I was saddened to read of the death of acclaimed screenwriter and director Nora Ephron this morning, whilst sitting with my morning coffee. Aged 71, Ephron hadn't been well for some time due to complications relating to acute myeloid leukaemia. She was an acclaimed novellist and essayist, born in California, growing up to become a writer for the New York Post. She was married three times, most recently for twenty years to Nicholas Pileggi, who wrote the screenplays of Goodfellas and Casino for Martin Scorsese. She had fifteen film credits of her own, however, including many movies you will no doubt have loved yourselves from writing Rob Reiner's classic When Harry Met Sally to writing & directing You've Got Mail and Sleepless In Seattle, to awards lauded movies like Silkwood and Julie & Julia. In a world dominated by men she was one of the few behind-the-camera women to make a name for herself and become an auteur. She won three Oscar nominations, all for her writing - Silkwood, Sleepless in Seattle and Sleepless in Seattle. Bigger than that though, she arguably revived the romantic comedy and created its current blueprint for modern screenwriters who often imitate but rarely equal the power in her writings. She was the oldest of four sisters who all became writers. Alfred P Knopf, Ephron's publisher, confirmed her death on Tuesday night in a statement."She brought an awful lot of people a tremendous amount of joy," her publisher said in a statement. "She will be sorely missed."
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Steve Leadbetter is a 43-year-old father of three, from Manchester, UK. He has been complaining about movies for almost twenty years, but only started writing it all down when he got grumpy, impatient and old. He's worked for several movie sites previously, but has been writing reviews on his new movie blog at http://chocolateraisins.blogspot.co.uk since the start of this year. You can also follow his incessant movie whingings on Twitter @choc_raisins