News / Arts & Entertainment

Influential US Film Critic Roger Ebert Dead at 70

FILE - Film critic Roger Ebert and his wife Chaz Ebert arrive at the 36th Toronto International Film Festival, Canada, Sept. 13, 2011.
FILE - Film critic Roger Ebert and his wife Chaz Ebert arrive at the 36th Toronto International Film Festival, Canada, Sept. 13, 2011.
Reuters
Pulitzer-Prize winning film critic Roger Ebert died on Thursday, the Chicago Sun-Times said, two days after he said his cancer of 10 years ago had returned.

"It is with a heavy heart we report that legendary film critic Roger Ebert has passed away,'' the newspaper where Ebert worked for decades said on Twitter. "There is a hole that can't be filled. One of the greats has left us. Roger Ebert has passed away at the age of 70.''

Chicago Sun-Times columnist Richard Roeper (L) and Sun-Times film critic Roger Ebert. (Undated photo)Chicago Sun-Times columnist Richard Roeper (L) and Sun-Times film critic Roger Ebert. (Undated photo)
x
Chicago Sun-Times columnist Richard Roeper (L) and Sun-Times film critic Roger Ebert. (Undated photo)
Chicago Sun-Times columnist Richard Roeper (L) and Sun-Times film critic Roger Ebert. (Undated photo)
Ebert gained national prominence with fellow Chicago film critic Gene Siskel on the television show "At the Movies with Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert,'' coining the phrase "Two Thumbs Up.'' After Siskel's death in 1999, Ebert teamed with critic Richard Roeper, but later quit for health reasons.

Ebert, one of the most widely read movie critics in the United States, lost his ability to speak and eat after surgeries for thyroid and salivary gland cancer in 2002 and 2003.

On Tuesday, he posted a blog entry saying he was taking a "leave of presence'' from his more than 40-year career and scaling back his work after doctors diagnosed his cancer had returned.

It was discovered by doctors after he fractured his hip in December.

"The 'painful fracture' that made it difficult for me to walk has recently been revealed to be a cancer," Ebert said in the blog posting, giving no further details about the type of cancer or diagnosis.

"I am not going away," he added. ''My intent is to continue to write selected reviews ... What's more, I'll be able at last to do what I've always fantasized about doing: reviewing only the movies I want to review."

Ebert's reviews were syndicated to more than 200 newspapers and he had been reviewing films for the Chicago Sun-Times since 1967. He won the Pulitzer Prize for criticism in 1975.

Forbes magazine dubbed Ebert the most powerful pundit in America in 2007.

You May Like

Obama Pledges 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace Christmas precisely because of its non-religious glamor and commercial appeal More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

Soul Lounge

"Soul Lounge" host Shawna Renee catches up with soul singer and songwriter Russell Taylor to hear what he’s been up to since winning the VH1 "You Oughta Know" title in 2013. She also convinces him to share a few songs from his album "War of Hearts."