This is just so sad. Just a day after announcing he was taking a “leave of presence” to once again battle cancer, Roger Ebert passed away. He was 70 years old.
Roger was a movie critic 46 wonderful years, and I personally loved watching him and the late Gene Siskel’s take on movies as I was growing up in the 80′s and early 90′s. Ebert’s words could influence whether a movie became a ‘must see’ or something I could hold off on watching for a while – or even completely.
Ebert’s wife wrote a touching statement for his blog on the Chicago Sun-Times today discussing her husband’s passing:
I am devastated by the loss of my love, Roger — my husband, my friend, my confidante and oh-so-brilliant partner of over 20 years. He fought a courageous fight. I’ve lost the love of my life and the world has lost a visionary and a creative and generous spirit who touched so many people all over the world. We had a lovely, lovely life together, more beautiful and epic than a movie. It had its highs and the lows, but was always experienced with good humor, grace and a deep abiding love for each other.
“Roger was a beloved husband, stepfather to Sonia and Jay, and grandfather to Raven, Emil, Mark and Joseph. Just yesterday he was saying how his grandchildren were “the best things in my life.” He was happy and radiating satisfaction over the outpouring of responses to his blog about his 46th year as a film critic. But he was also getting tired of his fight with cancer, and said if this takes him, he has lived a great and full life.
“We were getting ready to go home today for hospice care, when he looked at us, smiled, and passed away. No struggle, no pain, just a quiet, dignified transition.
“We are touched by all the kindness and the outpouring of love we’ve received. And I want to echo what Roger said in his last blog, thank you for going on this journey with us.”
RIP Roger. Here’s to thinking you and Gene are critiquing films in that big theater in the sky.