warning Hi, we've moved to USCANNENBERGMEDIA.COM. Visit us there!

Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

Nora Ephron Dies At 71

Sara Itkis |
June 26, 2012 | 9:49 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

Creative Commons
Creative Commons
Beloved director and screenwriter Nora Ephron died in a New York hospital Tuesday at the age of 71. She passed away from pneumonia brought on by acute myeloid leukemia. 

Best known for her screenplay for "When Harry Met Sally" (1989), Ephron also wrote and directed "Sleepless in Seattle" (1993), "You've Got Mail" (1998), and most recently "Julie & Julia" (2009). Her role as a female director in Hollywood was a unique one, and was certainly not the only way in which she stood out. In addition to screenwriting and directing, she also worked as a producer, playwright, novelist, journalist, essayist and blogger.

Ephron was a Wellesley College graduate and was married three times. Her second husband was Watergate journalist Carl Bernstein. Their famous breakup was the inspiration for Ephron's novel-turned-movie "Heartburn" (1986). Pileggi, Ephron's third husband, is a screenwriter, best known for "Goodfellas" (1990).  

She is survived by her husband, Nicholas Pileggi, and her sons, Max and Jacob Bernstein.

Ephron was very much a social presence within the film and theater communities she worked in. 

Tom Hanks, star of "You've Got Mail," said of working with Ephron: "Working on a movie with Nora is kind of like going to a dinner party of hers. There's a lot of great conversation. There's a certain amount of screwing around but, by and large, you wind up talking about what Nora dictates you're going to wind up talking about." 

Billy Crystal, who portrayed Harry in "When Harry Met Sally," said "I was very lucky to get to say her words." And, as her audience, we were certainly lucky to hear, read, and be forever affected by them. 


Reach Staff Reporter Sara Itkis here.



Craig Gillespie directed this true story about "the most daring rescue mission in the history of the U.S. Coast Guard.”

Watch USC Annenberg Media's live State of the Union recap and analysis here.