Pulitzer Prize-winning movie critic Roger Ebert died Thursday in Chicago, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. A nationwide audience of movie fans got to know him in the 1980s via the TV show "At the Movies," which he originally co-hosted with Gene Siskel. With the rise of the Internet, Ebert became proficient in the online world as well.
Join Times film writers Mark Olsen and Nicole Sperling for a live video chat at 4 p.m. Thursday as they discuss Ebert's legacy.
Though Ebert battled health problems in recent years, he remained prolific. By his count, in 2012 he wrote more than 300 reviews, more than in any year of his career.
Many Ebert fans expressed shock at his death, just days after he had announced online that he was receiving radiation therapy to treat a hip fracture that had turned out to be cancerous. He wrote that he had planned to take a "leave of presence," continuing to write selective reviews.
"It really stinks that the cancer has returned and that I have spent too many days in the hospital," he wrote on his blog. "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."
Actress Holly Robinson Peete said she was sending prayers to Chaz Hammelsmith, Ebert’s “beautiful and stoic wife” to whom he had been married since 1992. As screenwriter Seth Grahame-Smith lamented on Twitter: "The balcony is closed," referring to Ebert's famous sign-off with the late Siskel on "At the Movies."
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