Nora Ephron (May 19, 1941 – June 26, 2012) was an American journalist, writer, and filmmaker. She is best known for her romantic comedy films and was nominated three times for the Academy Award for Best Writing: for Mike Nichols’ Silkwood (1983), with Meryl Streep, Cher, and Kurt Russell; Rob Reiner‘s When Harry Met Sally… (1989), with Billy Crystal, Meg Ryan, Carrie Fisher, and Bruno Kirby; and Sleepless in Seattle (1993), with Tom Hanks, Ryan, Bill Pullman, Ross Malinger, Rob Reiner, Rosie O’Donnell, Gaby Hoffmann, Victor Garber, and Rita Wilson; the latter she also directed. She won a BAFTA Award for Best Original Screenplay for When Harry Met Sally…. She often co-wrote scripts with her sister Delia Ephron.
Other films she wrote but didn’t direct include Heartburn (1986), with Streep, Jack Nicholson, Stockard Channing, Jeff Daniels, Miloš Forman, Catherine O’Hara, and Joanna Gleason; Susan Seidelman’s Cookie (1989), with Peter Falk, Dianne Wiest, Emily Lloyd, Michael V. Gazzo, Brenda Vaccaro, Adrian Pasdar, and Jerry Lewis; Herbert Ross’ My Blue Heaven (1990), with Steve Martin, Rick Moranis, and Joan Cusack; and Hanging Up (2000), with Ryan, Diane Keaton (who also directed), Lisa Kudrow, Walter Matthau, Adam Arkin, and Cloris Leachman.
Other films she directed include This Is My Life (1992), with Julie Kavner, Samantha Mathis, Hoffmann, Fisher, and Dan Aykroyd; Mixed Nuts (1994), with Martin, Madeline Kahn, Robert Klein, Anthony LaPaglia, Juliette Lewis, Reiner, Adam Sandler, Wilson, and Liev Schreiber; Michael (1996), with Andie MacDowell, William Hurt, Bob Hoskins, Robert Pastorelli, Joey Lauren Adams, and Jean Stapleton; You’ve Got Mail (1998), with Hanks, Ryan, Parker Posey, Stapleton, Dave Chappelle, Steve Zahn, and Greg Kinnear; Lucky Numbers (2000), with Travolta, Kudrow, Tim Roth, Ed O’Neill, Michael Rapaport, Pullman; Bewitched (2005), with Nicole Kidman, Will Farrell, Shirley MacLaine, Michael Caine, Jason Schwartzman, Kristin Chenoweth, Heather Burns, Jim Turner, Stephen Colbert, David Alan Grier, Michael Badalucco, Carole Shelley, and Steve Carell; and Julie & Julia (2009), with Streep, Amy Adams, Stanley Tucci, Chris Messina, and Jane Lynch.
Her first produced play, Imaginary Friends (2002), was honored as one of the ten best plays of the 2002–03 New York theatre season. She also co-authored the Drama Desk Award–winning theatrical production Love, Loss, and What I Wore. In 2013, Ephron received a posthumous Tony Award nomination for Best Play for Lucky Guy. She also wrote various essay books and one novel during her career. She was married 3 times: first writer Dan Greenburg from 1967 to 1976, then to journalist Carl Bernstein (with whom she had two sons Jacob and Max) from 1976 to 1980, and finally to screenwriter Nicholas Pileggi, from 1987 until her death in 2012. The couple lived in the Hollywood Hills in Los Angeles, and in New York City.
Each review will be linked to the title below.
(*seen originally in theaters)
(**seen rereleased in theaters)
- Silkwood (1983) – directed by Mike Nichols – co-writer
- Heartburn (1986) – directed by Mike Nichols – writer
- When Harry Met Sally… (1989) – directed by Rob Reiner – writer
- Cookie (1989) – directed by Susan Seidelman – co-writer
- My Blue Heaven (1990) – directed by Herbert Ross – writer
- This Is My Life (1992) – director, co-writer
- Sleepless in Seattle (1993) – director, co-writer
- Mixed Nuts (1994) – director, co-writer
- Michael (1996)* – director, co-writer
- You’ve Got Mail (1998) – director, co-writer
- Hanging Up (2000) – directed by Diane Keaton – co-writer
- Lucky Numbers (2000) – director
- Bewitched (2005) – director, co-writer
- Julie & Julia (2009) – director, writer