Filmmaker, playwright and novelist Nora Ephron has died. She was 71 years old. The cause was acute myeloid leukemia.
Ephron died at 7:40 p.m. at New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, her family said in a statement Tuesday night. Late Tuesday afternoon, a representative for Ephron's publisher, Alfred A. Knopf, confirmed that Ephron was dying, after columnist and friend Liz Smith posted what appeared to be a memorial for Ephron.
Ephron is probably best known for directing the romantic comedies "When Harry Met Sally" and "Sleepless in Seattle," for which she received Academy Award nominations for best screenplay. Throughout her career she wrote over 12 movies including "Silkwood" and "Heartburn," which was based on her autobiographical novel of the same title that chronicled the end of her second marriage to journalist Carl Bernstein. Her first husband was writer Dan Greenberg.
Her recent credits included the film "Julie & Julia" and the play "Love, Loss, and What I Wore," which she co-wrote with her sister Delia Ephron.
She was born on May 19, 1941, in New York City, to screenwriters Henry and Phoebe Ephron. She was the oldest of four sisters and grew up in California. She graduated from Wellesley College in 1962 and interned at the White House during the Kennedy administration.
She moved to New York City where she worked as a journalist writing for The New York Post and later wrote for magazines such as New York Magazine, Esquire and the New York Times Magazine.
During a November 2010 appearance on WNYC's The Leonard Lopate Show, she discussed the issue of growing old, which was the subject of her book I Remember Nothing. She said the book was a way to cope with the inevitable.
"I don't want to be one of those people lying on my deathbed thinking I should have eaten more donuts," Ephron told Lopate. "I think it's helpful to know what are the things that really make you happy, and you have to do them while you still can do them."
She is survived by her third husband, Nicholas Pelggi, and her two sons, Jacob Bernstein and Max Bernstein.
Here's the ending to her classic film, "When Harry Met Sally":
And here's the Empire State Building scene from "Sleepless in Seattle":