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Friday, April 5, 2013

In Memoriam: Roger Ebert

Written by Jon Williams

The film industry lost an icon with yesterday’s passing of movie critic Roger Ebert. He was 70.

Ebert’s career writing movie reviews for the Chicago Sun-Times started in 1967. His work helped bring film criticism to the forefront. In 1975, he became the first film critic to win a Pulitzer Prize. That same year, he ventured onto television for the first time, hosting a monthly program with fellow Chicago critic Gene Siskel. That show eventually evolved into the well-known At the Movies that brought the trademarked “two thumbs up!” into the vernacular.

Ebert’s illness stole his voice from him in 2006, forcing him from his regular television show, but he continued to write. In addition to his prolific criticism, he wrote entertainment columns and articles on political issues that interested him. He was a constant presence on his blog and social media, offering his opinions on a wide range of topics.

Today, the Internet is awash in loving tributes to Ebert from friends, colleagues, actors, directors, and a whole host of others who were influenced and moved by his criticism, his writing, his passion, his humanity. For the complete story from those who knew him best, read his obituary in the Sun-Times, the newspaper where he worked for 46 years.

Truly, Ebert led an amazing and fascinating life. One vein that always ran true was his love for film, and his influence on the industry was undeniable. Click here for a collection of his best-reviewed movies throughout the years. His voice—his passion—will be sadly missed.

“Kindness” covers all of my political beliefs. No need to spell them out. I believe that if, at the end, according to our abilities, we have done something to make others a little happier, and something to make ourselves a little happier, that is about the best we can do.
--from Roger Ebert’s 2011 memoir, Life Itself

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