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Famous celebrity author of 'Sleepless in Seattle' dies

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
June 28th, 2012
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Screenwriter and director Nora Ephron has died. Ephron was the author of such film favorites as "Sleepless in Seattle: and "When Harry met Sally." It would have been hard not to have become a gifted screenwriter, as her parents, Henry and Phoebe Ephron, wrote screenplays for "Carousel," "Desk Set" and "There's No Business Like Show Business."

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Ephron died surrounded by relatives at a New York hospital, where she was undergoing treatment for acute myeloid leukemia. She was 71.

Ephron was a multi-hyphenated talent who went under numerous names: essayist, playwright, journalist, novelist, an Oscar-nominated screenwriter and a movie director. She will probably be best remembered for her romantic comedies that featured strong, but appealing characters who tackled issues with comic insight into their situations.

Both "When Harry Met Sally" and "Sleepless in Seattle," for which she earned her screenwriting Oscar nominations, were popular comedies, but there was a serious side to Ephron as well. She also received an Oscar nomination for "Silkwood," the story of anti-nuclear activist Karen Silkwood. Ephron also wrote and directed "Julie & Julia," which earned Meryl Streep a best actress Oscar nomination in 2010.

Nora Ephron made her directorial debut with the 1992 comedy, "This Is My Life," which she co-wrote with her sister, Delia. Both sisters also put together a production fashioned around Ilene Beckerman's best-selling book "Love, Loss and What I Wore."

Ephron was quick to point out her parents' legacy as the driving force behind her writing.

"They were funny and they believed that everything was copy," Ephron said in 2009. "They believed that anything in life could be turned into a story, which is really the first rule of humor. I don't think you can get through almost anything without humor.

"I feel bad for the people who don't at some point understand that there's something funny in even the worst things that can happen to you," Ephron said.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg offered his condolences, saying that her films set in the Big Apple -- "You've Got Mail" and "Sleepless in Seattle" were true classics.  

"The loss of Nora Ephron is a devastating one for New York City's arts and cultural community," Bloomberg said in a statement. "From her earliest days at New York City's newspapers to her biggest Hollywood successes, Nora always loved a good New York story, and she could tell them like no one else."

Three short years ago, Ephron provided a list of some of the best advice she's ever got, including "life is too short" and "location, location, location."

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