Roger Ebert (born June 18, 1942) is a Chicago Sun-Times film critic and the first author to win a Pulitzer Prize for film criticism (1975 award "for his film criticism during 1974") and is arguably the most famous film critic in the world.
He has been writing about film for over forty years, and in 1978 he and Gene Siskel of the Chicago Tribune began co-hosting a weekly movie review television show, Sneak Previews, produced by a Chicago public broadcasting station. In 1982, the critics moved to a syndicated commercial television show named Siskel & Ebert. When Gene Siskel died in 1999, Ebert auditioned several co-hosts on a non-permanent basis (usually one show). In September, Chicago Sun-Times columnist Richard Roeper became the permanent co-host and the show was renamed Ebert & Roeper.
Each year, Ebert publishes a book of movie reviews from that year; he has also published a book of movie clichés and a book of essays about great films, as well as a book of essays about films he hated. Ebert also hosts Roger Ebert's Overlooked Film Festival every year in Champaign, Illinois.
Ebert wrote the screenplay for the 1969 cult film, Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, directed by Russ Meyer and likes to joke about being responsible for the poorly received film. Ebert and Meyer were similarly involved with the ill-fated Sex Pistols movie, "Who Killed Bambi".
Politically, Ebert admits to being a staunch liberal. An outspoken opponent of the Motion Picture Association of America, Ebert often strongly condemns the organization in his columns for their regulations regarding which movies are "suitable for children." He also frequently laments that cinemas outside major cities are "booked by computer from Hollywood with no regard for local tastes," making high-quality independent and foreign films virtually unavailable to most moviegoers.
Ebert graduated from the University of Illinois where he was the editor of The Daily Illini.
Roger Ebert has been awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame to be unveiled in 2005.