Writer & Director
In this video
Nora Ephron on covering the women's movement, how her life has inspired her art, and the evolution of women in Hollywood.
Nora Ephron is a best-selling writer, director, and producer. Born in 1941 in New York City, and raised in Beverly Hills, Ephron was the daughter of screenwriters, Henry and Phoebe Ephron. After Ephron graduated from Wellesley College in 1962, she moved back to New York City, taking a job as a mail girl at Newsweek.
When New York City's newspapers suspended publication during the International Typographical Union strike, Ephron and friends began a satirical newspaper. Her parodies of the New York Post came to the attention of the Post's publisher, Dorothy Schiff, who decided to hire the young Ephron as a reporter.
Ephron's career as a journalist spanned many years and publications. While working for the Post, she began writing essays occasionally for New York, Esquire, and The New York Times Magazine. Known for her satirical and witty essays, she became a figure of the "New Journalism" movement of the 1960s.
Her career as a screenwriter began with a television movie titled Adam's Rib (1973). She went on to write, direct and produce 15 films, but she is best known for her romantic comedies, such as When Harry Met Sally (1989), and Sleepless in Seattle (1993). Her most recent film, Julie & Julia, was released in 2009 to rave reviews.
More From Nora
Red Coats & Round Tables
Ephron shares her favorite advice she's collected over the years.
Ephron confesses that she was not a very good writer starting out and remembers a turning point moment when a piece got a laugh.
Real Life Harry & Sally
Ephron explains how the character of Harry was modeled off Rob Reiner and how Sally is like her.
The Orgasm Scene, at 10,000 Ft.
Ephron talks about the famous orgasm from "When Harry Met Sally" and the experience of watching a censored version on a flight.
A Natural Born Leader
Ephron offers insight into why feminist leader Betty Friedan felt threatened by an up-and-coming activist named Gloria Steinem.
The Key to Being a Writer
Although Ephron doesn't like giving advice on how to break into the movie business, she knows the key to her success as a writer.
Feminists Without the Label
Ephron points out that young women who don't identify as feminists often usually are.
Work and Family Tug of War
Ephron says being torn between career and family is inevitable. Expect it to be hard, and remember it's just a phase.
Becoming a Director
Ephron tells why she moved from writing scripts to directing hit movies, and how it took another woman giving her a shot.
Husbands, Dirty Dishes & Feminism
Ephron recalls how the women's movement greatly altered one of our oldest institutions - marriage.
Leaving Newsweek Magazine
Ephron describes the barriers facing women at Newsweek in the 1960s.
My Greatest Fear
Ephron discusses her early days in New York City and why she was convinced she'd die alone and never succeed.