In her final years, Nora Ephron happened to notice a promising young writer named Lena Dunham.

Maybe it was because she saw herself in the spunky New Yorker or just wanted to take a blossoming writer under her wing, but either way, Ephron reached out to the "Girls" creator after seeing her independent film "Tiny Furniture." The two became fast friends over lunch, and Ephron became Dunham's mentor.

"Nora introduced me to, in no particular order: Several ear, nose, and throat doctors; the Patagonia jackets she favored when on set ... ordering multiple desserts and having small, reasonable bites of all of them," Dunham wrote in a New Yorker essay honoring Ephron. "She called bullshit on a whole host of things, too: Donuts served in fancy restaurants; photo shoots in which female directors are asked to all stand in a cluster wearing mustaches; the idea that one’s writing isn’t fiction if it borrows from one’s life."

With an independent film and a wildly successful HBO series under her belt, 26-year-old Dunham's career is booming. And Ephron gave her a valuable piece of advice that she certainly seems to have taken to heart: "You cannot wait around for someone to give you permission to tell your stories."

Ephron also seems to have conveyed the same message to Dunham as she did to Wellesley's class of 1996.

"Whatever you choose, however many roads you travel, I hope that you choose not to be a lady," Ephron said in her commencement speech. "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."

Dunham has certainly made some trouble, especially when it comes to "Girls." But through the outrage over race and cries of nepotism, she has managed to charge ahead and create one of the most revolutionary TV shows.

"I know I am only one of hundreds of women, people, who will miss Nora’s company, and millions who will miss her voice," Dunham concluded in her New Yorker tribute. "The opportunity to be friends with Nora in the last year of her life informs the entirety of mine. I am so grateful."

To read Dunham's full essay remembering Nora Ephron, head over to The New Yorker.

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  • Nora Ephron

    Actress Marcia Gay Harden and writer Nora Ephron speak at the 55th Annual Writers Guild of America Awards at the Pierre Hotel March 8, 2003 in New York City. (Photo by Matthew Peyton/Getty Images)

  • Nora Ephron

    Cherry Jones and Nora Ephron join Diane Lane at a luncheon celebrating her New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress for her role in 'Unfaithful' at the Four Season's in New York City. January 14, 2003. Photo by Scott Gries/ImageDirect

  • Nora Ephron

    Honorees James Schamus, Martin Scorsese, Nora Ephron and Executive Director of WGA East Mona Mangan pose together at the 55th Annual Writers Guild of America Awards at the Pierre Hotel March 8, 2003 in New York City. (Photo by Matthew Peyton/Getty Images)

  • Nora Ephron

    Writer/director Nora Ephron and writer Nicholas Pileggi arrive at the 101 Greatest Screenplays gala reception at the Writers Guild Theater on April 6, 2006 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)

  • Nora Ephron

    Actress Mary Lynn Rajskub, actor Chris Messina, director Nora Ephron, actresses Meryl Streep, Amy Adams, and producer Laurence Mark arrive at the special screening of Columbia Pictures' 'Julie & Julia' held at Mann Village Theatre on July 28, 2009 in Westwood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

  • Nora Ephron

    Director Nora Ephron, actresses Meryl Streep, and Amy Adams arrive at the special screening of Columbia Pictures' 'Julie & Julia' held at Mann Village Theatre on July 28, 2009 in Westwood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

  • Nora Ephron

    US actors Stanley Tucci, Meryl Streep, US director Nora Ephron and US actor Chris Messina pose during the photocall of the movie 'Julie and Julia' directed by US Nora Ephron on September 5, 2009 at the 35th American Film Festival, in Deauville, northwestern France. AFP PHOTO / MYCHELE DANIAU (Photo credit should read MYCHELE DANIAU/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Nora Ephron

    Producer Amy Robinson, actor Stanley Tucci, actress Meryl Streep, actress Amy Adams, actor Chris Messina, and writer/director Nora Ephron attend the 'Julie & Julia' premiere after party at Metropolitan Club on July 30, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)

  • Nora Ephron

    Actress Amy Adams and writer Nora Ephron attend the 'Julie & Julia' premiere at the Ziegfeld Theatre on July 30, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)

  • Nora Ephron

    Martha Stewart and writer Nora Ephron attend the 'Julie & Julia' premiere at the Ziegfeld Theatre on July 30, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)

  • Nora Ephron

    US director Nora Ephron (L) arrives with US actors Stanley Tucci (2ndL), Meryl Streep and Chris Messina for the screening of her movie 'Julie and Julia' on September 5, 2009 at the 35th American Film Festival, in Deauville, northwestern France. AFP PHOTO / FRANCOIS GUILLOT (Photo credit should read FRANCOIS GUILLOT/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Nora Ephron

    US director Nora Ephron (L) arrives with US actors Meryl Streep and Chris Messina for the screening of her movie 'Julie and Julia' on September 5, 2009 at the 35th American Film Festival, in Deauville, northwestern France. AFP PHOTO / MYCHELE DANIAU (Photo credit should read MYCHELE DANIAU/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Nora Ephron

    Playwright Nora Ephron, Rosie O�Donnell and Playwright Delia Ephron attend the after party for the Off Broadway opening night of 'Love, Loss and What I Wore' at Bryant Park Grill on October 1, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images)

  • Nora Ephron

    U.S. Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and writer/director Nora Ephron attend the Fortune Most Powerful Women summit at Mandarin Oriental Hotel on October 4, 2010 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images for Time Inc.)

  • Nora Ephron

    Actress Zoe Kazan and director Nora Ephron attend the Juror Welcome Lunch At The 2011 Tribeca Film Festival at Tribeca Lofts on April 21, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)

  • Nora Ephron

    Nora Ephron and Arianna Huffington attend TechCrunch Disrupt New York May 2011 at Pier 94 on May 23, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Charles Eshelman/Getty Images for AOL)

  • Nora Ephron

    Actress Meryl Streep (R) poses with award recipient Director Nora Ephron at the 2011 Directors Guild Of America Honors at the Directors Guild of America Theater on October 13, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)

  • Nora Ephron

    Lesley Stahl (R) interviews Nora Ephron (L) on SiriusXM's "The wowOwow Radio Show" at SiriusXM Studio on April 11, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images)

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