Considered one of the pioneers in film criticism, Roger Ebert passed away after a long battle with thyroid and salivary cancer. He was diagnosed in 2002 and in 2006 doctors removed his lower jaw to stop the cancer from spreading. Ebert is survived by his wife, Chaz Hammelsmith Ebert, step-daughter and two step-grandchildren.
Ebert became a household name when he began hosting At the Movies with Gene Siskel. The two famously argued over films and popularized "Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down." Gene Siskel passed away of complications from brain surgery in 1999.
Ebert was a respected critic and his reviews were known to make or break the box office. He was also a champion of diversity in films. He famously blasted the Academy Awards for snubbing movies like 1997's Eve's Bayou and 2002's City of God, which was surprisingly ignored for Best Foreign Film.
Ebert wrote a final blog entry on Monday: "It really stinks that the cancer has returned and that I have spent too many days in the hospital. So on bad days I may write about the vulnerability that accompanies illness. On good days, I may wax ecstatic about a movie so good it transports me beyond illness." He added, "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."
Rest in peace to Roger Ebert. Our condolences to his friends, family and fans.
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