Nora Ephron, the American author and filmmaker who directed the romantic comedy favourites 'Sleepless and Seattle' and 'You've Got Mail', has died aged 71. Born into a family of screenwriters, Ephron became a top journalist before making the inevitable foray in the movie industry, reports the Press Association.
Ephron - who also wrote Sleepless and Seattle - was famed for her hard hitting literary works, including 'Heartburn', a brutal account of her marriage to the Washington Post reporter Carl Bernstein. In the book, she immortalised Bernstein's marital transgressions, though was also hard on herself, writing about her doubts about her physical appearance and the intrusion of age. Though she became hugely successful in the world of romantic comedies, Ephron harboured a desire to work on more serious movies, telling MTV News in 2009, "You should see my closet, it's full of political scripts", though conceded she would never get to direct one of the movies, saying, "Forget it. I'm not complaining about any box that I'm in, because I can write whatever I want.Fortunately, I'm not just in the movie business, so I don't feel that the only way I can express myself is by the movies I make". Her close friends including Meryl Streep adored her wisdom and turn of phrase, while Meg Ryan was among the many actresses who often said they loved working with Ephron because she understood them better than their male peers. She was nominated for three Academy Awards, for 'Silkwood', 'When Harry Met Sally' and 'Sleepless in Seattle'.
Ephron was married three times in total, to Dan Greenberg, Bernstein, and the writer Nicholas Pileggi, whose book 'Wiseguys' was adapted into the Martin Scorsese movie 'Goodfellas'.