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April 04, 2013

Influential US Film Critic Roger Ebert Dies at 70



Roger Ebert, one of the United States' most popular and influential film critics for nearly 50 years, has died after a long fight against cancer. He was 70 years old.

Ebert died just two days after he wrote on Twitter that he would take time off from writing because of his recurring cancer.

Ebert joined the Chicago Sun-Times newspaper as its film critic in 1967, becoming the first journalist ever to win a Pulitzer Prize for criticism.

He became a national celebrity when he teamed up with fellow Chicago critic Gene Siskel as host of the television series Sneak Previews.

Along with their frequent disagreements and caustic insults, Siskel and Ebert became famous for their "thumbs up" or "thumbs down" film reviews.

Ebert carried on with the series after Siskel's death in 1999, and continued to write even after cancer cost him part of his lower jaw in 2006, along with the ability to eat and speak.

President Barack Obama called Ebert an honest and effusive critic and says the movies will not be the same without him.