Movie critic Roger Ebert’s heart stopped beating Thursday.
The 70-year-old Pulitzer Prize winner is being remembered by movie stars and fans around the world, but RumorFix brings you the memories of his two partners — Chaz Ebert, his life partner for 20 years, and his TV partner.
Chaz’s tribute to her husband was as poignant and elegant as anything Roger would write. “We had a lovely, lovely life together, more beautiful and epic than a movie,” she wrote.
Richard described Roger’s art as being musical. “Roger’s fingers just danced across the keyboard when he was writing a review or filing a story on Oscar night. It was like witnessing a musical genius on a Steinway. His fingers could barely keep up with the narrative flow he was creating on the spot,” he wrote.
And Richard revealed that it was Roger who told him he got the TV job and he insisted on parity. Roger told him, “This is a partnership. You’re not a guest on the Roger Ebert show. You’re my co-host. It’s a 50-50 deal.”
Richard summed up his thoughts by writing, “If there were a Mount Rushmore of movie critics, we’d start with Roger Ebert and there would certainly be a place for the late Gene Siskel, and after that there would be room for plenty of debate.”
Here is Chaz Ebert’s statement in full:
p>”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. 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. We had a lovely, lovely life together, more beautiful and epic than a movie. It had its highs and the lows, but was always experienced with good humor, grace and a deep abiding love for each other.
“Roger was a beloved husband, stepfather to Sonia and Jay, and grandfather to Raven, Emil, Mark and Joseph. Just yesterday he was saying how his grandchildren were ‘the best things in my life.’ He was happy and radiating satisfaction over the outpouring of responses to his blog about his 46th year as a film critic. But he was also getting tired of his fight with cancer, and said if this takes him, he has lived a great and full life.
“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.
“We are touched by all the kindness and the outpouring of love we’ve received. And I want to echo what Roger said in his last blog, thank you for going on this journey with us.”