The Chicago Sun-Times has announced that their own journalist of over four decades, Roger Ebert, has passed away Thursday at age 70. Ebert was well known for his long-running television series “At the Movies” which he hosted with Gene Siskel and later his Sun-Times colleague Richard Roeper. The show’s powerful “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” rating system made the hosts household names and kept the film industry at their mercy.“I will one day be thin, but Vincent Gallo will always be the director of ‘The Brown Bunny’.” -Roger Ebert
In 2002, Ebert began a battle with thyroid cancer that would continue for over a decade, although Ebert did not let it affect his work. He did not miss a film opening in 2003 despite surgery and weeks of radiation. In June of 2006 Ebert nearly died during surgery to remove additional cancer from his jaw as his carotid artery burst. After an emergency tracheotomy and having a portion of his jaw bone removed, Ebert began rehabilitation but had lost the ability to speak. He returned to journalism several months after, although more surgeries were to follow. In April 2013, what was originally thought to be a fractured hip turned out to be hip cancer, causing Ebert to take a leave of absence from his duties. He is survived by his wife, Chaz Hammelsmith Ebert.
We here at the Longfellow Bridge can think of no more fitting way to send off a writer of excellent taste and razor-sharp wit than with one of his finest quotes:
“I will one day be thin, but Vincent Gallo will always be the director of ‘The Brown Bunny’.”