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All four Ephron daughters became writers, but Nora, named for the door-slamming heroine of Ibsen’s , most of all mined her own life and those around her for material.She is best remembered as the writer and/or director of four of the most successful romantic comedies of all time: “When Harry Met Sally...” (1989), “Sleepless in Seattle” (1993), “You’ve Got Mail” (1998), and “Julie and Julia" (2009).
“In writing it funny, she won,” says Nichols, who then directed the 1986 movie version, starring Meryl Streep and Jack Nicholson.
Streep called the book Nora’s “central act of resilience.” “She wrote herself out of trouble,” says her agent, Bryan Lourd. Although she had never intended to become a screenwriter like her parents, she found that it provided more flexibility for a single mother than being a journalist.
The woman who made her living by her wit.” The Ephrons did not hesitate to use each other's lives as material.
Even Nora’s son, Jacob Bernstein, produced a superb documentary about his mother, which is of course titled "Everything is Copy." It tells the story of Nora’s sister Delia putting her head through the bannister rails in their house, so that the fire department had to come and get her out.
The Ephrons made that into an incident in a James Stewart film they wrote called “The Jackpot.” “My parents just took it and recycled it, just like that,” Nora says in the film.
Later, Nora’s letters home from college inspired her parents to write a successful play called “Take Her, She’s Mine,” which became a movie starring Sandra Dee as a free-spirited (for 1963) daughter and James Stewart as the lawyer father who tries to keep her out of trouble.Their four daughters grew up in Beverly Hills while the Ephrons worked on films like “Desk Set,” starring Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn, “There’s No Business Like Show Business,” with Ethel Merman and Marilyn Monroe and “Captain Newman, M. Phoebe wrote to Nora at camp describing the scene outside her office on the studio lot: a special effects crew creating the parting of the Red Sea for “The Ten Commandments,” using blue Jell-O.The Ephrons often entertained their friends, mostly other New York writers, and Nora grew up listening to complicated, challenging, witty—sometimes relentlessly witty—people.So she adapted for the screen and co-wrote 1983's “Silkwood,” also starring Streep as the Kerr-Mc Gee employee turned activist.Those who dismiss Nora’s work as lightweight because it is often light-hearted overlook its singularly radical and unapologetically female point of view.Because if I tell the story, it doesn't hurt as much. Nora loved the control of being a director and paid attention to the smallest of details.For “Sleepless in Seattle,” she had a door flown across country so that the characters who had not yet met would be literally opening the same door, sending the audience a subliminal signal about their rightness for each other.The fictionalized but fact-based Amazon series “Good Girls Revolt” depicts the experiences of the women who fought this system, and it includes a character named Nora Ephron, played by Grace Gummer.Nora was in the right time and place when two great upheavals came together in the 1970’s: the feminist movement and the arrival of “new journalism”—vital, opinionated, very personal writing that powered popular and influential magazines like Clay Felker’s and the President’s daughter, whom she described as “a chocolate-covered spider.” By 1976, Nora had already divorced the first of her three writer husbands and it was around this time she fell in love with another media superstar, Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein.She said that directing a movie meant that all day people asked her to decide things—she found it very satisfying to give them answers."Everything is Copy" shows a headline for a story about Nora: “She tells the world things that maybe she shouldn’t, but aren’t you glad she did?