skip navigation
Nora Ephron

Nora Ephron

| VIEW ALL

TCM Messageboards
Post your comments here
ADD YOUR COMMENT>

share:

TCM Archive Materials VIEW ALL ARCHIVES (0)

Recent DVDs

 
 

Julie & Julia DVD "If only I could all cook like Julia Child." That was the dream of Julie (Amy... more info $14.99was $14.99 Buy Now

You've Got Mail: Deluxe Edition... Special Delivery: The stars (Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan) and director (Nora Ephron) of... more info $5.98was $5.98 Buy Now

Sleepless In Seattle DVD Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan light up the screen in "Sleepless in Seattle" (1993), an... more info $14.99was $14.99 Buy Now

Bewitched: Special Edition... Watch out for that nose wiggle! Nora Ephron directed and co-wrote this updated... more info $9.99was $9.99 Buy Now

A League Of Their Own / Sleepless In... Two of Tom Hanks' most charming performances are featured in this double feature... more info $14.99was $14.99 Buy Now

Michael DVD John Travolta charms in this fantasy comedy about a misanthropic angel who... more info $5.98was $5.98 Buy Now

Also Known As: Died: June 26, 2012
Born: May 19, 1941 Cause of Death: Myelodysplasia
Birth Place: New York City, New York, USA Profession: screenwriter, director, producer, journalist, novelist

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Perhaps one of the most prolific writers to emerge during the latter half of the 20th century, Nora Ephron transitioned from successful journalist and novelist to write and direct what many consider to be among the greatest romantic comedies ever made. Despite being raised by screenwriter parents, Ephron was driven as a young woman to become a journalist, first writing for the New York Post, which she followed by becoming a scathingly witty essayist for the likes of Esquire and New York magazine. Her first collection of essays, Wallflower at the Orgy (1970), was a bestseller, as were all her subsequent novels. After making major news for her divorce from acclaimed journalist Carl Bernstein, which became fodder for her novel, Heartburn, Ephron became an Oscar-nominated screenwriter with her very first effort, "Silkwood" (1983). But it was her script for "When Harry Met Sally " (1989) that set the bar high for all other romantic comedies that would follow. While continuing to write films like "My Blue Heaven" (1990), she also began directing, starting with the beloved "Sleepless in Seattle" (1993), leading to "Mixed Nuts" (1994), "Michael" (1996) and culminating in "You've Got Mail" (1998). Though she...

Perhaps one of the most prolific writers to emerge during the latter half of the 20th century, Nora Ephron transitioned from successful journalist and novelist to write and direct what many consider to be among the greatest romantic comedies ever made. Despite being raised by screenwriter parents, Ephron was driven as a young woman to become a journalist, first writing for the New York Post, which she followed by becoming a scathingly witty essayist for the likes of Esquire and New York magazine. Her first collection of essays, Wallflower at the Orgy (1970), was a bestseller, as were all her subsequent novels. After making major news for her divorce from acclaimed journalist Carl Bernstein, which became fodder for her novel, Heartburn, Ephron became an Oscar-nominated screenwriter with her very first effort, "Silkwood" (1983). But it was her script for "When Harry Met Sally " (1989) that set the bar high for all other romantic comedies that would follow. While continuing to write films like "My Blue Heaven" (1990), she also began directing, starting with the beloved "Sleepless in Seattle" (1993), leading to "Mixed Nuts" (1994), "Michael" (1996) and culminating in "You've Got Mail" (1998). Though she remained hard-pressed to scale the heights of "When Harry Met Sally " again - though she fared well with "Julie & Julia" (2009) - Ephron nonetheless remained one of the most revered and respected writer-directors of her day.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
2.
  Bewitched (2005) Director
3.
  Lucky Numbers (2000) Director
4.
  You've Got Mail (1998) Director
5.
  Michael (1996) Director
6.
  Mixed Nuts (1994) Director
7.
  Sleepless In Seattle (1993) Director
8.
  This Is My Life (1992) Director
9.
  74th Annual Academy Awards, The (2002) Segment Director ("Love Letter To New York In The Movies")

CAST: (feature film)

