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Leading critic Ebert dies

The celebrated American film critic, Roger Ebert, has died after a long battle with cancer.

He was 70.

Ebert had been one of the countries foremost critics, with a TV show presented first with Gene Siskel and later with Richard Roeper, in which he used “thumbs up” and “thumbs down” as his indication of whether a film was worth watching.

Ebert – the first journalist to win the Pulitzer Prize for film criticism – continued writing for the Chicago Sun-Times newspaper after he lost the ability to speak, after surgery for thyroid and salivary gland cancer in 2002 and 2003.

He announced earlier this week that his cancer had returned.

“It is with a heavy heart we report that legendary film critic Roger Ebert has passed away,” his newspaper announced on Twitter.

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