Nora Ephron

American film director and writer (1941–2012)

Nora Ephron (May 19, 1941June 26, 2012) was an American film director, producer, screenwriter and novelist.

Nora Ephron (2010)


  • Stare at me in this faceless way, go mad with desire, and rip my clothes off. It's terrific. In my sex fantasy, nobody ever loves me for my mind. The fantasy of rape — of which mine is in a kind of prepubescent sub-category — is common enough among women and (in mirror image) among men.
    • Nora Ephron: Crazy Salad: Some Things About Women, Knopf Publishing, New York, 1975
  • I am continually fascinated at the difficulty intelligent people have in distinguishing what is controversial from what is merely offensive.
    • "Barney Collier's Book," Esquire (January 1976); republished in Scribble, Scribble (1978), ch. 10
  • Whenever I get married, I start buying Gourmet magazine. I think of it as my own personal bride's disease.
    • Crazy Salad Plus Nine (1984)
  • It struck me that the movies had spent more than half a century saying, "They lived happily ever after" and the following quarter century warning that they'll be lucky to make it through the weekend. Possibly now we are entering a third era, in which the movies will be sounding a note of cautious optimism: You know, it just might work.
  • Insane people are always sure they're just fine. It's only the sane people who are willing to admit they're crazy.
    • Nora Ephron, Heartburn (1983), as reported in What a piece of work is man!: Camp's unfamiliar quotations from 2000 B.C. to the present (1989), p. 320.
  • Verbal ability is a highly overrated thing in a guy, and it's our pathetic need for it that gets us into so much trouble.
  • [Hollywood] is a very male business, and it has in vast portions of it — the whole action movie part of it might as well be the United States Army in 1943 in that the ethics of it are, you know, boot camp and action movies and guns and explosions and all the rest of it, and that – so that means that about 50% of the business is not only pretty much closed off to women, but women don’t even wanna be in it!
  • I moved into directing for a couple of reasons. … Most directors, I discovered, need to be convinced that the screenplay they’re going to direct has something to do with them. And this is a tricky thing if you write screenplays where women have parts that are equal to or greater than the male part. And I thought, "Why am I out there looking for directors?" — because you look at a list of directors, it’s all boys. It certainly was when I started as a screenwriter. So I thought, "I’m just gonna become a director and that’ll make it easier."
  • The function of a blog is on some level to start a conversation that you're not involved in any more because you've already had your say. That thing of coming right off the news — did you see what I saw this morning, can you believe it? — has a kind of fun appeal.
  • I was so tired of seeing these stupid, cheerful books about ageing. One of them even has this whole thing in it about how you are going to have the greatest sex of your life in your sixties and seventies. Which is just garbage.

    I thought about it and realised that there was one circumstance that you could have the best sex of your life in your sixties and seventies. That would be if you had never had sex until you were 60 or 70.

  • Plastic surgery is a way for people to buy themselves a few years before they have to truly confront what ageing is, which of course is not that your looks are falling apart, but that you are falling apart and some-day you will have fallen apart and ceased to exist.
    • Quoted in Christopher Goodwin, "Get real – ageing’s not all Helen Mirren," Times Online (UK) (4 March 2007)
  • "Oh, how I regret not having worn a bikini for the entire year I was twenty-six. If anyone young is reading this, go, right this minute, put on a bikini, and don’t take it off until you’re thirty-four."
    • Nora Ephron: I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman, Random House Incorporated, 2008


  • With any child entering adolescence, one hunts for signs of health, is desperate for the smallest indication that the child's problems will never be important enough for a television movie.
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