Friday, April 5, 2013
Cinema's Reel Loss: Roger Ebert (1942-2013)
The cinema world is mourning the recent loss of legendary film critic Roger Ebert. A journalist, film critic and screenwriter that was known for his trademark phrase “two thumbs up,” passed away Thursday April 4, 2013 due to thyroid cancer. He was 70.
Ebert has been a film critic since the late 1960's writing for the Chicago Sun Times, he was the first film critic to win the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism in 1975 and was also the first film critic to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2005. By the late 1970's Ebert took his craft to the small screen with the late Gene Siskel for a film review television show. Siskel and Ebert reviewed films with their trademarked “two thumbs up/down” rating system and helped films find their audiences throughout their reviews. Siskel died in February of 1999 due to complications of surgery and Richard Roeper was hired to co-host the show with Ebert.
Ebert’s wife, Chaz Ebert stated, “We were getting ready to go home today for hospice care, when he [Ebert] looked at us, smiled, and passed away." She wrote an entire statement on Ebert’s blog for the Chicago Sun Times and that can be viewed here.
Ebert blogged only days before his passing to let his readers know that he would be taking a “leave of presence” since his cancer had come back and he was incapable of seeing as many movies to review as he’d like. The last line of his blog entry is “So on this day of reflection I say again, thank you for going on this journey with me. I'll see you at the movies.”
Ebert will be greatly missed, and the film industry will never be able to find a more brilliant writer to fill the void of the legendary critic.