Legendary Movie Critic Roger Ebert Dies At 70

By Samantha Abernethy in Arts & Entertainment on Apr 4, 2013 7:50PM

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Credit: Roger Ebert in 2004 (Getty Images)

Chicago Sun-Times film critic Roger Ebert has died. He was 70 years old. The Sun-Times made the announcement on Twitter Thursday afternoon:

Just yesterday, Ebert announced that he would be cutting back his workload as his fight with cancer had returned. Ebert was hospitalized last December with a fractured hip, and doctors discovered it was due to a recurrence of the cancer he's been fighting for more than a decade. Ebert has been receiving radiation treatment for it, which, as he wrote, “has made it impossible for me to attend as many movies as I used to.” In announcing his "leave of presence," Ebert wrote:

So on this day of reflection I say again, thank you for going on this journey with me. I'll see you at the movies.

Ebert lost part of his lower jaw to cancer in 2006. Having lost the ability to speak, Ebert turned to the internet to write profusely, becoming a dominant presence on Twitter. The New York Times writes:

Mr. Ebert’s struggle with cancer, starting in 2002, gave him an altogether different public image — as someone who refused to surrender to illness. Though he had operations for cancer of the thyroid, salivary glands and chin, lost his ability to eat, drink and speak (he was fed through a tube and a prosthesis partly obscured the loss of much of his chin) and became a gaunter version of his once-portly self, he continued to write reviews and commentary and published a cookbook he had started, on meals that could be made with a rice cooker.

Read more about Ebert's health struggles in this 2010 profile in Esquire. Also, in 2011 Ebert published an excerpt from his memoir Life Itself: A Memoir on Salon.com titled, "I do not fear death," in which he writes:

I will pass away sooner than most people who read this, but that doesn't shake my sense of wonder and joy

Ebert was a native of Urbana, Ill., and started his career at 15 writing for the News-Gazette in Champaign-Urbana. He studied at the University of Illinois, where he served as editor of the Daily Illini.

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