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Hanks Joins Women in the World Summit to Tribute Ephron

Photo of Ryan Lattanzio By Ryan Lattanzio | TOH! March 14, 2013 at 8:34PM

The two-day annual Women in the World summit, to be held in New York on April 4 and 5, will feature such female icons as Meryl Streep, Oprah Winfrey, Ambassador Susan E. Rice and Diane von Furstenberg, among others. Tom Hanks, currently starring on Broadway in Nora Ephron's final play "Lucky Guy," will offer a celebratory tribute to the famed screenwriter (and fairweather director) of films such as “Sleepless in Seattle” and “You’ve Got Mail,” and a woman-in-the-world if there ever was one, who died in June 2012 after a difficult trudge through leukemia.
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Nora Ephron
Nora Ephron

The two-day annual Women in the World summit, to be held in New York on April 4 and 5, will feature such female icons as Meryl Streep, Oprah Winfrey, Ambassador Susan E. Rice and Diane von Furstenberg, among others.

Tom Hanks, currently starring on Broadway in Nora Ephron's final play "Lucky Guy" will offer a celebratory tribute to Ephron, famed screenwriter (and fairweather director) of films such as “Sleepless in Seattle” and “You’ve Got Mail,” and a woman-in-the-world if there ever was one, who died in June 2012 after a difficult trudge through leukemia. He plays ‘80s New York Post journalist Mike McAlaray, who nabbed a Pulitzer Prize for his indicting spotlights on police corruption in the city. The play, which opened March 1 to warm reviews and strong audience turnout, was written about movingly by Ephron's son Jacob Bernstein in the NYT:

"On Sunday, one of the nurses arrived to give her medication and innocently asked if she was planning on writing about what was happening to her. My mother simply said, 'No.'
I took this more or less at face value until after her death, as plans moved forward with her play “Lucky Guy,” and it occurred to me that part of what she was trying to do by writing about someone else’s death was to understand her own."


Ephron’s witty dialogue and perceptive observations of male-female dynamics galvanized the careers of stars Hanks and Meg Ryan, so it is perfectly fitting that Hanks will offer this eulogy.

The Women in the World Foundation launched in 2011 in pursuit of the global advancement of women and girls, bringing together over 2,500 attendees to its annual summit, which spotlights the impact women have on the world today.

Ephron is one such woman, and one to whom zeitgeist screenwriters of today such as Lena Dunham and Nicole Holofcener owe their due.

This article is related to: Tom Hanks, Nora Ephron


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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.