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Screenwriter Nora Ephron 'loved a good New York story'

Nora Ephron, famous for her romantic comedies, has died. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg says the city's art community will miss Ephron, who set many of her stories there. 

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New York, Washington, Hollywood

Born May 19, 1941 in New York City and raised in Beverly Hills by screenwriter parents, Ephron worked briefly as a White House intern before going into journalism. She quickly became known as a humorist with essays on subjects ranging from food and fashion to feminism.

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She started in the entertainment industry while married to her second husband, The Washington Post's famed Watergate investigative reporter Carl Bernstein.

She helped rewrite a version of the script for the movie "All The President's Men," about Bernstein and Bob Woodward's uncovering of the political scandal that led to the resignation of Richard Nixon in 1974. Although that screenplay was not used, it led to a TV movie screenwriting job for Ephron.

Her big movie break came after a messy divorce from Bernstein, which was the genesis for her 1983 novel "Heartburn" that she later adapted into the bittersweet hit film of the same name starring Jack Nicholson and Meryl Streep.

That film ushered in a string of box office successes in the late 1980s and 1990s, including "When Harry Met Sally," "Michael" with John Travolta,

"Sleepless in Seattle" and "You've Got Mail," that saw Ephron gradually add producer and director to her resume and become one of Hollywood's most successful makers of romantic comedies.

Although her movies raked in tens of millions of dollars at box offices worldwide, Ephron never won the industry's highest honor, an Academy Award.

After box office flops "Hanging Up" and "Lucky Numbers" in 2000, Ephron focused on essays, writing for the stage, and blogging for the online news site The Huffington Post.

Her humorous 2006 collection "I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman" became a bestseller on the New York Times list.

At the time of her death, Ephron had a biographical movie about singer Peggy Lee in development that was due to star Reese Witherspoon, according to the Internet movie website,

Ephron was married three times and is survived by her husband of more than 20 years, writer Nicholas Pileggi, and two children with Bernstein.

(Additional reporting By Piya Sinha-Roy.; Editing by Christopher Wilson and Philip Barbara)

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