Nora Ephron has died. She passed on Tuesday, June 26, 2012 of complications from myelodysplasia, a blood disorder. Nora was 71.
In the days when magazines like Newsweek “didn’t hire women as writers”, a Newsweek interviewer told her, Nora got a job as a mail clerk. She stuck that out for about a year. In 1962, the International Typographical Union walked out on the Daily News, the NewYork Times, the New York Post and six other major newspapers. During the strike, Nora was hired to write a parody of a popular gossip column. The New York Post liked her so much, they offered her a trial position as a “cub” reporter. Her career took off from there, the Post loved her and she worked happily for them for five years. She became involved with Arianna Huffington’s new brainchild The Huffington Press. She was an intimate part of the birth of that publication, from its conception to the multimedia giant it is today.
Nora became extremely popular as an essayist, novelist, journalist, screenwriter, filmmaker, producer, director, author and blogger. At first she was hesitant to try her hand at “blogging”, not even a recognized activity, at the time, much less a professional one. Of course, she excelled at it. In fact, she preached it, as a viable means of communication in which discussion could be created among members of a “community” who might never have come together.
Throughout her years she wrote such hits as “Heartburn,” “When Harry Met Sally,” “Silkwood” and “Sleepless in Seattle.” Her personal life was lived among the literati of the times, hanging with such folks as Betty Friedan, Julia Child, Meryl Streep. She feuded with Gloria Steinem.
Nora was married several times. One of her mates was Carl Bernstein, of the famous duo Woodward and Bernstein. In fact, when the true identity of “Deep Throat” was revealed to be navy veteran and FBI official, Mark Felt, Nora wrote that she had known it all along. She listed all the facts that had led her to her conclusion that it was Mark Felt. But even with her clout, no one really believed her. It wasn’t until Mark Felt actually outed himself that the world at large actually accepted the truth.
Nora has quite a legacy to leave, not the least of which is her strong pioneering spirit in taking an absolutely male dominated environment by storm. In addition to numerous essays, articles, plays and columns, Nora was one of America’s best known humorists. Some of her books, include “I Remember Nothing, And Other Reflections” and “I Feel Bad about My Neck: and Other thoughts on Being a Woman.”
Nora will long be remembered as an outstanding artist, a devoted wife and mother, a dear friend to many, and a pioneer and role model for women.
In her 2010 memoirs, “I Remember Nothing…,” Nora spoke of her lifetime love affair with journalism:
“For many years I was in love with journalism,” she wrote. “I loved the pack. I loved smoking and drinking Scotch and playing dollar poker. I didn’t know much about anything, and I was in a profession where you didn’t have to. I loved the deadlines. I loved the speed. I loved that you wrapped the fish.”
While filming “When Harry Met Sally”, the director (Rob Reiner) asked Nora to reveal something about women. “Women fake orgasms.” she told him. He didn’t believe her and Nora replied “Not always, but sometimes.” Since he still didn’t believe her (“Not with me,” he’d said), they then stormed into “the bullpen at Castle Rock Pictures, where all the women worked.” He asked the whole group ‘Is it true that women fake orgasms?’ He was astounded when all these women confirmed it was true. Hence the unforgettable scene in the movie.
RIP Nora Ephron: May 19, 1941-June 26, 2012. I am certainly proud and fortunate to have known about you!!!
Sources and/or Related:
Huff Post, Arianna Huffington: “Heartbroken in Manhattan…”
Huff Post, Nora Ephron: “Deep Throat and Me…”
HuffPost Media: “Nora Ephron Dead…”
HuffPost Celebrity: “Nora Ephron, Dead at 71…”
Wikipedia: “Nora Ephron”
hUFFpOST: “10 Things We should Thank Nora Ephron For”
The Washington Press: “Nora Ephron… dies at 71”
N is for… (Nora)
E is for… (Ephron)