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Nora Ephron, the American author, director and Oscar-nominated screenwriter perhaps best known for a string of iconic romantic comedies, died Tuesday evening at the age of 71.
Ephron was, in the words of the Post, "one of America's warmest and most acute chroniclers of contemporary culture and society," someone who was known since her earliest years as a journalist and essayist "for a keen cultural barometer, channeling her interest in the zeitgiest to the screen, the page and the theater."
The Times had this to say in her obit:
"In a commencement address she delivered in 1996 at Wellesley College, her alma mater, Ms. Ephron recalled that women of her generation weren’t expected to do much of anything. But she wound up having several careers, all of them successfully and many of them simultaneously.
"She was a journalist, a blogger, an essayist, a novelist, a playwright, an Oscar-nominated screenwriter and a movie director.... By the end of her life, though remaining remarkably youthful looking, she had even become something of a philosopher about age and its indignities."
She was nominated for the Academy Award for original screenplay three times: Silkwood, which lost out to Tender Mercies at the 1984 awards ceremony; When Harry Met Sally..., which lost to Dead Poets Society in 1990; and Sleepless in Seattle, which was defeated by The Piano in 1994.* She earned her most recent movie credit in 2009 with Julie & Julia, which starred Meryl Streep and Amy Adams.
She also co-wrote the Broadway play Love, Loss & What I Wore with her sister Delia, and authored a handful of books, including I Remember Nothing: And Other Reflections and I Feel Bad About My Neck.
Rumors of Ephron's death first began circulating late Tuesday afternoon on Twitter, thanks in large part to a wowOwow column by Liz Smith that appeared to eulogize her. "I won’t say, 'Rest in peace, Nora,'" Smith wrote. "I will just ask 'What the hell will we do without you?'"
Smith, however, jumped the gun by a few hours. Ephron's publisher, Knopf, told the Times at the time that the filmmaker was still alive, albeit in critical condition, a report that was confirmed by her friends and agent to ABC News.
Ephron is survived by her husband Nicholas Pileggi, who is best known for adapting his book Wiseguy into the the movie Goodfellas, and two children from an earlier marriage to journalist Carl Bernstein. She was also previously married to author Dan Greenburg.
(*Note: The Academy Awards ceremony honors films from the previous calendar year. Silkwood, for instance, was released in 1983 but technically lost out during the 1984 ceremony.)