Nora Ephron Dies at 71

Nora Ephron

When Harry Met Sally - PosterAmerican filmmaker and writer Nora Ephron, best known for her films When Harry Met Sally… and Sleepless in Seattle, has died aged 71 after a battle with leukemia.

The “wry woman of letters” started her career as a “mail girl” at Newsweek. She quickly became part of the “New Journalism” movement of the 1960s.

A screenwriter and novelist behind Silkwood  (1983) and Heartburn (1986), her first box office success was with When Harry Met Sally… (1989). She made her directorial debut in 1992 with This Is My Life, and followed this with the highly commercial Sleepless in Seattle (1993).

Filmmaker, director, producer, screenwriter, novelist, playwright, journalist, author, and blogger: on her success she simply commented “Most of us live our lives devoid of cinematic moments”.

While Michael (1996) was an ambitious bit of misdirection, You’ve Got Mail (1998) and Bewitched (2005) played it safe but didn’t always pay off critically. However, her final film Julie & Julia (2009), which earned a number of awards including an Oscar nod for star Meryl Streep, was seen by many as a return to form.

Ephron is said to one of a handful of people who knew the real identity of Deep Throat, the news source for the articles written by her husband Carl Bernstein during the Watergate Scandal.

The Reel Bits remembers the films of Ephron fondly, and we will pay tribute to her this week in 80s Bits by looking back When Harry Met Sally…