Ebert, who was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2002, took to his blog to announce that he would reduce his workload to undergo treatment for the disease, which claimed a part of his jaw when it returned in 2006.
“The immediate reason for my ‘leave of presence’ is my health,” Ebert 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.”
He continued: “It really stinks that the cancer has returned and that I have spent too many days in the hospital. So on bad days I may write about the vulnerability that accompanies illness. On good days, I may wax ecstatic about a movie so good it transports me beyond illness. 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 was, perhaps, the world’s most respected film critic, and had reviewed movies for the Sun-Times for 46 years. The Pulitzer Prize-winning writer also hosted the television series “At the Movies” for more than 20 years, reviewing films alongside critic Gene Siskel, who died in 1999, and critic Richard Roeper until the show’s end in 2006.
No specific cause of death has been released. Ebert is survived by his wife Chaz Hammelsmith and one step-daughter.
More on this story as it develops…
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