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Nora Ephron On Aging

“I’ll have what she’s having.” We’ll listen back to our final conversation with screenwriter Nora Ephron.

This Nov. 3, 2010 file photo shows author, screenwriter and director Nora Ephron at her home in New York. (AP)

This Nov. 3, 2010 file photo shows author, screenwriter and director Nora Ephron at her home in New York. (AP)

Screenwriter, director, humorist Nora Ephron could tell a hard truth and melt your heart at the same time.  Stare at the bitter bits of life and the beauty, and side with the beauty.  She did it again and again.  In Sleepless in Seattle, When Harry Met Sally, Julie and Julia.

In films that made you laugh and cry, but mainly laugh.  In essays that cut to the quick, and then held your hand.  Nora Ephron died this week of leukemia at 71.  I spoke with her in 2006 about life, aging, loss – and what we try not to lose.

This hour, On Point:  my last conversation with the tough romantic wit, Nora Ephron.


-Tom Ashbrook


Nora Ephron, director, screenwriter, and author of “I Feel Bad About My Neck.”

From Tom’s Reading List

New York Times “In a commencement address she delivered in 1996 at Wellesley College, her alma mater, Ms. Ephron recalled that women of her generation weren’t expected to do much of anything. But she wound up having several careers, all of them successfully and many of them simultaneously.”

Huffington Post “I am not here to tell you what you already know about Nora Ephron. I’m sure we all agree that she changed the canvas of movie making with her superlative ability to string together words that rolled off the actors’ tongues and left us laughing until we cried or simply left us crying. ”


“Ball and Chain”  Big Mama Thornton

“Non, je ne regrette rien”  Edith Piaf

“It Had to Be You”  Frank Sinatra

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  • Cmcothern

    I love Nora Ephron very much.  And this is a precious, delightful conversation.  Thank you as always, Tom Ashbrook.  You’re one of the finest. 

  • Alicecbrown

    Sorry about Nora Ephron, 3 years younger than I am.  What did she die of?  Great of her to talk about menopause and the hideous hot flashes we had.  My meditation guy talks about not worrying, but Nora indicates that such goes with the territory (it also help with planning).

    • mary elizabeth

      One  report said that she died of leukemia or a form of it.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Thinking about possible futures, one being the end one, and planning for each, takes the worrying away, as you have planned?

  • Jen

    I highly recommend her latest two books on CD–get them at the library and listen to her voice telling you all these funny stories as you drive. A great way to honor a very funny lady!

  • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

    She was a genius and a national treasure. She will be missed.

  • jim

    i will really miss her. she was so talented and witty.

    RIP Nora.

  • BHA in Vermont

    Hair dye is toxic and is absorbed in your scalp.
    Peope might want to read “Not just pretty face” by Stacy Malkan

  • Salzburg

    Thank you for a humorous presentation of this subject. It’s such a nice change…

  • Ann

    I am on my way to the bookstore now to buy her book of essays for the five friends with whom I had dinner last night. In our mid50s, we talked about so many of Nora Ephron’s issues, from necks to invisibility to dessert. Thank you for re-broadcasting this wonderful interview.

  • Cynthia Van Ness

    Thank you for rebroadcasting this entire segment.  The world is a smaller, duller place without Nora Ephron.

    • David

      So very true Cynthia.

  • Edie

    “I’ll have what she’s having” will keep the movie “When Harry Met Sall” alive forever.

    • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

      Right. I love the fact that the woman who said it was Estelle Reiner, the meathead’s mother!

  • Heaviest Cat

    God rest her soul and yes she had a sharp wit but I was put off by the cheap sentiments of “Sleepless in Seattle” and “Julie and Julia”as well as
      the subtle message of “YOu’ve Got Mail” that it’s ok for your independent bookstore to be engulfed by a CHain store empire as long as you’re “in love”. I surely haven’t read everything but judgin from what I’ve been hearing in retrospect, her wisdom seems so “whitebread”.

Apr 23, 2014
In this Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012, file photo, Chet Kanojia, founder and CEO of Aereo, Inc., shows a tablet displaying his company's technology, in New York. Aereo is one of several startups created to deliver traditional media over the Internet without licensing agreements. (AP)

The Supreme Court looks at Aereo, the little startup that could cut your cable cord and up-end TV as we’ve known it. We look at the battle. Plus: a state ban on affirmative action in college admissions is upheld. We’ll examine the implications.

Apr 23, 2014
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The booming business of life coaches. Everybody seems to have one these days. Therapists are feeling the pinch. We look at the life coach craze.

Apr 22, 2014
This undated handout photo, taken in 2001, provided by the Museum of the Rockies shows a bronze cast of the Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton known as the Wankel T.rex, in front of the Museum of the Rockies at Montana State University in Bozeman, Mont. (AP)

As a new Tyrannosaurus Rex arrives at the Smithsonian, we’ll look at its home – pre-historic Montana – and the age when dinosaurs ruled the Earth.

Apr 22, 2014
Security forces inspect the site of a suicide attack in the town of Suwayrah, 25 miles (40 kilometers) south of Baghdad, Iraq, Monday, April 21, 2014. Suicide bombings and other attacks across Iraq killed and wounded dozens on Monday, officials said, the latest in an uptick in violence as the country counts down to crucial parliament elections later this month. (AP)

We look at Iraq now, two years after Americans boots marched out. New elections next week, and the country on the verge of all-out civil war.

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