Nora Ephron, American journalist, Died at 71


Dead, Nora Ephron on June 26, 2012, she was an American journalist, essayist, playwright, screenwriter, novelist, producer, director, and blogger. Born in New York City on May 19, 1941, eldest of four daughters, in a Jewish family, and grew up in Beverly Hills.

Her parents, Henry and Phoebe Ephron (née Wolkind), were both East Coast-born and raised screenwriters.

Her sisters Delia and Amy are also screenwriters.

Her sister Hallie Ephron is a journalist, book reviewer, and novelist who writes crime fiction.

Ephron’s parents based the ingenue character in the play and film version of Take Her, She’s Mine on the 22-year-old Nora and her letters from college.

Both her parents became alcoholics during their declining years.

She was married three times.

Her first marriage, to writer Dan Greenburg, ended in divorce after nine years.

In 1976, she married journalist Carl Bernstein of Watergate fame.

In 1979, Ephron had a toddler son, Jacob, and was pregnant with her second son Max when she discovered Bernstein’s affair with their common friend, married British politician Margaret Jay.

Ephron was inspired by this to write the 1983 novel Heartburn, which was then made into a 1986 Mike Nichols film starring Jack Nicholson and Meryl Streep.

In the book, Ephron wrote of a husband named Mark, who was “capable of having sex with a Venetian blind.”

For many years, Ephron was among only a handful of people in the world who knew the true identity of Deep Throat, the source for news articles written by her ex-husband Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward during the Watergate scandal.

Ephron said she guessed the identity of Deep Throat after reading Bernstein’s notes, which referred to the unnamed person as “MF.”

Bernstein claimed “MF” was short for “My Friend,” but Ephron guessed correctly that the initials stood for Mark Felt, the late former associate director of the FBI, who some suspected was Bernstein and Woodward’s source.

Ephron made her directorial debut with the comedy This Is My Life (1992), co-scripted by her sister Delia Ephron, which starred Julie Kavner as a single mother who struggles to establish herself as a stand-up comedienne.

Ephron followed up by helming and co-writing Sleepless in Seattle (1993), a romantic comedy in which lovers Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan are separated for most of the film.

Less about love than about love in the movies, the film drew inspiration from the beloved shipboard romance An Affair to Remember (1957), starring Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr.

In her most recent book, “I Remember Nothing,” she ends the collection of essays with two lists: What I Won’t Miss, and What I Will Miss.

After the lists come the acknowledgments, which ends with “and of course, my doctors.”