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Legendary Screenwriter Nora Ephron Dead at 71

Nora Ephron Dead at 71
Michael Loccisano, Getty Images

Filmmaker and author Nora Ephron, who penned such iconic comedies as ‘When Harry Met Sally’ and ‘Sleepless in Seattle,’ died Tuesday night at New York Presbyterian after a battle with acute myeloid leukemia. She was 71-years-old.

Ephron is known for creating smart, funny female characters and romantic comedies that didn’t pander to the audience. As a result, she was a three-time Oscar nominee and literally helped shaped the rom-com genre.

Ephron first gained fame as part of the New Journalism movement in the 1960s, writing for the New York Post and Esquire among others. From there, she went on to write and direct an impressive number of commercially-successful movies. (Her resume boasts everything from ‘My Blue Heaven’ to ‘Julie & Julia.’)

Until her death yesterday, no one except those close to her knew she was even ill. “That was the way she wanted it,” said friend and Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen. “She was a very open person, someone who wasn’t afraid to live her life in public, but this she wanted to have control of.”

Ephron is survived by her husband, ‘Goodfellas’ author Nicholas Pileggi, and two sons by former husband Carl Bernstein of Woodward and Bernstein fame.

Check out some memorable examples of Ephron’s work below.

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