DHAKA: Hollywood screenwriter and director Nora Ephron, who penned such films as ‘When Harry Met Sally’ and ‘Sleepless in Seattle’, has died at the age of 71.
Alfred P Knopf, Ephron’s publisher, confirmed her death on Tuesday night in a statement, BBC reports Wednesday.
Her son told the New York Times she died in Manhattan of complications relating to acute myeloid leukaemia.
The writer grew up in California, and started her career reporting for the New York Post.
‘She brought an awful lot of people a tremendous amount of joy’, her publisher said in a statement.
‘She will be sorely missed.’
Her 15 film credits also include You’ve Got Mail, Silkwood and Julie and Julia, which was her final film, in 2009.
She was nominated for an Oscar three times, but never won the award.
Ephron was born on 19 May 1941 in New York, to a Broadway playwright and a Hollywood screenwriter.
She put her mother’s advice – ‘take notes, everything is copy’ - to good effect, turning wry personal observations on relationships into hugely successful romantic comedies.
Ephron wrote essays for major US magazines from the late 1960s, as well as several non-fiction books, including two recent memoirs.
She was married three times, once to Carl Bernstein, the Washington Post reporter who helped uncover the Watergate scandal.
The marriage ended publicly when he began an affair with the wife of the then-British ambassador, Margaret Jay, who was also the daughter of former British Prime Minister James Callaghan.
Ephron’s divorce from Bernstein resulted in a novel, Heartburn, which she turned into a movie starring Meryl Streep and Jack Nicholson.
Her first marriage to writer Dan Greenburg ended in 1976.
Rumours of her death circulated on Tuesday evening after her friend, celebrity columnist Liz Smith, published an online memorial.
Smith said the writer’s son had informed her a funeral had been scheduled for his mother.
Ephron is survived by her husband and two sons.
She was the oldest of four sisters, all of whom became writers.
Ephron’s third marriage to Nicholas Pileggi, who wrote the screenplays for the Martin Scorsese films ‘Goodfellas’ and ‘Casino’, lasted more than 20 years.
BDST: 1401 HRS, JUN 27, 2012
Edited by Robab Rosan, Cultural Affairs Editor
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