Nora Ephron - Bad Girls Throughout History: 100 Remarkable Women Who Changed the World - Ann Shen

Bad Girls Throughout History: 100 Remarkable Women Who Changed the World - Ann Shen (2016)

Nora Ephron

The queen of romantic comedies, Nora Ephron (1941-2012) was a trailblazer for women in Hollywood. Ephron sharply observed the world around her and recreated the magic with a wry wit that resonated with a wide audience. She started off as a successful journalist, writing such a great satirical article about the New York Post that they turned around and hired her. Her career turned to screenwriting when her second husband, Carl Bernstein (of Watergate scandal fame), asked her to take a stab at rewriting the script for All the President’s Men. Even though her version wasn’t used, she made the leap to Hollywood. Ephron first spun heartache into gold with her novel-turned-screenplay Heartburn, which fictionalized her painful divorce from Bernstein after she discovered he was cheating on her when she was seven months pregnant. She went on to write eight more books, including the revolutionary I Feel Bad About My Neck, which candidly addressed the experiences of women getting older, and over a dozen films, including romantic comedies that set the standard for all others to come. These included When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle, and You’ve Got Mail. At the age of fifty-one, Ephron took on the mantle of director, a job that few females have ever held. She earned three Oscar nominations—and two Razzie nods (Golden Raspberries, that is, which honor the worst in film). In fact, Ephron had almost as many film failures (does anyone remember Michael? Or Bewitched?) as she did successes, yet she kept going after each one. That may well have been the most inspiring thing about Ephron’s life—that, much like her unlucky-in-love heroines, she was adept at getting back up and moving on.

“Above all, be the heroine of your own life, not the victim.”