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Nora Ephron

Nora Ephron mined her most painful experiences to create brilliant comedies like Heartburn and When Harry Met Sally. Born into a family of playwrights and screenwriters, Ephron began her career as a journalist for the New York Post before working her way up to senior editor and columnist at Esquire magazine. In 1983, she used the stories of her first two divorces as grist for her bestselling first novel, Heartburn, later made into a movie. She then turned to screenwriting, earning an Academy Award nomination in 1983 for Silkwood, based on the story of a whistleblower at a nuclear power plant, and in 1989 for When Harry Met Sally, which played on elements of her long-time friendship with director Rob Reiner. Ephron continued to write screenplays, occasionally collaborating with her sister Delia, but also began directing her own movies, including Sleepless in Seattle, You’ve Got Mail, and her final movie, Julie & Julia.

Nora Ephron circa 1976
Full image

Portrait of Nora Ephron from Crazy Salad, circa 1976.

Date of Birth
May 19, 1941
Place of Birth
New York, New York
Date of Death
June 26, 2012

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Nora Ephron." (Viewed on January 23, 2018) <>.


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