Losing Nora: Beloved Writer and Filmmaker Has Died

Image from guardian.co.uk

The woman behind movies such as “You’ve Got Mail”, “Sleepless in Seattle”, and “When Harry Met Sally” lost her battle with leukemia on Tuesday, June 26th at the age of 71. Nora Ephron was many things all at once. She was a screenwriter, a novelist, an essayist, a cookbook writer, a mother, a wife, and a friend. She was witty, sarcastic, and intellectual, she was the voice for many women, and a true talent that will be greatly missed.

Nora Ephron transformed the romantic comedy genre. She was, and will still be, one of the writers that could never be over shadowed by a director; her screenplays are instantly identifiable as just “Nora Ephron films”.  In her book “Heartburn” Ephron recounts the events of her divorce from journalist Carl Bernstein.  “If I throw this pie at him, I thought to myself, he will never love me. And then it hit me; he doesn’t love me … I picked up the pie … and threw it”. “Heartburn” was later turned into a film starring Meryl Streep and Jack Nicholson.

Nora Ephron was a woman’s woman.  She was someone for young women to look up to, not just for her accomplishments and her dazzling career, but for her wisdom and humor. When Ephron spoke at her Alma Mater, Wellesley College, at a commencement ceremony in 1996 she said, ““Maybe young women don’t wonder whether they can have it all any longer, but in case any of you are wondering, of course you can have it all. What are you going to do? Everything is my guess. It will be a little messy, but embrace the mess. It will be complicated, but rejoice in the complications. It will not be anything like what you think it will be like, but surprises are good for you. And don’t be frightened, you can always change your mind. I know, I’ve had four careers and three husbands.”

The last film Ephron gave us was 2009’s “Julie & Julia” starring Meryl Streep and Amy Adams.  The movie was based on a book by Julie Powell that tells of the challenge she gave herself: to prepare all 524 of Julia Child’s recipes in just 1 year.  Ephron wrote and directed the film with the idea to combine Julie Powell’s story with Julia Child’s autobiography My Life in France.

Nora Ephron knew how to make people laugh.  She had a career that most people only dream of having. She went through messy divorces and she fiercely battled leukemia for several years. She was a strong, intelligent, and powerful woman, and everything she did, she did with grace and humor.  Her legacy will live on forever in the hearts of her fans and in the films she proudly presented to the world.

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