After announcing this week that he would be taking “a leave of presence” due to the return of his cancer, the legendary, beloved film critic, and downright goddamn decent human being, has passed away today at age 70. The Chicago Sun-Times, where his writing had appeared for almost 50 years, reported the death just now.
“What in the world is a leave of presence?” Ebert wrote. “It means I am not going away.”
He won’t, of course. His thousands of reviews, and his genuine love for the art of cinema won’t soon be forgotten. For many of us, it was Ebert’s infectious excitement, and critical eye, that taught us to care about movies in the first place.
As Ebert ended his last blog post. “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.”
We could say the same to him.