Roger Ebert Dies at Age 70
Roger Ebert, the popular and influential film critic died Thursday. He hosted the TV show "At The Movies with Siskel and Ebert" with fellow critic Gene Siskel. Ebert also battled cancer of the thyroid and salivary gland.
Roger Ebert was better known and more celebrated than most of the actors in the movies he reviewed; a prolific author and TV star.
"Everybody's opinion is on the Internet, but you really like those classic opinions that really mean something. And that was Roger Ebert," said Bruce Miller, Sioux City Journal Movie Critic.
After his struggle with cancer forced him to speak only through a computer, his description was simple.
"I'm a newspaper man," said Ebert.
In 1967, at 24-years-old, he became the Chicago Sun-Times' film critic.
"I met him a number of times, been at movies with him. And he was one who really kept movies in the forefront. He was a lover of movies and that's what was really cool about him. He kept pushing it," said Miller.
In 1975, he joined Gene Siskel of the Chicago Tribune, to review movies on TV.
It was a groundbreaking show, "Sneak Previews", later called "At The Movies".
The partnership lasted until Siskel's death in 1999. It was a devastating blow, but Ebert continued the show with Richard Roeper before suffering a series of staggering health problems.
"I had salivary cancer and thyroid cancer and luckily, both curable. And so I'm in good shape again," said Ebert.
But doctors found more cancer, part of his jaw was removed and he lost his ability to talk.
With the help of his devoted wife, Chaz, Roger Ebert, continued working, reviewing movies, writing books, and living life.
"He was an icon when it comes to the movie critics. A lot of people took his word to heart and would go movies that he would recommend or stay away from movies that he would not recommend," said moviegoer John Lidgett.
"He's somebody that we've always looked up to, somebody we could trust to say whether or not we should go to the movies. So it's kind of a sad thing to hear, but he served us well and all his years. And I'm so grateful for all he's done for us as movie goers," said Jean Thomas.
Roger Ebert was 70 years old.