Roger Ebert was the most influential movie critic of our time.  He worked at the Chicago Sun Times for almost 50 years. A thumbs up or thumbs down from him could make or break a movie. He has died at the age of 70.

Ebert gained nationwide attention in 1982 when he teamed up with Gene Siskel for a program called At The Movies. Siskel was working at the cross-town rival, The Chicago Tribune, which set up a natural rivalry of sorts.

 

Ebert would give a movie the thumbs down while Siskel would give it a thumbs up.  They seemed sometimes to agree on nothing, which gave the show its flavor. In 1986, they left to create Siskel & Ebert & the Movies for Disney’s Buena Vista Entertainment.

In 2002, Ebert was operated on for thyroid cancer which caused the removal of his lower jaw, making him unable to speak.  He was fitted with a prosthetic jaw.  He described himself as “the thing that jumps out of that guy’s intestines in Alien.”