Roger Ebert, the ardent, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who put his indelible thumbprint on the history of film criticism forged from spending a lifetime at the movies, has died, the Chicago Sun-Times has reported. He was 70.
'Saturday Night Live'
Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert appear during Saturday Night Live's "Review skit on September 25, 1982.
Chaz Ebert and Roger Ebert
Chaz Ebert and Roger Ebert pose during 31st Annual Publicists Guild of America Awards Luncheon at Beverly Hills Hilton Hotel.
Siskel and Ebert
Ebert gained nationwide fame when he and Gene Siskel -- the film critic for the Sun-Times’ crosstown rival Chicago Tribune -- were paired on the Tribune Entertainment syndicated show At the Movies, which debuted in 1982. (The two had created and starred on a similar show, Sneak Previews, for the Chicago PBS station in 1975.)
Gene Siskel, Roger Ebert
In 1986, the duo left to create Siskel & Ebert & the Movies for Disney’s Buena Vista Entertainment.
With Jay Leno on 'The Tonight Show'
Ebert and Siskel appear with Jay Leno on The Tonight Show on June 2, 1992.
Ebert chats with Walter Cronkite in 1992.
Siskel and Ebert
The duo dress in their finest tuxedos as they are awarded in 1993.
33rd Annual International Broadcasting Awards for Radio, TV and Commercials
Roger Ebert and Chaz Ebert during 33rd Annual International Broadcasting Awards for Radio, TV and Commercials on June 16, 1993. Ebert, who vowed not to marry until his mother died (she died in 1987), wed civil rights attorney Charlie “Chaz” Hammelsmith in 1993.
The Tonight Show
Roger Ebert appeared alongside Richard Roeper on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno in 2002.
American Society of Cinematographers
Ebert is honored at the American Society of Cinematographers in 2003.
'The Tonight Show with Jay Leno'
Richard Roeper (left) and Roger Ebert appear on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on July 29, 2004, in Burbank.
Walk of Fame
Ebert received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2005 and four years later was named an honorary life member of the Directors Guild of America.
"The Great Movies"
Since 2006, Ebert has written a book series titled Great Movies, reviewing films which he deemed to be the most important of all time.
Since 1967, Ebert served as the film critic for the Chicago Sun-Times (his final review, in which he described Stephenie Meyer’s The Host as having a one-note structure that “robs it of possibilities for dramatic tension,” ran online March 27.)
Ebert lost part of his jaw to thyroid cancer in 2006, rendering him unable to speak. He would be fitted with a prosthetic chin to make him look more like his former self. Without an ounce of self-pity, Ebert said he looked like “the thing that jumps out of that guy’s intestines in Alien.”
Two Thumbs Up
“Two thumbs-up would appear in a lot of movie ads, so Gene and I trademarked that phrase -- we didn’t trademark our thumbs; I’ve read that a lot,” Ebert recalled in a 2005 interview with the Archive of American Television. “If you go through all sorts of databases, you find that the concept of ‘two thumbs-up’ did not exist until we did it. Before that, things got a thumbs-up, but they didn’t get two thumbs-up.”
The critic is all smiles at the Webby Awards in 2010.
Thierry Fremaux, Roger Ebert, Martin Scorcese
Martin Scorsese said that he would executive produce a documentary about Ebert, based on the Life Itself memoir, that would premiere at the 2013 Telluride Film Festival. Ebert wrote one of the first positive reviews for Scorsese’s feature debut Who’s That Knocking at My Door (1967), helping to kick-start his career.
Siskel and Ebert came up with their signature "thumbs-up/thumbs-down" appraisals; two thumbs-up (and later two big thumbs-up) was as good as a movie could get.
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