ROGER EBERT: Wife Chaz Said Roger Smiled Right Before Passing Away

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I’m still in complete shock over Roger Ebert’s passing. I remember watching him and Gene Siskel debate movies on TV. I’d heard his announcement a few days ago that his cancer had returned, but for whatever reason I still wasn’t expecting to hear the news that he died yesterday. I guess you’re never ready for that, are you? Roger’s wife, Chaz, shared a little bit about the movie critic icon’s final moments.

“We were getting ready to go home today for hospice care, when he looked at us, smiled, and passed away. No struggle, no pain, just a quiet, dignified transition.

“He fought a courageous fight. I’ve lost the love of my life and the world has lost a visionary and a creative and generous spirit who touched so many people all over the world. We had a lovely, lovely life together, more beautiful and epic than a movie. It had its highs and the lows, but was always experienced with good humor, grace and a deep abiding love for each other.”

The way Roger handled his illness, especially the loss of his lower jaw and ability to speak, spoke volumes for the strength of his character. He will be missed. My thoughts are with Roger’s family and friends.

Photos by Sam Wilson/CM Wiggins/WENN