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Originally published Wednesday, June 27, 2012 at 4:44 PM

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Nora Ephron: Seattle favorite was a writer for all seasons

Nora Ephron died Tuesday at the age of 71. She was a writer for all seasons, a journalist, screenwriter, director, book author, a woman to love.

Seattle Times Editorial

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NORA Ephron died Tuesday at the age of 71. She was the writer and director who made the iconic film about our city, "Sleepless in Seattle."

That movie continues to bring tourists here. But Ephron was more than our best tourism advocate. She was a writer for all seasons, a journalist, screenwriter, director, book author, a woman to love.

She began her journalism career working in the mail room at Newsweek, then became a reporter at the New York Post and later moved to magazines. She was a Peggy Olson for journalism in the 1960s.

It's a testament to belief in self that Ephron stayed funny and built a career writing about relationships and women when no one in a male-dominated world of journalism would have considered it serious writing.

At one point she was married to the most serious of journalists, the revered Carl Bernstein, one of The Washington Post reporters who broke the story on Watergate.

The movie "When Harry Met Sally," written by Ephron, set the bar for romantic comedies. When it was released in the '80s, the models of romance were "Sixteen Candles" and "Pretty Woman," Disney fairy tales dressed up in Jessica McClintock prom dresses.

"When Harry Met Sally" was a Shakespearean rom-com. It created a new ideal of true romance, one fueled by love, friendship and laughter. The scene of Meg Ryan faking an orgasm in a deli was more than a memorable movie moment. Without that scene, there would never have been a "Vagina Monologues."

Ephron wrote and directed "Julie & Julia" and wrote "Silkwood." She was journalism's Meryl Streep. She is the answer to the question The Atlantic magazine posed last week: Can women "have it all"? She did.

And we'll have what she's having.

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