Phoebe Ephron

The mother of four talented women writers, Phoebe Ephron was a full-time, professional writer with her own claims to success. Phoebe Ephron attended Hunter College before meeting her future husband and collaborator, Henry Ephron, in 1933. The pair co-wrote many Broadway plays and Hollywood movies together, including There’s No Business Like Show Business, Desk Set (starring Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn), the film adaptation of Carousel, and Captain Newman, MD, which was nominated for an Academy Award. Ephron modeled the life of a career woman for her daughters, hiring a cook and a nanny to help raise Nora, Delia, Amy, and Hattie so she could focus on her writing. She often incorporated personal details in her writing—the Ephrons’ first play in 1943, Three’s a Family, was based on their experiences raising Nora. She advised her daughters to remember that “the tragedies of your life one day have the potential to be comic stories the next,” as Nora remembered, and reportedly instructed Nora on her deathbed, “Take notes, Nora, take notes. Everything is copy.”

Topics: Plays

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Date of Birth

New York, NY
United States

Date of Death
Playwright, Screenwriter

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Phoebe Ephron ." (Viewed on May 17, 2021) <>.


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