Jesse Grant/Getty Images
Roger Ebert has passed away.
The legendary film critic died at the age of 70 after years of battling cancer, the Chicago Sun-Times confirms.
Ebert was diagnosed with thyroid cancer back in 2002 and underwent several surgeries since then to battle the disease. He had part of his jaw removed in 2006, but courageously refused to hide from the public after the image-altering surgery.
Ebert's iconic career spans over 45 years. In 1975, he became the first film critic to win the Pulitzer Prize for criticism. Ebert reviewed movies for the Chicago Sun-Times for 46 years as well as reviewing on TV for 31. He was also a screenwriter, having cowritten 1970's Beyond the Valley of the Dolls.
"So on this day of reflection I say again, thank you for going on this journey with me," Ebert posted on his official blog just two days ago. "I'll see you at the movies."
His longtime film critic partner and cohost of Siskel & Ebert At the Movies Gene Siskel died in 1999 from surgical complications.
"I am devastated by the loss of my love, Roger—my husband, my friend, my confidante and oh-so-brilliant partner of over 20 years," Ebert's wife, Chaz, said in a statement. "He fought a courageous fight. I've lost the love of my life and the world has lost a visionary and a creative and generous spirit who touched so many people all over the world. We had a lovely, lovely life together, more beautiful and epic than a movie. It had its highs and the lows, but was always experienced with good humor, grace and a deep abiding love for each other."
Ebert is survived by his wife, two step-children and four grandchildren.
"We were getting ready to go home today for hospice care, when he looked at us, smiled, and passed away," Chaz said. "No struggle, no pain, just a quiet, dignified transition.
"We are touched by all the kindness and the outpouring of love we've received. And I want to echo what Roger said in his last blog, thank you for going on this journey with us."
(Originally published April 4, 2013 at 12:53 p.m. PT)
Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage