Happy birthday, Roger Ebert! Ebert has enjoyed a long and impressive career as one of America’s leading film critics, beginning with his role as critic for the Chicago-Sun Times and subsequently as co-host of a local Chicago TV show reviewing movies with fellow critic Gene Siskel (a show which became the nationally syndicated Siskel & Ebert at the Movies). After the death of Gene Siskel, Ebert co-hosted another review show, Ebert & Roeper at the Movies with Richard Roeper. Ebert has written over a dozen books, won a Pulitzer Prize for Criticism (the first ever awarded to a film critic), and survived several near-brushes with death for the treatment and after-effects of thyroid cancer. He’s persevered through the many ups and downs, and today is still reviewing films, puts on a yearly film festival, Ebertfest, and is quite the social media guru, with a popular blog and entertaining daily Tweets.
Siskel and Ebert coined one of the most memorable terms in all of media criticism. In his 2005 Archive interview, Ebert details the importance of film criticism and reveals how the pair came up with their catchphrase “two thumbs up”:
Happy 70th, Roger! Here’s to many, many more!
Watch Roger Ebert’s full Archive interview.