Nora Ephron Scripts Her Own Memorial Service
The entertainment community turned out Monday to honor the late film and literary icon Nora Ephron who died of leukemia last month. Ephron had plenty to say, even when it came to planning her final farewell. NY1’s Frank DiLella filed the following report.
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Nora Ephron was known for her sophisticated and New York-centric voice, so it was only appropriate that her memorial service on Monday take place at a major city landmark: Lincoln Center.
Actors Meg Ryan, Steve Martin and Joel Grey, along with Mayor Michael Bloomberg and others, were on hand to pay their respects.
“She never missed the right joke and the smart joke,” Grey said.
“It's a New York moment when you think about Nora. I think everybody is really diminished by her going,” said columnist Liz Smith.
Two-time Tony Award winner and Ephron film and theater alum Katie Finneran said Ephron even scripted the service.
“When she knew she was dying she gave a list of people she wanted to speak and she gave them all specific instructions. Everyone spoke beautifully, just beautifully. Her two sons spoke, [director] Mike Nichols, [actor] Meryl Streep and everyone had such wonderful, funny things to say about her,” Finneran said.
They discussed her career, from writing for the New York Post in the 1960s to scripting Oscar-nominated films like "When Harry Met Sally," "Sleepless In Seattle" and "Silkwood."
Ephron also wrote for the theater. In 2009, she and her sister Delia Ephron opened the off-Broadway show "Love, Loss And What I Wore,” where actresses discuss personal stories about clothes. The show was produced by Ephron's friend, Daryl Roth.
“Nora represented the best of New York City. She was a real New York gal even though part of her life was in LA, of course, in her film world. But she just had a love for this city that was contagious, you know, restaurants and food and theater and movies,” Roth said. “She was the quintessential New York lady.”
Nora Ephron's unique voice will forever be preserved in her writing. Her final play "Lucky Guy," about the late columnist Mike McAlary, is scheduled to open on Broadway this spring. Academy award-winning actor Tom Hanks is rumored to star in the show.