Film Critic Roger Ebert Dies at 70

Posted on April 4, 2013

The Chicago Sun Times reports that film critic Roger Ebert has died at the age of 70. Ebert just wrote an essay explaining that his cancer had recurred and that he was taking "a leave of presence." He said that he planned on writing reviews from time to time. He discovered the recurrence when he broke a hip in January. In the essay he wrote which was published Tuesday he said, "I am not going away. My intent is to continue to write selected reviews but to leave the rest to a talented team of writers hand-picked and greatly admired by me." His death today took many by surprise.

Ebert reviewed movies for the newspaper for 46 years and reviewed film on television for 31 years. He and Gene Siskel were famous for their phrase, "two thumbs up" which marked when they loved a movie Ebert battled cancer for the past decade. Diagnosed with salivary cancer and thyroid cancer, he eventually had surgery to remove part of his jaw, which left him unable to eat, drink or to speak. He continued to work, using his computer as his voice. He wrote openly about his illness and had a huge online following.

He is survived by his wife Chaz Hammelsmith, step-children and step-grandchildren. You can read The New York Times' obituary here.

More from Writers Write