Roger Ebert dead at 70

Roger Ebert dead at 70

For many decades, Roger Ebert's reviews influenced what movies people saw in the theater. His career included 46 years at the Chicago Sun-Times and 31 years on TV, including At the Movies with Gene Siskel (and later on with Richard Roeper).

Earlier this week Ebert announced his retirement, and the return of his cancer. This afternoon the Times announced that Ebert had lost his long battle with thyroid and salivary gland cancers.

In addition to his regular film column, and film reviews syndicated in over 200 newspapers, Ebert had written close to 20 books, from The Great Movies series to the hilariously honest Your Movie Sucks. Honors picked up along the way have included a Pulitzer in 1975 for Criticism (he was the first film writer to do so), and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He also has a film credit of him own, as he co-wrote the screenplay for the spectacularly awful (and awesome) cult classic Return to the Valley of the Dolls.

Although Ebert had been battling cancer for over a decade, eventually losing his jaw, and subsequently his voice, he never shied away from the public. Throughout his fight he continued to write, make occasional appearances on television (including Oprah), and host his film festival, Ebertfest, in Champaign, Illinois (his hometown).

He is survived by his wife, Chaz Hammelsmith Ebert.

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