26 June 2012 4:22 PM, PDT | Moviefone | See recent Moviefone news »

I got to meet Nora Ephron 20 years ago when she was promoting her directing debut, "This Is My Life," and I found her to be exactly like one of the heroines of her movies: smart, worldly, self-effacing, and as wittily eloquent as we all wish we could be in real life but almost never are. Actually, she was the heroine of most of her movies, since she specialized in the thinly veiled autobiographical roman a clef. Ephron, who died at 71 on June 26, made herself a trailblazer -- as a writer of influential romantic comedies (notably, "When Harry Met Sally," "Sleepless in Seattle," and "You've Got Mail"), as a successful director at a time when few women held that distinction, and as one of the most powerful women in the film industry -- but she did it all simply by being herself. The urge to transform her life into art came naturally to Ephron. »

- Gary Susman

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