Nora Ephron's 5 Most Memorable Movies (Video)

4:41 PM PST 06/26/2012 by Kimberly Nordyke
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UDPATED: The writer-director, who died Tuesday at age 71, has a slew of critical and commercial hits -- from "When Harry Met Sally" to "You've Got Mail" -- to her credit.

The industry is reeling from the news that celebrated writer-director Nora Ephron is gravely ill.

Ephron died Tuesday night in New York after a battle with leukemia, the New York TImes reported. She was 71.

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While her agency CAA and publisher Knopf denied earlier reports Tuesday that she had died, gossip columnist Liz Smith had posted a story that repeatedly referred to the 71-year-old in the past tense while never actually saying she had died.

Smith told The Hollywood Reporter that she'd spoken with Ephron's son Jacob Bernstein for her story, which was quickly updated to the present tense.

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“I was told this morning that she was dying, but I can’t confirm it,” said Smith, who noted that the family is planning for a funeral.

During her career, Ephron has specialized in romantic comedies, many of which became both commercial and critical hits. She also is known to reteam with many of the same actors, including Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan.

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Here are five of her most memorable films:

Silkwood (1983)

The drama, directed by Mike Nichols and co-written by Ephron, was inspired by the true-life story of Karen Silkwood, who died in a mysterious car accident while investigating alleged wrongdoings at a plutonium plant where she worked. Stars Meryl Streep and Cher received Oscar noms for their work on the movie, as did Nichols and Ephron.

 

Heartburn (1986)

Ephron wrote the screenplay based on her semi-autobiographical novel of the same name, which was inspired by her second marriage, to journalist Carl Bernstein, and his affair with Margaret Jay, the daughter of a former British prime minister and the wife of a former British ambassador. The movie starred Meryl Streep and Jack Nicholson.

 

When Harry Met Sally (1989)

This was the first of four movies that teamed Ephron with Meg Ryan, who starred with Billy Crystal as a pair of friends who don't realize they are meant to be together until several years after they first meet. Ephron wrote the Oscar-nominated screenplay for the Rob Reiner-directed movie -- which famously included the line "I'll have what she's having" -- earning her an Oscar nomination, among other honors.

 

Sleepless in Seattle (1993)

Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan starred in the movie directed and co-written by Ephron, who received an Oscar nom for the screenplay. Inspired by the Cary Grant-Deborah Kerr film An Affair to Remember, the story line concerns a widower (Hanks) who becomes famous after his son calls in to find a new wife for his father on a nationwide radio program. Ryan's character then becomes intrigued, and the two finally meet at the top of New York's Empire State Building on Valentine's Day.

 

You've Got Mail (1998)

Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan reteamed for the movie, based on the Miklos Laszlo play Parfumerie, which had previously been adapted into the 1940 film The Shop Around the Corner. Ephron directed and along with her sister, Delia, wrote the screenplay about a man and woman who are having a romantic relationship over e-mail and are unaware that their "lover" is, in fact, a person whom they immensely dislike.

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