On Tuesday, Ebert wrote an online column telling readers he was taking “a leave of presence” from his hectic schedule of writing some 300 reviews per year for the Chicago Sun-Times after learning that a “painful fracture” he suffered in December had turned out to be cancer. “I’ll be able at last to do what I’ve always fantasized about doing: reviewing only the movies I want to review,” he wrote with the optimism and frankness that was a hallmark of his fight with the disease.
Ebert worked as a critic at the Sun-Times for 46 years — starting on April 3, 1967 — and for the last 10, had waged a valiant fight against cancers of the thyroid and salivary gland.
He launched his TV career opposite Chicago Tribune movie critic Gene Siskel on a local show called Coming Soon to a Theater Near You; that morphed into a PBS series, Sneak Previews, and later into the syndicated At the Movies, where the duos “thumbs up/thumbs down” shorthand became part of the filmgoing lexicon.
- Arts & Entertainment
- Roger Ebert