48 Facts About Roger Ebert

1. In 2016, Roger Ebert was inducted into the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame.

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2. Roger Ebert was inducted as a Laureate of The Lincoln Academy of Illinois and awarded the Order of Lincoln by the Governor of Illinois in 2001 in the area of Performing Arts.

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3. At the 86th Academy Awards ceremony, Roger Ebert was included in the In Memoriam montage, a rare honor for a film critic.

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4. Roger Ebert adopted a computerized voice system to communicate, eventually using a copy of his own voice created from his recordings by CereProc.

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5. Roger Ebert was unable to speak, instead communicating through his wife.

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6. Roger Ebert made his first public appearance since mid-2006 at Ebertfest on April 25, 2007.

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7. Roger Ebert endorsed Barack Obama for re-election as President in 2012.

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8. Roger Ebert was friends with film historian and critic Leonard Maltin and considered the book Leonard Maltin's Movie and Video Guide to be the standard of film guide books.

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9. Roger Ebert was a longtime friend of, and briefly dated, Oprah Winfrey, who credited him with persuading her to syndicate The Oprah Winfrey Show, which became the highest-rated talk show in American television history.

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10. Roger Ebert was a member of Alcoholics Anonymous and had written some blog entries on the subject.

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11. Roger Ebert was a recovering alcoholic, having quit drinking in 1979.

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12. Roger Ebert explained in his memoir, Life Itself, that he "would never marry before [his] mother died", as he was afraid of displeasing her.

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13. At age 50, Roger Ebert married trial attorney Charlie "Chaz" Hammelsmith in 1992.

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14. Roger Ebert was skeptical of the recent resurgence of 3D effects in film, which he found unrealistic and distracting.

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15. Roger Ebert was an admirer of director Werner Herzog, whom he supported through many years when Herzog's popularity had declined.

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16. Roger Ebert gave a one-star review to the critically acclaimed Abbas Kiarostami film Taste of Cherry, which won the Palme d'Or at the 1997 Cannes Film Festival.

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17. Roger Ebert gave favorable reviews of controversial films with themes or references to Jesus and Catholicism, including The Passion of the Christ, The Last Temptation of Christ, and to Kevin Smith's religious satire Dogma.

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18. Roger Ebert commented on films using his Catholic upbringing as a point of reference, and was critical of films he believed were grossly ignorant of or insulting to Catholicism, such as Stigmata and Priest.

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19. Roger Ebert advocated replacing the NC-17 rating with separate ratings for pornographic and non-pornographic adult films.

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20. Roger Ebert made similar reevaluations of 1981's Raiders of the Lost Ark, and 1985's Ran.

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21. Roger Ebert expressed his general distaste for "top ten" lists, and all movie lists in general, but contributed a top ten list to the 2012 Sight and Sound Critics' poll.

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22. Roger Ebert insinuated that his real favorite film was La Dolce Vita.

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23. Roger Ebert wrote many essays and articles exploring in depth the field of film criticism.

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24. Roger Ebert often included personal anecdotes in his reviews when he considered them relevant.

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25. Roger Ebert acknowledged one such case in his review of Basic Instinct 2, which he recommended despite giving it 1.5 stars.

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26. Roger Ebert appeared as a guest star multiple times on Sesame Street.

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27. Roger Ebert was interviewed by Central Park Media for an extra feature on the DVD release of the anime film Grave of the Fireflies.

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28. Roger Ebert expressed his approval of the proliferation of young people writing film reviews today on the Internet.

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29. Roger Ebert is shown discussing the dynamics of appearing with Gene Siskel on the 1970s show Coming to a Theatre Near You, which was the predecessor of Sneak Previews on Chicago PBS station WTTW.

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30. Roger Ebert was one of the principal critics featured in Gerald Peary's 2009 documentary film For the Love of Movies: The Story of American Film Criticism.

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31. Roger Ebert chose the films Sweet Smell of Success and The Lady Eve to be shown.

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32. On October 22, 2010, Roger Ebert appeared on camera with Robert Osborne on the Turner Classic Movies network during the network's "The Essentials" series.

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33. In 2003, Roger Ebert had a cameo appearance in the film Abby Singer.

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34. Roger Ebert was a regular fixture at the Hawaii International Film Festival.

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35. In 1999, Roger Ebert founded his own film festival, Ebertfest, in his home town of Champaign, Illinois.

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36. Roger Ebert made an appearance as himself in a 1997 episode of the television series Early Edition, which took place in Chicago.

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37. On January 31, 2009, Roger Ebert was made an honorary life member of the Directors Guild of America.

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38. On February 18, 2009, Roger Ebert reported that he and Roeper would soon announce a new movie-review program, and reiterated this plan after Disney announced that the program's last episode would air in August 2010.

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39. Roger Ebert ended his association with the Disney-owned At The Movies in July 2008, after the studio indicated it wished to take the program in a new direction.

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40. In 2005, Roger Ebert became the first film critic to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

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41. Roger Ebert published more than 20 books and dozens of collected reviews.

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42. Roger Ebert began his career as a film critic in 1967, writing for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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43. Roger Ebert returned from Cape Town to his graduate studies at Illinois for two more semesters and then, after being accepted as a PhD candidate at the University of Chicago, he prepared to move to Chicago.

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44. Roger Ebert spent a semester as a master's student in the department of English there before attending the University of Cape Town on a Rotary fellowship for a year.

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45. Roger Ebert began taking classes at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign as an early-entrance student, completing his high school courses while taking his first university class.

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46. Roger Ebert was raised Roman Catholic, attending St Mary's elementary school and serving as an altar boy in Urbana.

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47. Roger Ebert lived with cancer of the thyroid and salivary glands beginning in 2002.

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48. In 1975, Roger Ebert became the first film critic to win the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism.

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