Nora Ephron, the beloved screenwriter who gave life to hit films like “When Harry Met Sally…,” “Sleepless in Seattle,” “You’ve Got Mail,” and most recently, “Julia and Julia,” has passed away at 71-years old.
Ephron died of complications from myelodysplasia, a blood disorder she was diagnosed with six years ago, according to the Washington Post. The award-winning filmmaker’s talents reached far beyond Hollywood. Among her many credits, Ephron was an essayist, reporter, novelist, and Editor-at-Large for The Huffington Post.
The Beverly Hills native began her career as a journalist after graduating from Wellesley College. She started out writing for the New York Post and went on to write about the 1970s women’s movement for Esquire.
Ephron was not afraid to practice what she preached and refused to settle for predictability in her life. An avid feminist with a sense of humor, she advised Wellesley’s Class of 1996 in a commencement speech not to be afraid to break the rules.
“Whatever you choose, however many roads you travel, I hope that you choose not to be a lady,” Ephron told the graduates.”I hope you will find some way to break the rules and make a little trouble out there. And I also hope that you will choose to make some of that trouble on behalf of women.”
In 1976, the screenwriter married Washington Post journalist Carl Bernstein after his induction into the journalism hall of fame thanks to his investigative work along with partner Bob Woodward during the Watergate scandal. Despite being the power couple of their time or “the Brad and Jen of the eighties” according to a profile of Ephron written by Ariel Levy, the two divorced after four years of marriage.
Best known by many for her film “When Harry Met Sally,” Ephron said that movie-making was her passion.
“Directing movies is the best job there is, that’s all,” Ephron told the UK’s Independent in 1993. “I can hardly say a word after that. It’s just a great job. I just want to go on making movies, and some of them will be completely meaningless, except, of course, to me.”
Despite what Ephron may have thought, the majority of her movies have been the opposite of meaningless, and have become iconic in many cases. Working in a world where many people can lose sight of themselves, Ephron managed to stay grounded, and became increasingly aware of her own mortality in recent years.
In her latest book, “I Remember Nothing: And other Reflections” she wrote: “You do get to a certain point in life where you have to realistically, I think, understand that the days are getting shorter, and you can’t put things off thinking you’ll get to them someday. If you really want to do them, you better do them. There are simply too many people getting sick, and sooner or later you will. So I’m very much a believer in knowing what it is that you love doing so you can do a great deal of it.”
A memorial has been planned to commeorate Ephron’s life on Thursday, June 28, in New York. She is survived by her husband, screenwriter Nicholas Pileggi and her two sons, Jacob and Max Bernstein.