Roger Ebert, the popular film critic who could weigh a movie's fate with a thumbs up or thumbs down, has died at age 70, according to media reports.
The Chicago Sun-Times, the publication where Ebert reviewed movies for 46 years, reports Ebert died Thursday in Chicago following a long battle with cancer. Referring to Ebert as the nation's most influential and prominent film critic, the Sun-Times writes of Ebert's decades with the newspaper and also about the 31 years he spent reviewing movies on T.V.
In a Sun-Times blog post on Tuesday, Ebert wrote he would be taking a "leave of presence" to deal with his health issues.
The "painful fracture" that made it difficult for me to walk has recently been revealed to be a cancer," Ebert wrote in the blog "It is being treated with radiation, which has made it impossible for me to attend as many movies as I used to."
Wednesday marked his 46th anniversary as film critic for the Sun-Times, according to the blog post.
Ebert also wrote 15 books, contributed to several magazines and had plans to host the 15th annual Roger Ebert Film Festival in Champaign-Urbana – his hometown — in coming weeks, according to the Chicago Tribune. He won a Pulitzer Prize in 1975 for a Sun-Times review, according to The New York Times.
He continued to review movies and write despite operations during his battle of cancers to the thyroid, salivary glands and chin, that left him without the ability to eat, speak or talk, according to The New York Times.