Legendary film critic Roger Ebert dies at age 70

Scott Meslow
The Week
Venerable film critic Roger Ebert at work in 2011.

The news comes just a day after he announced what he called a "leave of presence"

On Thursday afternoon, the Chicago Sun-Times reported that film critic Roger Ebert had passed away at the age of 70. Ebert, who was diagnosed with papillary thyroid cancer in 2002, wrote on Tuesday that a "painful fracture," which had made it difficult for him to walk, had been diagnosed as a cancer. He had planned to treat it with radiation.

In what turned out to be his final post at the Chicago Sun-Times — which had regularly published his film criticism since 1967 — Ebert announced that he would take what he called "a leave of presence." Beginning his column with the words "thank you," he said he would add more voices to his website in order to make up for the fact that he would be writing fewer reviews: 

Today, because of technology, the opportunities to become bigger, better and reach more people are piling up too. The fact that we're re-launching the site now, in the midst of other challenges, should give you an idea how important Rogerebert.com and Ebert Digital are to Chaz and me. I hope you'll stop by, and look for me. I'll be there.

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.

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