Sad breaking news coming out of Chicago: according to the Sun Times, Roger Ebert, one of the most talented (and funny) film critics of all-time and long-time host of At the Movies, has passed away at the age of 70.
Ebert, 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. (Via)
Like many of you I’m sure, Ebert was one of the first critics I knew growing up; I can still remember staying up until some ungodly hour to watch the At the Movies review of Nic Cage’s Snake Eyes and barging into my mom’s bedroom the next morning to ask if I could see it. She said no, as did Ebert if memory serves. They were both right. The fact that I can recall this otherwise insignificant anecdote over a decade later just goes to show how powerful Ebert was, and continued to be right up until his death (he reviewed a record 306 films last year).
Share your favorite Ebert memories in the comments. R.I.P. Roger.