Yeah, so, Roger Ebert died.
He died of cancer. He was 70.
Roger Ebert was a hero of mine. Not only was he an amazing writer, but he was a good person. I have read several of his books, and I watched his show all the time back in the day. He introduced me to so many movies I might have never seen – classics, independent films.
Before I started writing content for a printing company, before I was a TV critic for a newspaper, before I was a neighborhood reporter, I wanted to be a movie critic.
I was pretty young when I decided that I wanted to be a writer. I think I was in the 7th or 8th grade when I asked for an electric typewriter so I could work on “my plays.” In high school, my desire to be a writer turned into a desire to be a movie critic like Roger Ebert, who I was reading in the paper and watching on TV. I was really shy kid, but somehow I worked up the courage to write movie reviews for the high school paper. I remember correctly predicting that Edward James Olmos would get an Oscar nomination for “Stand and Deliver” and feeling really smart and cool.
Eventually, I reviewed movies for the San Francisco Independent and the Peninsula Independent newspapers. I wrote two movie reviews for The Examiner when I was a TV critic. They were vaguely TV-related movies: “From Justin to Kelly” (the “American Idol” movie) and “Jackass,” which I gave four stars, and I was told I wouldn’t be reviewing movies for the paper again. HA!
Throughout the years, I read Ebert’s reviews and his books. I do believe that they had a strong influence on my writing.
There are a few people I can point to as heroes: my mom, my husband, George Carlin, Tina Fey, Bugs Bunny and Roger Ebert.
Thank you for everything, Mr. Ebert.