Politicians, celebrities react to death of Roger Ebert - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

Politicians, celebrities react to death of Roger Ebert

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CHICAGO (Associated Press) -

Politicians, the film industry, and celebrities are giving a "thumbs up" to famed film critic Roger Ebert's life.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel praised Ebert for his contributions to the motion picture industry as well as to the city.

After learning that the 70-year-old Ebert died Thursday, Emanuel said in a statement that Ebert "championed" the city as a center for filmmaking and critiques.

Emanuel noted that Ebert earned a Pulitzer Prize during a career that spanned more than four decades. He says Ebert will be remembered not only for the quality of his work but also for the courage he showed the last few years he battled health problems.

Illinois Governor pat Quinn says one of his most cherished memories of Ebert, who died Thursday, was getting a "thumbs-up" from Ebert in 2011 when he proclaimed "Roger Ebert Day" during Ebertfest in Champaign.

Quinn says Ebert was Everyman with a cinematographer's eye and an artist's passion. The governor praised Ebert's ability to communicate with everyday people not only about movies but also the "real values of life."
 
Quinn noted Ebert was a graduate of the University of Illinois, where he began his career as a reporter for the school's newspaper.

President Barack Obama also reacted Thursday, saying the movies won't be the same without Roger Ebert.

Obama said Ebert, who died Thursday at age 70, was for a generation of Americans was the movies. He noted when Ebert didn't like a film, he was honest. And when he liked a movie, he was effusive, "capturing the unique power of the movies to take us somewhere magical."

The president said that even while battling cancer, Ebert was productive and resilient, and continued to share his passion and perspective with the world.

Obama said his thoughts and prayers, as well as those of first lady Michelle Obama, are with Ebert's wife, Chaz, and the rest of Ebert's family.

Other tributes poured in on Twitter.

Jimmy Kimmel said Ebert "was an excellent writer, a gifted artist, and as nice a guy as you'll ever meet. Sad he's gone."

And Patton Oswald tweeted: "Roger, I hope you're in an infinite movie palace, watching every film the great directors only dreamed of making. RIP, @ebertchicago."

Chicago-raised Jenny McCarthy had a simple message: "Roger Ebert RIP. #chicagolove."

Ebert himself, was an avid Twitter user and it's possible that more people read his tweets than saw the review shows that made him famous.

Ebert posted more than 30,000 tweets and he had almost 840,000 followers.

His final tweet was a link to his announcement that he would be scaling back his work due to cancer, but he was considering it a "leave of presence" and would keep on writing.

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