Nora Ephron Quotes

Nora Ephron, 1941 – 2012

Born: 19 May 1941, New York City
Died: 26 June 2012, New York City

Nora Ephron’s parents were both screen writers. The family moved to Beverly Hills in 1945 and Nora graduated from Beverly Hills High School in 1958. While at Wellesley she was an intern in the Kennedy White House, her mother made Nora into a character in a play and movie, Take Her, She’s Mine, Nora graduated in 1962. During a newspaper strike that year she contributed parodies of The New York Post to a strike paper, the Post was impressed by the effort and she worked there for five years. Nora and all three sisters became writers, she’s written numerous essays but is best known for writing and directing fifteen films. Her first was Silkwood (1983), her last was Julie & Julia (2009), both of which starred her friend Meryl Streep. Her second marriage was to Carl Bernstein of Watergate fame, after the bitter separation she wrote the novel and screenplay for Heartbreak. She was able to identify Mark Felt as “Deep Throat” and routinely told anyone who asked, somehow the media didn’t believe her. She was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome, a precursor to leukemia, several years before her death but chose to keep that private. The cancer progressed and she had been in hospital for at least two weeks when she died from pneumonia, described as a complication of acute myeloid leukemia.

Nora Ephron quotes:

Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.
    Nora Ephron

And then the dreams break into a million tiny pieces. The dream dies. Which leaves you with a choice: you can settle for reality, or you can go off, like a fool, and dream another dream.
    Nora Ephron – Heartburn (1983)

As far as the men who are running for president are concerned, they aren’t even people I would date.
    Nora Ephron

Beware of men who cry. It’s true that men who cry are sensitive to and in touch with feelings, but the only feelings they tend to be sensitive to and in touch with are their own.
    Nora Ephron

Don’t you love New York in the fall? It makes me want to buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address.
    Nora Ephron

Enough about that.The point is that for a long time, the fact that I was divorced was the most important thing about me. And now it’s not.
    Nora Ephron

Every so often I would look at my women friends who were happily married and didn’t cook, and I would always find myself wondering how they did it. Would anyone love me if I couldn’t cook? I always thought cooking was part of the package: Step right up, it’s Rachel Samstat, she’s bright, she’s funny and she can cook!
    Nora Ephron – Heartburn (1983 novel, 1986 film)

Getting older means you don’t have to shave your legs anymore.
    Nora Ephron

Here are some questions I am constantly noodling over: Do you splurge or do you hoard? Do you live every day as if it’s your last, or do you save your money on the chance you’ll live twenty more years? Is life too short, or is it going to be too long? Do you work as hard as you can, or do you slow down to smell the roses? And where do carbohydrates fit into all this? Are we really all going to spend our last years avoiding bread, especially now that bread in American is so unbelievable delicious? And what about chocolate?
    Nora Ephron – I Feel Bad About My Neck (2006)

I always read the last page of a book first so that if I die before I finish I’ll know how it turned out.
    Nora Ephron – When Harry Met Sally (1990)

I am continually fascinated at the difficulty intelligent people have in distinguishing what is controversial from what is merely offensive.
    Nora Ephron

I am living in the Google years, no question of that. And there are advantages to it. When you forget something, you can whip out your iPhone and go to Google. The Senior Moment has become the Google moment, and it has a much nicer, hipper, younger, more contemporary sound, doesn’t it? By handling the obligations of the search mechanism, you almost prove you can keep up.
    Nora Ephron – I Remember Nothing (2010)

I am not a new journalist, whatever that is. I just sit here at the typewriter and bang away at the old forms.
    Nora Ephron

I don’t care who you are. When you sit down to write the first page of your screenplay, in your head, you’re also writing your Oscar acceptance speech.
    Nora Ephron

I don’t think any day is worth living without thinking about what you’re going to eat next at all times.
    Nora Ephron

I don’t want to be someone that you’re settling for. I don’t want to be someone that anyone settles for. Marriage is hard enough without bringing such low expectations into it, isn’t it?
    Nora Ephron – Sleepless in Seattle (1993)

I have for many years been puzzled by the persistence of Hugh Hefner. Why is he still here?
    Nora Ephron – “Why Won’t Playboy Die?” – Newsweek

I have made a lot of mistakes falling in love, and regretted most of them, but never the potatoes that went with them.
    Nora Ephron

I have no desire to be dominated. Honestly I don’t. And yet I find myself becoming angry when I’m not.
    Nora Ephron – Crazy Salad (1975)

I have to murder and dismember a crustacean.
    Nora Ephron – Julie & Julia (2009)

