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.