Film Critic Roger Ebert Dead at 70

Film critic Roger Ebert has died at 70, the Sun-Times reports:

EbertEbert, 70, who reviewed movies for the Chicago Sun-Times for 46 years and on TV for 31 years, and who was without question the nation’s most prominent and influential film critic, died Thursday in Chicago. He had been in poor health over the past decade, battling cancers of the thyroid and salivary gland.

He lost part of his lower jaw in 2006, and with it the ability to speak or eat, a calamity that would have driven other men from the public eye. But Ebert refused to hide, instead forging what became a new chapter in his career, an extraordinary chronicle of his devastating illness that won him a new generation of admirers. “No point in denying it,” he wrote, analyzing his medical struggles with characteristic courage, candor and wit, a view that was never tinged with bitterness or self-pity.

On Tuesday, Mr. Ebert blogged that he had suffered a recurrence of cancer following a hip fracture suffered in December, and would be taking “a leave of presence.” In the blog essay, marking his 46th anniversary of becoming the Sun-Times film critic, Ebert wrote “I am not going away. My intent is to continue to write selected reviews but to leave the rest to a talented team of writers hand-picked and greatly admired by me.”

RIP.

Comments

  1. MichaelJ says

    I always admired Ebert & Siskel for often reviewing and promoting less formulaic independent and foreign films for their mainstream audience. RIP.

  2. bobbyjoe says

    I had the pleasure of meeting Roger Ebert a few years ago. He was very gracious to me and my husband– truly a class act. I’m sad to see him go, and I wish the best to his family.

  3. stranded says

    Ebert was a really decent guy who used his status to argue for causes well beyond a film critic’s job description. And he authored the greatest film of all time. “It’s my happening and it freaks me out!” Thanks Roger.

  4. Dback says

    RIP. “Sneak Previews” was a huge part of this former nascent gay boy’s childhood/early adolescence, broadcast on PBS out of Seattle. Didn’t always stick with them when the show became “Siskel and Ebert At the Movies,” but was always interested in what they had to say. They were occasionally wrong or unfair, but they definitely weren’t shy about how much they loved movies, and that love was contagious. (But Roger, you’re still wrong about “Return to Oz” “Crash” and “Harold and Maude” for starters.)

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