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April 04, 2013

Roger Ebert, Film Critic and Television Personality

Along with former partner Gene Siskel, Ebert brought film criticism to a mass audience through their long-running TV series, which assessed movies with a "thumbs up" or "thumbs down."

Roger Ebert, the first film critic to win the Pulitzer Prize who parlayed his position with the Chicago Sun-Times into a highly visible television career, died April 4, 2013, in Chicago. He was 70.

The cause was throat cancer, a disease with which he had fought a lengthy public battle for several years.

A native of Urbana, Illinois, Ebert began his journalism career while still in high school. He joined the Sun-Times as a feature writer in 1966, and became film critic a year later.

In 1975, along with Gene Siskel, film critic at the rival Chicago Tribune, Ebert began appearing as co-host of Sneak Previews, the first television show devoted to film reviews. The show went through various incarnations over the ensuing years as it migrated from its public television origins to national syndication. Its signature, at the end of each review, was granting the film in question a "thumbs up" or "thumbs down."

After Siskel died in 1999, the show continued as Roger Ebert & the Movies, and later, At the Movies with Ebert & Roeper, when a Sun-Times colleague, Richard Roeper, became his co-host.

Ebert made his final appearance on Ebert & Roeper & the Movies in 2006, when complications from operations for his cancer left him unable to speak.

On occasion, Ebert, who received the Pulitzer Prize came in 1975, also served as a host for red-carpet interview shows prior to Academy Awards ceremonies on ABC.

More about his life and work is available at:

Archive of American Television

Chicago Sun-Times

Variety

Esquire

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