Nora Ephron Biography

Nora Ephron photo

Born: May 19, 1941


Date of Birth: May 19, 1941

The daughter of author/screenwriters Phoebe and Henry Ephron, this native to New York City was educated at Wellesley College and received an M.A.

Ephron began writing for movies after years as one of the country's best-known journalists. She started her career as a newspaper reporter for The New York Post and then became a magazine writer for Esquire, The New York Times Magazine and New York magazine, among others. Two collections of her essays, Crazy Salad and Scribble, Scribble, were best-sellers.

After years of courting cynicism and waspishness in her work, Ephron turned romantic with her script for the extremely popular When Harry Met Sally... (1989) and has remained in this vein ever since.

Ephron has received three Academy Award nominations for Best Original Screenplay; for Sleepless in Seattle (with David Ward and Jeff Arch); for the classic romantic comedy When Harry Met Sally...; and for the drama Silkwood (co-written with Alice Arlen).

After a few so-so writing and producing assignments, she made her directing bow with This Is My Life (1992), which she co-wrote with her sister Delia Ephron. She then served as director and writer of Sleepless in Seattle, a big-time hit of 1993. Five years later, she re-teamed with Sleepless stars Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan for You've Got Mail; another New York-based romantic comedy, it was one of the most successful films of 1998. The following year, Ephron and sister Delia collaborated on Hanging Up, a comedy-drama based on a novel of Delia's. Unfortunately, the film was a big time critical and box office flop.

She began the new millennium directing the film Lucky Numbers starring John Travolta and Lisa Kudrow, but it was another flop, losing money at the box office. She then wrote and directed Bewitched (2005), a comedy about an actor (Will Ferrell) making a comeback by starring in a remake of the popular '60s series of the same name about a witch married to a mortal. When he finds the perfect woman (Nicole Kidman) to co-star as his wife Samantha, he gets more than he bargained for when she turns out to be a real-life witch.

Formerly married to novelist Dan Greenberg and investigative journalist Carl Bernstein (with whom she has two children), Ephron is now wed to crime journalist/screenwriter Nicholas Pileggi. In 2003 she received the Ian McLellan Hunter Award from the Writers Guild of America.


Julie & Julia (2009)
Bewitched (2005)
Lucky Numbers (2000)
Red Tails in Love: A Wildlife Drama in Central Park (1999)
You've Got Mail (1998)
Michael (1996)
Mixed Nuts (1994)
Sleepless in Seattle (1993)
This Is My Life (1992)
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