Roger Ebert (Getty Images)
Renowned Chicago Sun-Times film critic Roger Ebert died on Thursday after a long battle with cancer. He was 70.
Ebert's struggle with thyroid cancer, chronicled in a 2010 cover story by Esquire, caused the loss of part of his jaw and the ability to eat and speak. He communicated through a computer program and reached his many fans through Twitter and his blog, gaining admiration for his relentlessly positive attitude about his disease.
Ebert's death comes two days after he announced a "leave of presence" due to a recurrence of cancer after a hip fracture he suffered in December.
"For a generation of Americans—and especially Chicagoans—Roger was the movies," President Barack Obama said in a statement. "When he didn't like a film, he was honest; when he did, he was effusive—capturing the unique power of the movies to take us somewhere magical."
— The White House (@whitehouse) April 4, 2013
Film critics are mourning Ebert's loss on Twitter, a medium Ebert avidly embraced.
"Ebert was singular," New York Times critic A.O. Scott tweeted. "We are all in his shadow and his debt."
"Roger Ebert was my hero," Scott Jordan Harris, a blogger for London's Telegraph and Ebert's U.K. correspondent, wrote on Twitter. "More recently he became my boss and my friend. I will be forever honoured. I loved him."
"Man, I feel so lucky and so sad at the same time," Chris Jones, who wrote the Esquire cover story, tweeted. "I'll miss you Roger, very much."
"One of my favorite quotes, by Henry James, is: 'Three things in human life are important: The first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind,'" Time Out New York film critic and New York Film Critics Circle member Keith Uhlich wrote in an email to Yahoo News. "That was Roger Ebert, a man somehow able to treat even undignified subjects—be it a godawful movie or a life-threatening illness—with clear-eyed compassion."
"Next time I see a movie, I doubt I'll ask myself what Ebert would think of it," writer Mark Harris, "Oscarologist" for Grantland, tweeted. "But I'll ask much better questions of myself because of him."
It is with a heavy heart we report that legendary film critic Roger Ebert (@ebertchicago) has passed away.
— Suntimes (@Suntimes) April 4, 2013
Filmmakers also took to Twitter to pay their respects to Ebert.
"Millions of thumbs up for you," Oscar-winning filmmaker Michael Moore wrote on Twitter. "RIP."
“We lost a thoughtful writer," Darren Aronofsky tweeted. "I remember my first review from him ... it was a career highlight.”
"It was a privilege to interact with you," screenwriter Diablo Cody wrote. "Thank you for the support, the criticism, and the true love for the movies.”
Director Cameron Crowe called Ebert a "clear-eyed dreamer" and "king of the written word."
"A film critic with the soul of a poet," actress Annabella Sciorra wrote on Twitter.
"I never grew tired of his opinions ... on everything," Howard Stern tweeted.
Even The Onion delivered Ebert a poignant obituary. (Headline: "Roger Ebert Hails Human Existence As 'A Triumph'")Read More »from Beloved film critic Roger Ebert dies at 70