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Nora Ephron's Legacy On Female Friendship

Writer of Sleepless in Seattle and When Harry Met Sally


Nora Ephron

Nora Ephron used her life for inspiration in her books and screenplays.

Cindy Ord/Getty Images
Sleepless in Seattle

Sleepless in Seattle is a favorite Nora Ephron film.

When Harry Met Sally

When Harry Met Sally


One of the true tests of a life well lived is the legacy you leave behind. Did you touch people's lives? Inspire them? I kept thinking about that when I heard that Nora Ephron had passed away at the age of 71.

One thing I loved about Ephron was the fact that she wrote about strong female friendships. Even in When Harry Met Sally, a film that centers on a male-female friendship, it is the strong relationship between females (played by Carrie Fisher and Meg Ryan) that really drives the story forward. Would Ryan's character have even tried again with Harry (played by Billy Crystal) were it not for Marie (played by Fisher) urging her forward?

In penning these great women characters, she left her mark on the importance of female friendship.

Life of Nora Ephron

Nora Ephron was born May 19, 1941, in New York City. She died June 26, 2012, also in New York. Ephron had leukemia, which she only shared with those closest to her. Arianna Huffington said she understood this decision in an interview on Piers Morgan Tonite, saying "She didn't want it to color the life she was living and the interactions with friends and how everybody related to her."

Parents: Henry and Phoebe Ephron
Sisters: Delia, Hallie, and Amy Ephron
Children: Jacob and Max Bernstein
Spouse(s): Nicholas Pileggi (1987 - until her death), Carl Bernstein (1976 - 1980), Dan Greenburg (1967-1976)

Notable Achievements

Nora Ephron is known for her writing style: bold, emotional, humorous, and empowered with feminine strength and character. She received an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay for When Harry Met Sally, which is arguably one of her most famous and best loved films. She also wrote Sleepless in Seattle, Silkwood, and Michael.

Celebrity Friendships

Ephron had many celebrity friends, including:

  • Carrie Fisher
  • Pete Hamill
  • Tom Hanks
  • Arianna Huffington
  • Mike Nichols
  • Sally Quinn
  • Rob Reiner
  • Meryl Streep
  • Calvin Trilin
  • Barbara Walters
  • Rita Wilson


"Nora Ephron, writer-filmmaker, dies at 71."Wall Street Journal. 6/26/2012.
"Nora Ephron's close friends remember and honor her legacy." Piers Morgan Tonite. June 28, 2012.
Sally Quinn. "Friend: Nora Ephron's death leaves a hole in the heart." Arizona Living via the Washington Post.

Nora Ephron Quotes

"Whatever you choose, however many roads you travel, I hope that you choose not to be a lady. I hope you will find some way to break the rules and make a little trouble out there. And I also hope that you will choose to make some of that trouble on behalf of women."
- Wellesley Commencement address, 1996 (Source: ABC News)

"When your children are teenagers, it’s important to have a dog so that someone in the house is happy to see you."
- I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman

"Insane people are always sure that they are fine. It is only the sane people who are willing to admit that they are crazy." (Source: IMDB)

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