A funeral for famed writer Nora Ephron will take place in New York City today. Ephron, the Oscar-nominated screenwriter, director, and essayist, died at age 71 on Tuesday, June 26.
Newsweek reports that Ephron, always the humorist, once said of her funeral, "I want everyone to be a basketcase."
According to the New York Times, Ephron died from pneumonia brought on by acute myeloid leukemia her son Jacob Bernstein confirmed. Bernstein had released the date of the funeral, but did not share further details with the media. And while it is unknown which celebrities will attend, the service could draw some of Hollywood's most influential stars.
Ephron is famous for her romantic comedies including “Sleepless in Seattle,” “When Harry Met Sally,” “You’ve Got Mail” and other modern classic like 2009’s “Julie & Julia,” which starred Meryl Streep and Amy Adams.
Born on May 19, 1941 in Manhattan, she was the eldest of four sisters to parents Henry and Phoebe Wolkind, who were also Hollywood screenwriters, putting their names on films like “Carousel,” “There’s No Business Like Show Business” and “Captain Newman, M.D.”
Her parents moved her and her sisters to Beverly Hills where she was raised and graduated high school in 1958, before attending Wellesley College.
She was a summer intern in the Kennedy White House in 1961 and later wrote in an essay for the New York Times, “she was also probably the only intern that President John F. Kennedy had never hit on.”
Beginning her journalism career at the New York Post in the early sixties, she moved back to New York. After her time at The New York Post, she moved over to magazine journalism and began writing about the women’s movement in the 1970s for Esquire.
In 1976, she married her second husband, Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein, and they divorced four years later.
After a failed attempt at rewriting the screenplay for “All The President’s Men,” Ephron wrote her first screenplay, “Silkwood,” with friend Alice Arlen which became a film in 1983.
From that first screenplay came the many others that made Ephron famous, including the famous fake orgasm scene in “When Harry Met Sally,” with Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal at the famous Katz’s Delicatessen.
In an interview with Huffington Post in 2012, director Nicolas Stoller said, “When Harry Met Sally…." is kind of a dark movie. It’s sweet and it ends beautifully and romantic, but those are two pretty messed up characters. They’re pretty flawed. They do nasty things to each other. It goes to a dark, pretty real place between them. That’s why it’s a classic. Nora Ephron does not pull her punches in that movie.”
Actor Tom Hanks, who worked with Ephron on “Sleepless in Seattle” and “You’ve Got Mail,” said she “lifted us all with wisdom and wit mixed with love for us and love for life,” according to the Huffington Post.
Entertainment reported that Ephron urged her aging friends and readers to live their lives to the fullest: “You should eat delicious things while you can still eat them, go to wonderful places while you still can… and not have evenings where you say to yourself, ‘What am I doing here? Why am I here? I am bored witless!’”
Ephron was married three times and is survived by her husband of more than 20 years who is also a writer, Nicholas Pileggi; two sons from second husband Bernstein, Jacob and Max; and also her sisters Delia Ephron, Amy Ephron and Hallie Ephron.