The balcony is closed. Roger Ebert, a well-respected film critic and advocate, has died at the age of 70 following a long battle with cancer. He wrote for the Chicago Sun-Times for 46 years and critiqued movies on television for more than three decades.
He was initially paired with Gene Siskel until his friend and nemesis died following a battle with brain cancer in 1999. They hosted various incarnations of essentially the same film critique program — Opening Soon at a Theater Near You, Sneak Previews, At the Movies, Siskel & Ebert At the Movies, and finally Siskel & Ebert.
Following Siskel’s death, Ebert continued on with substitute co-hosts before settling on Richard Roeper for the television series Ebert & Roeper & the Movies. Although his name remained in the title, Ebert didn’t appear on the show after mid-2006, following post-surgical complications related to thyroid cancer. He was left unable to speak.
Ebert ended his association with the show in July 2008 and briefly tried to launch his own online version, Ebert Presents: At the Movies. It ceased production after two seasons.
Roger Ebert won a Pulitzer prize and wrote many books, including his autobiography in 2011. It’s being made into a movie, produced by his longtime friend, director Martin Scorsese.
In addition to his wife Chaz, Ebert is survived by a step-daughter, two step-grandchildren, and many grateful moviegoers.
What do you think? Will you miss Ebert’s work? Did you watch him on television?