Nora Ephron's Most Famous Quotes

PHOTO: Nora Ephron arrives at a screening of Columbia Pictures' "Julie & Julia" held at Mann Village Theater in this July 28, 2009 file photo in Westwood, California.
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Nora Ephron, the filmmaker, humorist and journalist who died Tuesday at 71, was first and foremost a writer, known for her quick wit.

"Everything is copy," her mother, who, along with her father was a Hollywood screenwriter, once said. And Ephron mined her life for her films, essays, books and plays.

Her cultural influence can be felt simply by recalling one of her famous lines.

Click through to see some of her most memorable quotes.

Her illness

Ephron left clues that she was sick in her 2010 book "I Remember Nothing," but few caught on to it. She ends the book with two lists: "What I Won't Miss" and "What I Will Miss." Ephron concluded the acknowledgements section with "and course, my doctors."

On Being an Atheist

"I said in the book [I Remember Nothing: And Other Reflections] that it would be helpful to believe in God. It would be helpful, but I certainly know I'm not going to be one of those people with a deathbed conversion." From Salon interview, Nov. 7, 2010.

Where Her Humor Came From

"I'm already nervous about using the word 'anger,' because I'm not a particularly angry person, but I do think that underneath pieces like 'I Feel Bad About My Neck' is some kind of actual anger about the aging process. Which then turns into a bunch of jokes. But I don't think all humor comes out of unhappiness or pain. There are simply too many funny people who had a completely, you know, normal childhood. Not necessarily happy, but who had a really happy childhood. Almost nobody worth knowing has a happy childhood." From Salon, Nov. 7, 2010

About Aging

"Why do people write books that say it's better to be older than to be younger? It's not better. Even if you have all your marbles, you're constantly reaching for the name of the person you met the day before yesterday." From 2006 book of essays "I Feel Bad About My Neck"

On Working in JFK White House

"Now that I have read the articles about Mimi Fahnestock, it has become horribly clear to me that I am probably the only young woman who ever worked in the Kennedy White House whom the president did not make a pass at. Perhaps it was my permanent wave, which was a truly unfortunate mistake. Perhaps it was my wardrobe, which mostly consisted of multicolored dynel dresses that looked like distilled Velveeta cheese. Perhaps it's because I'm Jewish -- don't laugh, think about it, think about that long, long list of women J.F.K. slept with. Were any Jewish? I don't think so." From New York Times essay, May 18, 2003

On Meeting President Kennedy for First Time

"I met the president within minutes of going to 'work' in the White House. My first morning there, he flew to Annapolis to give the commencement address at the Naval Academy, and Pierre [Salinger] invited me to come along with the press pool in the press helicopter. When I got back to the White House, Pierre took me in to meet the president. He was the handsomest man I had ever seen." From New York Times essay, May 18, 2003

On Motherhood

"When your children are teenagers, it's important to have a dog so that someone in the house is happy to see you." From "I Feel Bad About My Neck"

More on Aging

"That's another thing about being a certain age that I've noticed: I try as much as possible not to look in the mirror." From "I Feel Bad About My Neck"

On Dying

"Everybody dies. There's nothing you can do about it. Whether you eat six almonds a day. Whether or not you believe in God." From "I Remember Nothing: And Other Reflections"

On Being a Lady

"Whatever you choose, however many roads you travel, I hope that you choose not to be a lady. I hope you will find some way to break the rules and make a little trouble out there. And I also hope that you will choose to make some of that trouble on behalf of women." From Wellesley Commencement address, 1996

On Living Life

"Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim." From Wellesley Commencement address, 1996

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