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Roger Ebert

June 18, 1942 – April 4, 2013

Inducted in 2016

Works

Each year from 1999 to 2013, except in 2008, Ebert published Roger Ebert's Movie Yearbook

 

An Illini Century: One Hundred Years of Campus Life (1967)

A Kiss Is Still a Kiss (1984)

The Perfect London Walk (1986)

Two Weeks In Midday Sun: A Cannes Notebook (1987)

Behind the Phantom's Mask (1993) Fiction

Ebert's Little Movie Glossary (1994)

Roger Ebert's Book of Film (1996)

Questions for the Movie Answer Man (1997)

Ebert's Bigger Little Movie Glossary (1999)

I Hated, Hated, Hated This Movie (2000)

The Great Movies (2002)

The Great Movies II (2005)

Awake in the Dark: The Best of Roger Ebert (2006)

The Great Movies III (2010)

Your Movie Sucks (2007)

Roger Ebert's Four-Star Reviews 1967–2007 (2007)

Scorsese by Ebert (2008)

The Pot and How to Use It: The Mystery and Romance of the Rice Cooker (2010)

Life Itself: A Memoir. (2011)

A Horrible Experience of Unbearable Length (2012)

When I am writing, my problems become invisible, and I am the same person I always was. All is well. I am as I should be. [Esquire]

Working for the Chicago Sun Times from 1967 until his death, Roger Ebert was the first film critic to win the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism. Ebert and Chicago Tribune critic Gene Siskel helped popularize nationally televised film reviewing when they co-hosted the PBS show Sneak Previews, followed by several variously named At the Movies programs.

But above all else, Ebert was a writer. He wrote more books than any TV personality since Steve Allen — 17 in all. Not only collections of reviews, both good and bad, and critiques of great movies, but humorous glossaries and even a novel, Behind the Phantom’s Mask, that was serialized in the Sun-Times. In 2011, his autobiography, Life Itself, won rave reviews. “This is the best thing Mr. Ebert has ever written,” Janet Maslin wrote in the New York Times.

In 2005, Ebert became the first film critic to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Tom Van Riper of Forbes described him as “the most powerful pundit in America,” and Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times called him “the best known film critic in America.” Ebert was also named honorary life member of the Directors' Guild of America; won the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Screenwriters' Guild; and received honorary degrees from the American Film Institute and the University of Colorado at Boulder. The 19th annual installment of Roger Ebert’s Film Festival took place in Urbana-Champaign this past April, and according to the official website “his influence on the Festival continues.” Ebert’s blog, rogerebert.com, has been carried on by his widow Chaz, who is a regular contributor as well as the publisher.

Ebert lived with cancer of the thyroid and salivary glands from 2002. He continued to publish frequently both online and in print until shortly before his death. Two days before his death, Ebert ended his final blog post by saying, “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.” His death prompted wide reaction from celebrities both in and out of the entertainment industry. President Barack Obama wrote, “Roger was the movies ... [he could capture] the unique power of the movies to take us somewhere magical ... The movies won't be the same without Roger.” Robert Redford called Ebert “one of the great champions of freedom of artistic expression” and said, “His personal passion for cinema was boundless, and that is sure to be his legacy for generations to come.”

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