Washington, April 5 (IANS/EFE) Film critic Roger Ebert died Thursday in Chicago after a long battle with cancer. He was 70.
The Chicago Sun-Times, the daily where Ebert published his movie reviews for years, announced his death.
Ebert, who was born in June 1942 in Urbana, Illinois, had fought thyroid cancer since 2002 and although the ravages of the disease had left him unable to speak, he wrote extensively about his illness on the social networks and in his blog published by the Sun-Times.
The bespectacled and – in his younger years – somewhat portly reviewer was one of the best-known film critics of his generation, one of the most reliable and won a Pulitzer Prize in 1975 for his commentaries in the Sun-Times.
His columns were published in more than 200 papers around the US and in other countries, and in 2005 he became the first movie critic to be honoured with a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame.
Along with film critic Gene Siskel, Ebert hosted a successful television program in which the pair popularized the expression “two thumbs up” to designate films that they considered worth seeing.
Ebert’s reviews, along with those of Siskel, who died of cancer in 1999, could sink a film or exalt it.
In a statement released by the White House, President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle said that they were “saddened” by Ebert’s passing, adding that “the movies won’t be the same without Roger”.
Just this week, Ebert had remarked in his blog that he was planning to cut back on the number of reviews he wrote because of his illness.