Showbiz & Illness: Nora Ephron’s Struggle

Today The New York Times website posted in advance this Sunday’s magazine remembrance of Nora Ephron and her final days as written by one of her sons. The piece makes the poignant case that the reason she was reluctant to talk publicly about her leukemia was because of its effect on her showbiz projects:

At various points over the years, she considered coming clean to her friends and colleagues about her illness. But she knew the effect it could have on her career. Certainly, she could continue writing books and essays. But getting a movie made would be impossible, because no insurance company would sign off on it. Arguably, she could do a play, but bringing it to Broadway would be difficult, given that the development process takes years. Beyond that, what my mother didn’t want was to have her illness define her, turning every conversation into a series of “how are you?”s… Nevertheless, as she ran out of time, she chose not to acknowledge, at least explicitly, what was happening to her. One of the last e-mails she sent went out five days before she died. It was addressed to her film agent, Bryan Lourd. “I am as sad as you can imagine to report that I have leukemia. Early reports are not particularly hopeful but not hopeless either.”

Related: Valerie Harper Explains Showbiz Absence

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