2.
 Husbands and Wives (1992) Dinner Party Guest
3.
 Crimes And Misdemeanors (1989) Wedding Guest
5.
 Intimate Portrait: Rosie O'Donnell (2003) Interviewee
6.
 New York at the Movies (2002) Interviewee
7.
 Lifestory: Rosie O'Donnell (2001) Interviewee
8.
 Pride and Prejudice (2000) Interviewee
9.
 We All Dream of Oz (2000) Interviewee
10.
 Steve Martin Seriously Funny (2000) Interviewee
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1944:
Moved with parents to Beverly Hills, CA at age three
1961:
Parents Henry and Phoebe Ephron reportedly used her college letters to home as the inspiration for the 1961 Broadway hit "Take Her, She's Mine"
1963:
"Take Her, She's Mine" adapted into a feature film starring James Stewart and Sandra Dee
1963:
Hired as reporter for the <i>New York Post</i>; also worked as freelance writer, contributing to such publications as <i>The New York Times Magazine</i> and <i>Good Housekeeping</i>
1970:
Published first collection of essays <i>Wallflower at the Orgy</i>
1972:
Named a columnist and contributing editor at <i>Esquire</i> magazine
1973:
Wrote for the short-lived ABC sitcom "Adam's Rib"
1973:
Named contributing editor at <i>New York</i> magazine
1974:
Promoted to senior editor at <i>Esquire</i>
1975:
Published second collection of essays <i>Crazy Salad: Some Things About Women</i>
1978:
Wrote the CBS movie "Perfect Gentlemen," starring Lauren Bacall
1983:
Co-wrote first screenplay "Silkwood," directed by Mike Nichols and starring Meryl Streep; earned first Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay
1983:
Published first novel <i>Heartburn</i>, which was loosely based on the break-up of her second marriage to Carl Bernstein
1986:
Penned screenplay adaptation of "Heartburn," directed by Nichols, and starring Streep and Jack Nicholson
1989:
Made a cameo as a wedding guest in Woody Allen's "Crimes and Misdemeanors"
1989:
Garnered second Academy Award nomination for writing "When Harry Met Sally..."; film directed by Rob Reiner, and co-starring Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan
1992:
Made feature directorial debut with "This Is My Life"; also co-wrote with sister Delia Ephron
1992:
Played a dinner party guest in Woody Allen's "Husbands and Wives"
1993:
Re-teamed with Meg Ryan to direct her and Tom Hanks in the hit romantic comedy "Sleepless in Seattle"; also co-wrote, earning third Best Original Screenplay Academy Award nomination
1994:
Directed the critically panned "Mixed Nuts"; re-teamed with sister Delia to write the screenplay
1996:
Produced and directed the comedy "Michael," starring John Travolta; also co-wrote with sister Delia
1998:
Re-teamed with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan for romantic comedy "You've Got Mail"; co-wrote screenplay with sister Delia
2000:
Produced and co-wrote screenplay (with sister Delia) for "Hanging Up"; film directed by Diane Keaton, who also co-starred with Meg Ryan and Lisa Kudrow
2002:
Scripted first play "Imaginary Friends," about the relationship between writers Lillian Hellman and Mary McCarthy; first premiered at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego, CA before moving to Broadway's Ethel Barrymore Theatre
2005:
Directed the big screen adaptation of the 1960s classic TV series "Bewitched," starring Nicole Kidman and Will Ferrell; also produced and co-wrote with sister Delia
2006:
Wrote the book <i>I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman</i>
2009:
Re-teamed with star Meryl Streep to direct "Julie & Julia"; also produced and penned the screenplay adaptation of Julie Powell's book about cooking 524 recipes from Child's <i>Mastering the Art of French Cooking</i>
2010:
Published the collection of essays titled <i>I Remember Nothing: And other Reflections</i>
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Wellesley College: Wellesley , Massachusetts - 1962

Notes

"The hugest smile I ever saw was when Nora said 'Action!' for the first time. It was a smile of complete pleasure. She loves to be able to control things. Francis Coppola said that being a director is one of the last dictatorships you can have in an increasingly democratic world. Without being a dictator in the evil sense of the word, Nora is, in a postitive sense. I think Nora was born to direct." --Julie Kavner on Ephron's directorial debut, quoted in Vanity Fair, February 1992.

"When I started out writing screenplays, it was during a period of time when anyone who could type was writing them. I already knew how to do journalism with my habds tied behind my back. Suddenly, I was doing something that I didn't know much about and it was very interesting." --Nora Ephron quoted in Daily Variety, October 21, 1996.

"All of movie making consists of making a choice about one detail after another. But in the end the details don't matter. That's the really shocking thing." --Ephron quoted in The New York Times, April 10, 1994.

"Question: As a child, did you crave to be a screenwriter and director?

"Answer: No, I craved to be a journalist. My parents were terrific screenwriters and that's why I didn't want to be one. I mean, who wants to do what your parents do? My parents did have some influence on my choice of career. My parents were writers. I wanted to be a writer. I just didn't want to have anything to do with the movie business. I didn't want to live 'out there.' I grew up 'out there.' And I thought in order to be in the movie business, you had to live 'out there.' And it turns out you don't. It turns out you can be in the New York and be in the movie business." --Nora Ephron in The Hollywood Reporter, June 11, 1996.

"Look, people can be whatever they want to be in Hollywood. They can be complete babies and do brilliantly or they can be fascists and do brilliantly. But I have found it very useful not to let a lot of things bother me, because you eventually learn that most of them get sorted out, and if you react to every little thing, you could go crazy in the movie business." --Ephron in the 1996 special "Women in Film" issue of Premiere

Companions close complete companion listing

husband:
Dan Greenburg. Author. Married on April 9, 1967; divorced.
husband:
Carl Bernstein. Journalist. Born in 1944; married on April 14, 1976; divorced in 1979; Ephron is legally enjoined by the terms of the divorce settlement from using anything about their life together or the children as material in her work.
husband:
Nicholas Pileggi. Author, screenwriter. Married on March 28, 1987.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Henry Ephron. Playwright, screenwriter. Born on May 26, 1912; died on September 6, 1992.
mother:
Phoebe Ephron. Playwright, screenwriter. Born on January 26, 1914; died in October 1971 of cirrhosis of the liver.
step-mother:
June Gale.
sister:
Delia Ephron. Novelist, screenwriter. Born on July 12, 1944 1944; co-wrote screenplay for "This Is My Life" (1991) with Nora Ephron.
sister:
Hallie Ephron. Computer company manager, author. Born on March 9, 1948.
sister:
Amy Ephron. Novelist, screenwriter. Born on October 21, 1952.
son:
Jacob Bernstein. Born c. 1978; father, Carl Bernstein.
son:
Max Bernstein. Born in December 1979; father, Carl Bernstein.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"Wallflower at the Orgy" Viking
"Crazy Salad: Some Things About Women" Alfred A. Knopf
"Scribble, Scribble: Notes on the Media" Alfred A. Knopf
"Heartburn" Alfred A. Knopf
"Crazy Salad Plus Nine"
"Nora Ephron Collected" Avon
"The Women Who Write the Movies: From Frances Marion to Nora Ephron" Birch Lane Press
VIEW COMPLETE BIBLIOGRAPHY

Please support TCMDB by adding to this information.

Click here to contribute