Nora Ephron


American Film Director, Producer, Screenwriter, Novelist, Playwright, Journalist, Author and Blogger, 3-time Nominee for the Academy Award for Writing Original Screenplays for films "Silkwood", "When Harry Met Sally" and "Sleepless in Seattle"

Author Quotes

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.

There?s a reason why forty, fifty, and sixty don?t look the way they used to, and it?s not because of feminism, or better living through exercise. It?s because of hair dye. In the 1950?s only 7 percent of American women dyed their hair; today there are parts of Manhattan and Los Angeles where there are no gray-haired women at all.

Whatever you choose, however many roads you travel, I hope that you choose not to be a lady. I hope you will find some way to break the rules and make a little trouble out there. And I also hope that you will choose to make some of that trouble on behalf of women.

You better make them care about what you think. It had better be quirky or perverse or thoughtful enough so that you hit some chord in them. Otherwise it doesn?t work. I mean we?ve all read pieces where we thought, Oh, who gives a damn.

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 percent of the business is not only pretty much closed off to women, but women don?t even wanna be in it!

I highly recommend having Meryl Streep play you. If your husband is cheating on you with a carhop, get Meryl to play you. You will feel much better.

I?m saying that the right man for you might be out there right now and if you don?t grab him, someone else will, and you?ll have to spend the rest of your life knowing that someone else is married to your husband.

Life. I mean the main thing that distracts me is the pressure to go on with one?s life. That you have to stop to have lunch with someone or you have to take the cat to the vet ?

Secondly, you have to write. And if you don?t have a job doing it, then you have to sit at home doing it.

The big cities of America are becoming Third World countries

There's something called the rapture of the deep, and it refers to what happens when a deep-sea diver spends too much time at the bottom of the ocean and can't tell which way is up. When he surfaces, he's liable to have a condition called the bends, where the body can't adapt to the oxygen level in the atmosphere. All this happens to me when I surface from a great book.

When I first met him, he had a recurrent nightmare that Henry Kissinger was chasing him with a knife, and I said it was really his father, and he said it was really Henry Kissinger, and I said it was his father and he said it was Henry Kissinger, and this went on for months until he started going to the Central American shrinkette, who said Henry Kissinger was really his younger sister.

You can never have too much butter ? that is my belief. If I have a religion, that?s it.

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.

I know, I said, but it scares me. It reminds me of my father. I'm not your father, said Mark. Repeat after me, 'Mark Feldman is not my father.' Mark Feldman is not my father, I said. Am I fat? said Mark. No, I said. Am I bald? No. Do I smell of Dr. Scholl's foot pads? No, I said. I rest my case, said Mark.

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.

Maintenance is what you have to do just so you can walk out the door knowing that if you go to the market and bump into a guy who once rejected you, you won?t have to hide behind a stack of canned food. I don?t mean to be too literal about this.

She [her Mom] really conveyed to us that work was a great passion; that you couldn?t live without work. When you were asked what you were going to be when you grow up, the question was answered in terms of work?not in terms of motherhood or being married?it was what are you going to do.

The desire to get married, which - I regret to say, I believe is basic and primal in women - is followed almost immediately by an equally basic and primal urge - which is to be single again.

This is the season when a clutch of successful women -- who have it all -- give speeches to women like you and say, to be perfectly honest, you can't have it all. Maybe young women don't wonder whether they can have it all any longer, but in case 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.

When you are actually going to have your last meal, you?ll either be too sick to have it or you aren?t gonna know it?s your last meal and you could squander it on something like a tuna melt and that would be ironic? I feel it?s important to have that last meal today, tomorrow, soon.

You can settle for reality, or you can go off, like a fool, and dream another dream.

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.... You can't retrieve your life (unless you're on Wikipedia, in which case you can retrieve an inaccurate version of it).

I live in an apartment. I could never live anywhere but in an apartment. I love apartments because I lose everything. Apartments are horizontal, so it's much easier to find the things I lose-- such as my glasses, gloves, wallet, lipstick, book, magazine, cell phone, and credit card. The other day I actually lost a piece of cheese in my apartment.

If there's a sexier sound on this planet than the person you're in love with cooing over the crepes you made for him, I don't know what it is.

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American Film Director, Producer, Screenwriter, Novelist, Playwright, Journalist, Author and Blogger, 3-time Nominee for the Academy Award for Writing Original Screenplays for films "Silkwood", "When Harry Met Sally" and "Sleepless in Seattle"