Two Thumbs Up for Eternity

BY HEATHER HACKNEY

roger-ebert-650-430Ladies and Gentlemen, the film community is in mourning today.  Journalist, screenwriter, film critic and icon Roger Ebert died Thursday at the age of 70 after a battle with cancer.

His death caused the social media world to explode. Across Twitter and Facebook, fans and movie goers spread their wishes and quotes with the universe as they bid farewell to Roger.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Ebert’s long time home for 46 years, his wife commented,  “We were getting ready to go home today for hospice care, when he [Ebert] looked at us, smiled, and passed away.”

This was a lot of comfort to his fans, knowing that he left this world the same way he made us feel, happy.  In his last blog post, made two days before his death, he ended with the statement, “So on this day of reflection I say again, thank you for going on this journey with me. I’ll see you at the movies.” Almost as if he knew this was his final curtain call.

Celebs have commented on this with love and mourning for Ebert. The Associated Press reported that Steven Spielberg commented on the event saying, “Reviews went far deeper than simply thumbs up or thumbs down. He wrote with passion through a real knowledge of film and film history, and in doing so, helped many movies find their audiences.”  Even President Obama commented that, “The movies wouldn’t be the same without Roger.”

Roger Ebert in latter years, following the removal of his jaw due to cancer
Roger Ebert in latter years, following the removal of his jaw due to cancer

Many remember him as a household name when in 1975 he joined with Gene Siskel on their PBS show “At the Movies with Siskel and Ebert.” Unfortunately Gene Siskel passed away in 1999, and the producers of the show took over a year to find a new suitable co-host for Ebert. They landed on Richard Roper and renamed the show “Ebert & Roper at the Movies.” PBS aired the last episode in 2010.

Ebert was an inspiration to a lot of people, celebrities or otherwise, including this reporter. So I too would like to take this opportunity to send my well wishes to this icon.

Dear Roger,

Thank you for inspiring this young journalist. For making me love the movies and everything they stand for. You are the reason I stay glued to my television for almost 24 hours on Oscar Sunday, and you are the reason these very words are being read. It’s with a heavy heart and a tear in my eye that I say goodbye old friend, till we meet again. You will always have two thumbs up in my eyes. I will indeed see you at the movies.

Eternally Grateful for your Words,

Heather

With this final curtain call, I bid you adieu and hopefully we will see all of you as well…at the movies. Stay Tuned… 

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