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One of the last emails I received from Roger Ebert came Feb. 9. Characteristically, it was about someone he was promoting, both as one of his "Far Flung Correspondents" — FFCs, the bloggers from around the world that he featured on his website — and filmmaker.
There wasn't anything that Roger Ebert tried that he wasn't stunningly successful at. After years of valiant resistance, he succumbed to cancer Thursday. He leaves behind a staggering body of multidimensional work. And here is where it all began, when we were young reporters.
By BILL LYON
For The Philadelphia Inquirer
Chaz Ebert will be here to emcee her late husband's 15th annual festival at the Virginia Theatre in Champaign.
"As of now, she will be here, and the festival will go on pretty much as planned," festival director Nate Kohn said Friday morning, a day after Roger Ebert's death in Chicago.
URBANA — The simple sign, hand-printed in black ink and left in front of Roger Ebert's childhood home in Urbana, says it all:
"Roger loved Urbana, and Urbana loves Roger!"
June 18, 1942: Born at Mercy Hospital in Urbana, the only child of Walter and Annabel Ebert. His father was an electrician at the University of Illinois, and his mother was a bookkeeper for the Allied Finance Co. The Eberts lived at 410 E. Washington St., U.
Chaz Ebert, whom Roger Ebert married in 1992, after having been a bachelor, was his rock, his foundation.
"How can I begin to tell you about Chaz?" he wrote. "She fills my horizon; she is the great fact of my life; she is the love of my life; she saved me from the fate of living out my life alone, which is where I seemed to be heading.
Roger Ebert will no longer physically be in the back of Champaign's Virginia Theatre, but Roger Ebert's Film Festival will go on.
And not just this year.
The $1 million gift that Mr. Ebert and his wife, Chaz, gave to his alma mater, the University of Illinois College of Media, established a film studies program in the famed critic's name.
The poster for the reboot of Sam Raimi's 1981 cult horror movie "The Evil Dead" promises that it is "the most terrifying film you will ever experience." Of course, that's hyperbole.