Nora Ephron Dies at 71; Writer and Filmmaker With a Genius for Humor
NYT, June 26, 2012
Nora Ephron, an essayist and humorist in the Dorothy Parker mold (only smarter and funnier, some said) who became one of her era’s most successful screenwriters and filmmakers, making romantic comedy hits like “Sleepless in Seattle” and “When Harry Met Sally…,” died Tuesday night [June 26, 2012] in Manhattan. She was 71.…
Nora Ephron on the set of her 2009 film, “Julie & Julia,” starring Ms. Streep, seated.She was a journalist, a blogger, an essayist, a novelist, a playwright, an Oscar-nominated screenwriter and a movie director — a rarity in a film industry whose directorial ranks were and continue to be dominated by men. Her later box-office success included “You’ve Got Mail” and “Julie & Julia.” By the end of her life, though remaining remarkably youthful looking, she had even become something of a philosopher about age and its indignities.
“Why do people write books that say it’s better to be older than to be younger?” she wrote in “I Feel Bad About My Neck,” her 2006 best-selling 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.”
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.”
[In a world ruled by macho men, it was refreshing to follow Ms. Ephron's career, to see her accomplishments and think, “I can do that too!” When one can keep one’s head, when all around one is choatic (to misquote Kippling) and add a smile and a wink as well, that’s magical.~JB]