Vale – Nora Ephron

The woman responsible for giving us Meg Ryan’s diner orgasm in When Harry Met Sally has passed away.

Nora Ephron – 1941-2012

Acclaimed screenwriter and director Nora Ephron has passed away. Ephron was responsible for the romantic comdy hits Sleepless In Seattle and When Harry Met Sally, as well as the less known film Silkwood, and for all three garnered an Academy Award nomination for her work.

Ms Ephron was famously married to journalist Carl Bernstein, who was a major player in the Watergate scandal of the 70’s, and claimed to know the identity of Deep Throat, the msyterious source of information which toppled a presidency. Ephron first came to the big leagues when she scored a job as a reporter for the New York Post, after writing several humerous parody articles for another publication, in the 1960’s. Ephron also wrote articles for Esquire and New York Magazine, before marrying Carl Bernstein in the mid 70’s. She assisted Bernstein re-write the screenplay for what would become All The President’s Men, telling the story of the Watergate scandal which was major headlines of the time. Her first screenwriting credit came with 1983 drama Silkwood, for which she would snag her first Oscar nomination.

Ephron would find acclaim for her script for When Harry Met Sally (and having one of cinema’s greatest scenes – Meg Ryan’s diner orgasm – become part of pop culture iconography), the film directed by Rob Reiner and starring Ryan and Billy Crystal. For that film, she snagged a BAFTA win, while she was nominated for Oscar, the Golden Globes, and a WGA award. The films Cookie and My Blue Heaven followed, before Ephron tried her hand at directing, with This Is My Life (for which she also wrote the screenplay).  In 1993, Ephron once more struck gold with the tale of two lonely hearts finding each other from each side of the American continent – Sleepless In Seattle, which starred Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. Sleepless was a monster hit, and Ephron was nominated for her screenplay work by Oscar, BAFTA, and the Golden Globes. Ephron also directed this film, although no Directing awards would come her way.

Ephron’s other writing/directing credits include the John Travolta flick Michael, as well as You’ve Got Mail in 1998, Bewitched in 2005 and most recently, Julie & Julia in 2009. Julie & Julia saw star Meryl Streep nominated for just about every acting award there is, while Ephron was left virtually empty handed. Her screenplay for Bewitched saw her score a nomination for a Razzie for Worst Screenplay, her first and only time at those awards.

Nora Ephron’s third husband, after writer Dan Greeburg and Burnstein, was Nicholas Pileggi, who wrote the screenplays for films such as Goodfellas, Casino and American Gangster. Ms Ephron passed away from pnuemonia, a complication from her contracting leukemia in 2006, on June 26th, aged 71.

The writing world is the poorer for her passing, and we humbly fake an orgasm out of due respect.


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