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Roger Ebert Biography

Birth Name:
Roger Joseph Ebert
Birth Place:
Urbana, Illinois, United States
Film critic, author, screenwriter

Fast Facts

  • Was co-editor of his high-school newspaper
  • Joined the Chicago Sun-Times as a reporter in 1966 and started writing film reviews for the paper a year later
  • Teamed with Chicago Tribune film critic Gene Siskel in 1975 for the weekly review program Sneak Previews, which aired on PBS for more than two decades
  • Became, in 1975, the first recipient of a Pulitzer Prize for film criticism
  • Wrote the screenplay for Russ Meyer's cult-classic Beyond the Valley of the Dolls; used pseudonyms for writing Meyer's Beneath the Valley of the Ultra-Vixens and Up! Founded the annual event Ebertfest, originally titled Roger Ebert's Overlooked Film Festival, in 1999
  • Received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2005
  • Had his right thumb trademarked
  • Authored more than 20 books
  • Continued to write film reviews after having survived thyroid and salivary-gland cancers and having part of his jaw bone removed; employs text-to-speech software that allows him to converse


  • 1997Emmy-Outstanding Informational Series: nominated
  • 1994Emmy-Outstanding Informational Series: nominated
  • 1992Emmy-Outstanding Informational Series: nominated
  • 1988Emmy-Outstanding Informational Series: nominated
  • 1987Emmy-Outstanding Informational Series: nominated
  • 1985Emmy-Outstanding Informational Series: nominated
  • 1984Emmy-Outstanding Informational Series: nominated


  • Walter H. Ebert -- Father
  • Annabel Ebert -- Mother
  • Sonia Hammelsmith -- Stepdaughter
  • Chaz Hammelsmith -- Wife