Our Nora Ephron biography is now live.
We were slow out of the gate on Ms. Ephron, it’s true. But we didn’t know she was going to die so young. Neither did others, apparently. Her leukemia was a well-kept secret:
In hindsight, there were signs. Go to her IMDB page and you’ll find there was nothing pending, despite the solid success of her big, generous 2009 film Julie & Julia. Her 2010 book I Remember Nothing ended with a list titled “What I Will Miss” and a thank-you to “my doctors.” Because these were Ephron’s words, we took them as little jokes, a nod to her readily acknowledged neuroses, to her grudging acceptance of aging.
“As only a few people knew, she was on deadline” is how aging columnist Richard Cohen put it.
Speaking of Cohen, Nora Ephron may be challenging Christopher Hitchens for the title of recently-demised person with the most hangers-on. When Hitchens died last year, dozens of writers came out of the woodwork to declare him their greatest friend and remember late-night talks over a bottle of booze — which usually ended with a still-sober Hitchens sitting down to rip out a brilliant 3000-word essay on Rousseau as the friend was leaving at dawn, or else ordering deviled kidneys as a hangover cure the next day.
In Ephron’s case, everyone from Cohen to actor Tom Hanks wrote reminiscences, using phrases like “extraordinary friend” and “magical lunches” and “how will I navigate?” Even strangers declared their devastation at her death.
Not to be snarky about it. Some people just have that alpha knack of making everyone feel like their best friend. It’s a rare trait. Nora Ephron clearly had it.
She also had three Oscar nominations, three marriages, a handful of best-selling books, and some of the best-loved romantic comedies of the 1990s to her credit, as our biography points out. It was a big life.
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