Thursday, April 4, 2013
roger ebert passed away this morning. he was 70 years old and had been battling cancer and related health problems since 2002. just two days ago ebert announced that he would only review films that he wanted - leaving the rest to be reviewed by others. instead of a leave of absence, he called it a "leave of presence." was that merely prescient, or a coincident?
i've been a fan of ebert's for more than 25 years. since the days of siskel & ebert. in fact, it was more fun watching the two of them disagree over a film than when it got a pair of thumbs up. i remember one memorable episode where siskel announce that he had purchase john travolta's white suit from "saturday night fever" - which ebert ridiculed as a lapse in judgement. i think he got it for $18,000 - or some similar figure. years later, when it was sold for multiple times that figure, ebert - true to form - admitted that he had been wrong and that his partner knew what he had been doing!
siskel died of brain cancer at the tragically young age of 53, in 1999. ebert continued the program, renamed "ebert & roper" until 2006. the battles with cancer lead to the removal of his lower jaw - replaced, partially be a prosthesis. despite the health problems, ebert continued to review films and participate in public life - an active blogger and addicted to twitter as well. ebert was the first film critic to be awarded a star on the hollywood walk of fame. he was the only film critic to win the pulitzer prize!
your classic thumbs up/down take on films will be missed.
rest in peace roger ebert.