I look as young as a person can look given how old I am.
    Nora Ephron – I Remember Nothing (2010)

I look out the window and I see the lights and the skyline and the people on the street rushing around looking for action, love, and the world’s greatest chocolate chip cookie, and my heart does a little dance.
    Nora Ephron – Heartburn (1983)

I love that you get cold when it’s 71 degrees out. I love that it takes you an hour and a half to order a sandwich. I love that you get a little crinkle above your nose when you’re looking at me like I’m nuts. I love that after I spend the day with you, I can still smell your perfume on my clothes. And I love that you are the last person I want to talk to before I go to sleep at night. And it’s not because I’m lonely, and it’s not because it’s New Year’s Eve. I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.
    Nora Ephron – When Harry Met Sally (1990)

I married him against all evidence. I married him believing that marriage doesn’t work, that love dies, that passion fades, and in so doing I became the kind of romantic only a cynic is truly capable of being.
    Nora Ephron – Heartburn (1983)

I try to write parts for women that are as complicated and interesting as women actually are.
    Nora Ephron

I’ll have what she’s having.
    Nora Ephron – When Harry Met Sally (1990)

If pregnancy were a book, they would cut the last two chapters. The beginning is glorious, especially if you’re lucky enough not to have morning sickness and if, like me, you’ve had small breasts all your life. Suddenly they begin to grow, and you’ve got them, you’ve really got them, breasts, darling breasts, and when you walk down the street they bounce, truly they do, they bounce bounce bounce.
    Nora Ephron – Heartburn (1983 novel, 1986 film)

If Sigmund Freud had watched Phil Donahue he would never have wondered what women want.
    Nora Ephron

If your husband is cheating on you with a carhop, get Meryl Streep to play you. You’ll feel much better.
    Nora Ephron – on her marriage to Carl Bernstein and the movie Heartburn (1983)

In my sex fantasy, nobody ever loves me for my mind.
    Nora Ephron

Insane people are always sure that they are fine. It is only the sane people who are willing to admit that they are crazy.
    Nora Ephron

Maybe young women don’t wonder whether they can have it all any longer, but in case any of you are wondering, of course you can have it all. What are you going to do? Everything, is my guess. It will be a little messy, but embrace the mess. It will be complicated, but rejoice in the complications. It will not be anything like what you think it will be like, but surprises are good for you. And don’t be frightened: you can always change your mind. I know: I’ve had four careers and three husbands.
    Nora Ephron – Wellesley commencement address (1996)

My mother wanted us to understand that the tragedies of your life one day have the potential to be the comic stories the next.
    Nora Ephron

My mother was a good recreational cook, but what she basically believed about cooking was that if you worked hard and prospered, someone else would do it for you.
    Nora Ephron – Heartburn (1983 novel, 1986 film)

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 (2006)

One of the best things about directing movies, as opposed to merely writing them, is that there’s no confusion about who’s to blame: You are.
    Nora Ephron

Reading is one of the main things I do. Reading is everything. Reading makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something, learned something, become a better person. Reading makes me smarter. Reading gives me something to talk about later on. Reading is the unbelievably healthy way my attention deficity disorder medicates itself. Reading is escape, and the opposite of escape; it’s a way to make contact with reality after a day of making things up, and it’s a way of making contact with someone else’s imagination after a day that’s all too real. Reading is grist. Reading is bliss.
    Nora Ephron – I Feel Bad About My Neck (2006)

So much of what I see reminds me of something I read in a book, when shouldn’t it be the other way around?
    Nora Ephron

Sometimes I believe that some people are better at love than others, and sometimes I believe that everyone is faking it.
    Nora Ephron

Suddenly, one day, there was this thing called parenting. Parenting was serious. Parenting was fierce. Parenting was solemn. Parenting was a participle, like going and doing and crusading and worrying.
    Nora Ephron – “Parenting in Three Stages”

Summer bachelors, like summer breezes, are never as cool as they pretend to be.
    Nora Ephron

That is the truest sign of insanity – insane people are always sure they are fine. It is only the sane people that are willing to admit that they are crazy.
    Nora Ephron

The amount of maintenance involving hair is genuinely overwhelming. Sometimes I think that not having to worry about your hair anymore is the secret upside of death.
    Nora Ephron – I Feel Bad About My Neck (2006)

The desire to get married is a basic and primal instinct in women. It’s followed by another basic and primal instinct: the desire to be single again.
    Nora Ephron

The divorce has lasted way longer than the marriage, but finally it’s over.
    Nora Ephron

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