On Sunday, Feb. 17, the Writers Guild of America, East paid tribute to Nora Ephron, who died last summer at 71. Ephron wrote the screenplays for Silkwood, When Harry Met Sally..., and Heartburn, and wrote and directed the hit romantic comedies Sleepless in Seattle and You’ve Got Mail.
In a statement, Michael Winship, president of the WGA, East, said of Ephron, “Not only did she embody the sophistication, wit and energy of our city, she was also a loyal union member who walked the picket line and talked the talk on behalf of all her fellow writers.”
Ephron was born in New York City, the daughter of Jewish screenwriters Henry and Phoebe Ephron. The family moved west to Beverly Hills when Ephron was four. After attending Wellesley College, where she worked on the school newspaper, and then interning in the Kennedy White House, Ephron spent five years writing for the New York Post before regularly writing for such magazines as Esquire and New York.
In 1976 Ephron married fellow journalist Carl Bernstein, half of the team responsible for breaking the Watergate story. Ephron and Bernstein had two sons, Jacob and Max, before divorcing in 1980.
Her final film was 2009’s Julie & Julia, starring Meryl Streep as Julia Child.
Ephron married GoodFellas scribe Nicholas Pileggi in 1987. She left the bulk of her $15 million estate to Pileggi and her two sons.
The WGA awards ceremony was held simultaneously in New York and Los Angeles. Argo and Zero Dark Thirty took top honors. From New York, author Meg Wolitzer – whose novel was the basis for This Is My Life, Ephron’s 1992 directorial debut–spoke and presented a clip package for the tribute.