A woman who made her own rules, writer and filmmaker Nora Louise Ephron (1941–2012) was born on this day in Manhattan, New York. Her parents were successful Broadway playwrights who inspired their four daughter to write. All four did.
Named Nora after Ibsen's feminist in A Doll's House, Ephron said her mother taught her to turn pain into literature.
"People have only one way to be," she said.
Known for razor-sharp wit and honesty, à la Dorothy Parker, she started as a journalist, then best-selling author, then moved to the big screen as a writer, producer, and director.
She once said, "That is the truest sign of insanity - insane people are always sure that they are fine. It is only the sane people who are willing to admit that they are crazy."
Her art chronicled the heartbeat of American culture for 40 years. Her life was a celebration of empowerment through humor.
“I have always thought it was a terrible shame that the women’s movement didn’t realize how much easier it was to reach people by making them laugh than by shaking a fist and saying don’t you see how oppressed you are,” she said in 1976.
Ephron received Best Original Screenplay Oscar nominations for the romantic comedies When Harry Met Sally (1989) and Sleepless in Seattle (1993) (which she also directed), and the whistleblower drama Silkwood (1983).
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