Legendary film critic Roger Ebert died yesterday at age 70 after an 11-year battle with cancer and wife, Chaz Ebert, issued a statement on her husband’s passing.
“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. He fought a courageous fight,” Chaz wrote in a statement. “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.”
Roger and Chaz were married for over two decades and for their 20th anniversary last July, the film mogul dedicated a lengthy blog post to expressing his love for his wife.
“This woman never lost her love, and when it was necessary she forced me to want to live,” Roger wrote. “She was always there believing I could do it, and her love was like a wind forcing me back from the grave.”
With 46 years as a major figure in the film world, the loss of Ebert is not just a hard hit for the industry but it also hits close to home for President Barack Obama. The president expressed his sadness over Ebert’s death in a statement issued Thursday.
“For a generation of Americans–and especially Chicagoans– Roger was the movies,” President Obama wrote. “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 Chaz and the rest of the Ebert family.”
Chaz says Roger lived a full life despite his fight with cancer and passed away peacefully yesterday.
“We were getting ready to go home today for hospice care, when he looked at us, smiled, and passed away. No struggle, no pain, just a quiet, dignified transition.”