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Nora Ephron, the journalist, essayist, novelist, screenwriter and film director, died yesterday at age 71 after a battle with leukemia.

While Ephron was raised in Californian she seemed like the quintessential New Yorker - smart, funny, ironic, food-obsessed, and from all accounts, an incredibly charming person. She was married three times - the second marriage, to journalist Carl Bernstein, was such a disaster that she turned it into the scathing novel "Heartburn," which was then turned into a movie.

But for Baby Boomers, Ephron will forever be known as the guiding intelligence behind some of the romantic comedies that we took our partners to on Saturday nights, that we could remember dialogue from because it was so pitch-perfect, and that we still stay up and watch to the end when we come upon them while surfing the tube. Touchstone movies that were, in their own way, classics. Movies like When Harry Met Sally, which she wrote, and Sleepless in Seattle, You've Got Mail, and Julie & Julia which she wrote and directed.

She is, of course, responsible for one of the funniest lines in the history of the movies, when an elderly woman (Estelle Reiner, Rob Reiner's mom and Carl Reiner's wife) follows up on Meg Ryan's fake orgasm in the middle of a New York deli by telling he waiter, "I'll have what she's having."

And You've Got Mail has some strong and cogent points to make about the nature of retailing and the importance of quick response to new competition.

One obit this morning notes that at the end of one of her recent books, Ephron speculated about the things she'll miss when she dies. Among them: My kids. Nick (Pileggi, her husband). Spring." And, "Coming over the bridge to Manhattan. Pie."

My kind of woman.
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