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Film critic Roger Ebert dead at age 70
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Film critic Roger Ebert dead at age 70

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Roger Ebert has died at age 70. Ebert was arguably the most famous critic in film history. His career began in 1967 with the Chicago Sun Times, and he would win a Pulitzer Prize in 1975. But it was his ground breaking work with fellow Chicago film critic Gene Siskel on the TV show ‘At the Movies’ that vaulted Ebert to world-wide fame – and the status as one of the most influential voices in Hollywood.

Ebert was diagnosed with thyroid and salivary cancer in 2002, resulting in the removal of part of his lower jaw. He could not eat or speak, but he continued to write movie reviews almost until the day he died. Recently, Ebert announced that his cancer had returned.

Ebert began writing film reviews for the Chicago Sun Times in 1967, and would continue to do so until his death. He wrote 15 books on film, and was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism in 1975. It was that same year that Ebert was teamed up with Chicago Tribune film critic Gene Siskel for a local TV show. In 1978 the program would be picked up by PBS, and ‘At the Movies’ would become a TV staple for more than 20 years (although the name would change as the show moved from PBS to Disney, and then after Siskel died), with the duo becoming famous for for their ‘thumbs up/thumbs down’ review summaries. Siskel died in 1999.

Throughout his career, Ebert remained amazingly prolific, sometimes reviewing more than 200 films a year. He never considered himself a TV reviewer – but always a writer. In addition to his film criticism and books, he penned numerous articles and screenplays during his lifetime. His blog, rogerebert.com, was full of Ebert’s writings – not just film. He even discussed his battle with alcohol, which he defeated in 1979. He was also a frequent lecturer at the University of Chicago.

Ebert’s style often featured his sharp wit and (at times) biting sarcasm. However, he never lost his love for films and filmmaking.

Ebert is survived by his wife, step-daughter and two step-grandchildren.



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