Nora Ephron passed away on Tuesday in New York from complications with leukemia. She was 71 years old.
Ephron was the gifted writer behind classic films such as Sleepless in Seattle and When Harry Met Sally – which set the standard for romantic comedies.
As a woman in a man’s industry, she gave power to her female leads, among which were Meryl Streep, Meg Ryan, and Carrie Fisher. Ephron blew away all the pre-conceived notions that couples had to be polite, poised, and perfect. She showed the insane, goofy, realistic way that people fall in love and gave hope to those who were certain they were too quirky to have romance in their lives.
“Nora Ephron was a journalist-artist who knew what was important to know; how things really worked, what was worthwhile, who was fascinating and why,” said Tom Hanks, who starred in Ephron’s Sleepless in Seattle and You’ve Got Mail. “At a dinner table and on a film set, she lifted us all with wisdom and wit mixed with love for us and love for life.”
There’s no doubt she touched the lives of everyone she worked with. Ephron shared a love of life and let that shine through her films.
“She was so, so alive,” her friend, Carrie Fisher told The Seattle Times. “It makes no sense to me that she isn’t alive anymore.”
Ephron is survived by her husband, writer Nicholas Pileggi, and her two sons Jacob and Max Bernstein. She leaves us with memories of her sparkling personality, and the following sage advice from an interview with Reuters:
“You should eat delicious things while you can still eat them, go to wonderful places while you still can … and not have evenings where you say to yourself, ‘What am I doing here? Why am I here? I am bored witless!”