephron died June 26 of pneumonia brought on by acute myeloid leukemia, according to The New York Times. She was 71.

Born May 19, 1941, on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, Ephron was the eldest of four sisters. Her father Henry and mother, the former Phoebe Wolkind, were themselves Hollywood screenwriters. Ephron's family moved to Beverly Hills when she was a child. She went on to graduate from in 1958 and attend Wellesley College. 

Ephron began her career as a journalist, but after marrying Carl Bernstein of Watergate fame in the mid-1970s—her second of three marriages—she got interested in screenwriting when helping her then-husband rewrite the script for All the President's Men. (Their version was not used.)

By the time of her death, Ephron was thrice nominated for the Academy Award for Writing Original Screenplay for Silkwood, When Harry Met Sally... and Sleepless in Seattle. She also co-wrote screenplays with her sister, Delia Ephron, including Sleepless in Seattle. Ephron herself directed Sleepless in Seattle and You've Got Mail, as well as other films.

Ephron was an editor-at-large and blogger for The Huffington Post. Arianna Huffington, president and editor-in-chief of HuffPo, wrote about Ephron's death in a Tuesday blog post:

Whenever I was around her through the years the air crackled with energy and ideas and one-liners—and a sense of celebration.

According to The Times, Ephron is survived by her husband, screenwriter Nicholas Pileggi, and her two sons, Jacob and Max Bernstein. 

To read Ephron's obituary in The News York Times, click here.
To read Arianna Huffington's blog about Ephron, click here

What will you remember most about the work of Nora Ephron? Do you remember Nora Ephron from BHHS? Share your memories of her in the comments below.

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Lewis Hall June 28, 2012 at 04:30 AM
Nora Ephron understood that an infinite number of ideas are out there and she was as capable of finding them as anyone. Time wasn't a limit for her. The example I use in my class is when she created the story for the movie "Bewitched." She got a call from a friend at Paramount one afternoon who said that Nicole Kidman had been in the studio that day and had shown everyone how she could twitch her nose. Nicole would be coming back the next day and the friend wanted to know if Nora could write a story that they could pitch. Nora didn't hesitate, said yes, and wrote one that evening. The next day Nora's story was pitched to Nicole; Nicole said yes; and the movie got made.

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