Acclaimed Screenwriter Nora Ephron Dead At 71

Nora Ephron—acclaimed for her sharp wit as much for her skills as a writer, journalist, director and screenwriter—died today at age 71, after losing a battle with leukemia.

Gay audiences have long enjoyed Ephron’s work on romantic comedies like When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle and Julie & Julia, but she also received an Oscar nomination for the screenplay to the stark bio-pic Silkwood, which featured Cher in a breakout role as Meryl Streep’s lesbian best friend.

The former wife of Watergate journalist Carl Bernstein, Ephron first carved a name for herself as part of the New Journalism movement, with acerbic essays like 1972’s A Few Words About Breasts. She later wrote a roman a clef about the dissolution of her marriage to Bernstein in 1983’s Heartburn, which became another Ephron project starring Meryl Streep. More recently she wrote the play Love Loss & What I Wore with her sister, Delia.

Ephron is survived by her husband, novelist Nicholas Pileggi (with Ephron above), and her sons, Max and Jacob Bernstein.