Nora Ephron is the daughter of screenwriters Phoebe and Henry Ephron (Desk Set, Carousel), who turned into alcoholics. Phoebe died of cirrhosis of the liver in 1971.

Nora wrote about her Mom's death scene in her novel Heartburn: "One day her stomach swelled up like a Crenshaw melon and they took her to a very fashionable hospital for rich people with cirrhosis and the doctors clucked and said there was nothing that coulbe done... She lay there slowly dying with my father impatiently standing by, 'Pull the plug,' he would say to the doctor...suddenly she opened her eyes and looked at me. 'I just screwed Darryl Zanuck on the remake,' she said, and gave a little croak...and died."

Nora's father was later hospitalized for manic-depression.

With an MA from Wellesley College, Ephron first gained fame as an essayist (Crazy Salad 1975). Her journalistic scalps included "historian Theodore White, Passages author Gail Sheehy, the New Yorker writer Brendan Gill, and the feminist godmother Betty Friedan." (Gun, pg. 227)

Ephron published the novel Heartburn in 1983. It disects her failed marriage to womanizer and journalist Carl Bernstein.

Ephron believes both her ex-husbands (Bernstein and novelist Dan Greenberg, who slept with her best friend) betrayed her. (Gun. pg. 228) She rejoices in striking fear into others.

She wrote the screenplay to 1983's Silkwood, about anti-nuclear activist Karen Silkwood. She wrote 1989's When Harry Met Sally. This is My Life, 1992, was the first film she directed. She followed it by co-writing and directing the Meg Ryan - Tom Hanks hit Sleepless in Seattle.

Formerly married to novelist Dan Greenberg and investigative journalist Carl Bernstein, Ephron is now married to crime journalist/screenwriter (GOODFELLAS, 1990) Nicholas Pileggi.

Ephron's best female Hollywood friends included Dawn Steel, Lynda Obst and Amy Pascal. (Gun, pg. 228)