Beloved Film Critic Roger Ebert Loses Cancer Battle

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April 4, 2013 | 5:56pm EST

Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic Roger Ebert has lost his latest cancer battle two days after revealing his diagnosis via his blog.
The revered U.S. film buff and longtime Chicago Sun-Times contributor died on Thursday.
Ebert was first diagnosed with the disease in his thyroid gland in 2002, and during a hospital stay last year, doctors discovered the return of cancerous cells in his body.
The 70 year old announced his diagnosis on Tuesday night, revealing he will be cutting back on his work as he battles the illness once more.
He wrote, “The ‘painful fracture’ that made it difficult for me to walk has recently been revealed to be a cancer. It is being treated with radiation, which has made it impossible for me to attend as many movies as I used to… My intent is to continue to write selected reviews but to leave the rest to a talented team of writers handpicked and greatly admired by me…
“In addition to writing about movies, I may write about what it’s like to cope with health challenges and the limitations they can force upon you. It really stinks that the cancer has returned and that I have spent too many days in the hospital… 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.”
Ebert also battled cancer in his salivary glands, which robbed him of his ability to speak and eat solid foods due to invasive jaw surgery.
Flowers will be placed on his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Thursday.
Ebert was considered one of the world’s leading film critics thanks largely to his long-running At The Movies review show, which he fronted from the early 1980s until 2006. Filmmakers were keen to win his approval as a “two thumbs up” from the journalist almost always led to box office success.
He became the first film critic to receive the Pulitzer Prize in 1975 and the first to be awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Ebert’s final review as a film critic for the Chicago Sun-Times was for The Host.
Born in Illinois in 1942, the writer became editor and columnist for The Daily Illini at the University of Illinois. He began his professional career as a copy boy at the Sun-Times, and became the newspaper’s movie critic at the age of 25.
He also tasted success as a screenwriter, penning scripts for Russ Meyer’s movies Beyond the Valley of the Dolls and Beneath the Valley of the Ultra-Vixens, and he also had cameo roles in films like Junket Whore, Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 and Abby Singer.