April 4, 2013

Ebert, nation's best-known film critic, dies at 70

The Associated Press

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In this Jan. 12, 2011 file photo, Pulitzer Prize-winning movie critic Roger Ebert works in his office at the WTTW-TV studios in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File)

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This May 17, 2004 file photo shows Pulitzer Prize winning film critc Roger Ebert at the 57th International Film Festival in Cannes, southern France. The Chicago Sun-Times is reporting that its film critic Roger Ebert died on Thursday, April 4, 2013. He was 70. (AP Photo/Michel Euler, file)

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Ebert's hometown embraced the film critic, hosting the annual Ebertfest film festival and placing a plaque at his childhood home.

In the years after he lost his physical voice, Ebert was embraced online. He kept up a Facebook page, a Twitter account with more than 800,000 followers and a blog, Roger Ebert's Journal.

He posted links to stories he found interesting, wrote long pieces on varied topics, not just film criticism, and wittily interacted with readers in the comments sections. He liked to post old black-and-white photos of Hollywood stars and ask readers to guess who they were.

"My blog became my voice, my outlet, my 'social media' in a way I couldn't have dreamed of," Ebert wrote in his memoir. "Most people choose to write a blog. I needed to."

Writing in 2010, he said he did not fear death because he didn't believe there was anything "on the other side of death to fear."

"I was perfectly content before I was born, and I think of death as the same state," he wrote. "I am grateful for the gifts of intelligence, love, wonder and laughter. You can't say it wasn't interesting."

 

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