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April 4th, 2013
11:20 PM ET

Roger Ebert's influence and legacy

Anderson Cooper pays tribute to legendary film critic Roger Ebert, who died at the age of 70.

He started as a freelance writer for the "Chicago Sun Times" in 1966, but he never expected to make a career out of being a critic.

He once wrote a screenplay for a trashy hollywood movie called "Beyond the Valley of the Dolls." It bombed, so Ebert decided to stick with reviewing films instead of creating them.

In 1975 he became the first film critic to win a Pulitzer Prize. That same year he made his TV debut on a local station with rival Gene Siskel from the "Chicago Tribune." Three years later, the show went national on PBS.

In 1986 Ebert introduced the popular thumbs up, thumbs down rating system.

After Siskel died in 1999, Ebert co-hosted the show with Richard Roeper.

Soon after, his health began to decline. He continued to work while battling cancer in his thyroid and salivary gland. In 2006 he lost part of his lower jaw, resulting in his inability to speak or eat.

His career transitioned to his blog, which is where he last wrote two days before his death. He ended his final essay with the words "I'll see you at the movies."

 

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Filed under: Entertainment • Pop Culture
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