Legendary film critic Roger Ebert has died aged 70, after an extended period battling with cancer.
Famed for his Pulitzer-winning writing for the Chicago Sun-Times and his appearances on Siskel & Ebert At The Movies, Ebert’s passing came the day after he penned a final piece entitled My Leave Of Presence, in which he touched upon his most recent health scare.
“Thank you. Forty-six years ago on April 3, 1967, I became the film critic for the Chicago Sun-Times," he wrote. "The immediate reason for my 'leave of presence' is my health. The 'painful fracture' that made it difficult for me to walk has recently been revealed to be a cancer.”
The critic credited with coining the term “two thumbs up”, Ebert was never one to shy away from a confrontation, or to stand up for a film he believed in, as seen by his reaction to a critical question during a screening of The Library at the Sundance Film Festival.
Take a look, below…
Ebert’s passing has drawn a host of tributes from the great and good, including a statement from the White House itself.
“Michelle and I are saddened to hear about the passing of Roger Ebert,” began the statement from President Obama. “For a generation of Americans — and especially Chicagoans — Roger was the movies. When he didn't like a film, he was honest; when he did, he was effusive — capturing the unique power of the movies to take us somewhere magical.”
“Even amidst his own battles with cancer, Roger was as productive as he was resilient — continuing to share his passion and perspective with the world. The movies won't be the same without Roger, and our thoughts and prayers are with Chaz [Ebert’s wife] and the rest of the Ebert family.”
One of the most prominent and well-respected critics of his or any other generation, Roger Ebert will be sadly missed.
What are your favourite Ebert memories? Share them with us, below.