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Roger Ebert Dies: Barack Obama, Richard Roeper, Oprah Winfrey & More Celebs Pay Respects

At the Movies, Roger Ebert, Richard Roeper ABC

Roger Ebert's death at 70 marks the end of an era for film criticism and his absence from the movie scene will be acutely felt starting...

Well, it started the second Hollywood and beyond heard the news.

Celebs of all stripes, many of whom read, watched, worked with or—as tended to be the case—were judged by the prolific critic, immediately started paying their respects.

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"I've known Roger for 30 years," Richard Roeper—who joined Ebert on At the Movies following the death of Gene Siskel, the other half of the late, great Siskel & Ebert pairing—said today on his Chicago radio show. 

"When I started in the newsroom [at the Chicago Sun Times] I was afraid to talk to him—he was a legend," Roeper recalled. "Throughout the years we became friends before we became television partners. The guy you saw on TV that loved movies—that was the guy. That was Roger Ebert. And so many other talk shows followed the Siskel & Ebert model. He was very personable and very friendly."

"Michelle and I are saddened to hear about the passing of Roger Ebert," read a statement from President Barack Obama. "For a generation of Americans—and especially Chicagoans—Roger was the movies. 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. Even amidst his own battles with cancer, Roger was as productive as he was resilient—continuing to share his passion and perspective with the world. The movies won't be the same without Roger, and our thoughts and prayers are with [Ebert's wife] Chaz and the rest of the Ebert family."

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And, with Ebert having adopted Twitter as one of his main means of communication over the last few years—his last missive coming only yesterday when he announced he was going on a "leave of presence" due to a reoccurrence of his cancer—it's only fitting that so many celebs used the medium to share their thoughts:

Kate Mara: "('@nytimes: Roger Ebert wrote yesterday: "Thank you for going on this journey with me. I'll see you at the movies.'"

Steve Martin: "Goodbye Roger Ebert, we had fun. The balcony is closed."

Joan Rivers: "Just heard about the death of Roger Ebert. He was a nice, nice man. I truly liked him - I'm very sad."

Cameron Crowe: "Roger Ebert. Clear-eyed dreamer, king of the written word..."

Patton Oswalt: "Roger, I hope you're in an infinite movie palace, watching every film the great directors only dreamed of making. RIP."

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Stephen Fry: "Oh. The wonderful Roger Ebert died. He had written this marvellous piece about death: http://www.salon.com/2011/09/15/roger_ebert/ … RIP RE"

Ronan Farrow"'I cannot speak but I can communicate as well as ever before.' RIP Roger Ebert. You lost much, while giving us all much, with quiet dignity."

Anna Kendrick: "Shocked and truly, deeply saddened at the loss of the great Roger Ebert. A legend. His voice will be missed."

La Toya Jackson: "Thoughts and prayers goes out to Roger Ebert #RIP."

Michael Moore "Roger Ebert. Millions of thumbs up for you. RIP."

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Jeri Ryan: "Oh, crap. Just heard. RIP, Roger Ebert."

Rosario Dawson "RIP...Thank you for being such a great running commentator in my life."

Kevin Smith: "Dammit! @EbertChicago died. My review: An iconic game-changer, Roger brought film criticism AND movie-loving to the mainstream. 2 Thumbs up."

Rose McGowan: "Awww, RIP Roger Ebert. Thanks for the thumbs."

Juan Antonio Bayona: "#RogerEbert your voice will be missed. Since I was a kid you teach me about love to cinema from all over the world. Thanks and RIP."

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Mia Farrow: "If cancer came to take me piece by piece, I hope I could summon even a fraction of the grace Roger Ebert showed us, in such abundance."

Jason Reitman: "A profound loss for anyone who has ever loved going to the movies. My heart goes out to Chaz and the city of Chicago. Just heartbroken."

Oprah Winfrey: "Roger and Gene together again. End of an era."

See pics of the stars and talent we've lost in 2013

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