Film critic and author of several books, Roger Ebert, died yesterday at 70. The Chicago Tribune, where he worked for over 45 years, declares “in words and in life he displayed the soul of a poet whose passions and interests extended far beyond the darkened theaters where he spent so much of his professional life.”
He showed the range of his passion for the movies in over a dozen books from A Horrible Experience of Unbearable Length: More Movies That Suck (Andrews McMeel) to appreciations of The Great Movies, Volume One and Volume Two (RH/Broadway).
He also wrote a book about one of his favorite cities, The Perfect London Walk (Andrews McMeel, 1986) and even a cookbook, The Pot and How to Use It: The Mystery and Romance of the Rice Cooker, (Andrews McMeel, 2010).
In 2011, after treatments for thyroid cancer robbed him of his ability to speak, he published a memoir, Life Itself, (Hachette/Grand Central; Hachette Audio). In the New York Times, fellow critic Janet Maslin, called it, “candid, funny and kaleidoscopic … the best thing Mr. Ebert has ever written.”
UPDATE: The producers of a film based on Life Itself have announced that they will finish it. Martin Scorsese is one of the executive producers. Ebert was participating in the documentary. (The Hollywood Reporter)