Cancer Forces Film Critic Roger Ebert To Take “Leave Of Presence”

Roger Ebert has been reviewing movies for the Chicago Sun-Times for 46 years—but he became America’s best-known film critic by doing his job on TV with Gene Siskel during the 1980s, then embracing the blog form in the last decade, chronicling his love of movies (and how he loves movies!) as well as his own physical decline. He announced Tuesday that he’s cutting back on the 200-plus reviews he writes each year to take a “leave of presence” because of cancer.

What in the world is a leave of presence? It means I am not going away. My intent is to continue to write selected reviews but to leave the rest to a talented team of writers handpicked and greatly admired by me. What’s more, I’ll be able at last to do what I’ve always fantasized about doing: reviewing only the movies I want to review.

He promises to continue writing at, to be unveiled April 9, and to recruit his own stable of writers to carry on the mission of loving and writing about movies. In the meantime, enjoy some old-school Siskel and Ebert: