Gene Siskel

Eugene Kal “Gene” Siskel, the other half of the legendary duo. He and Roger Ebert became really popular with review show, which they hosted, Siskel and Ebert at the Movies. It aired from 1986 until 1999, when Gene met his untimely demise.

The show continued for a few years by the name Ebert & Roeper at the Movies. The name was changed when Ebert’s Chicago Sun-Times colleague Richard Roeper was hired.

Normally, Siskel and Roger Ebert would refuse to guest star in movies or televisual series (except for talk shows) as they felt it would undermine their responsibility to the public. However, they both could not resist appearing on an episode of the animated television series The Critic.

In 1998, Siskel underwent surgery for a cancerous brain tumor. He announced on Wednesday, February 3, 1999, that he was taking a leave of absence but that he expected to be back by the fall, writing:

“I’m in a hurry to get well because I don’t want Roger to get more screen time than I.”

On Saturday, February 20, 1999, Siskel died from complications of another surgery at the age of 53.


Roger Ebert

About a month ago on April 4, 2013 one of the most respected film critics, Roger Ebert (aged 70) passed away ending his 11-year battle with cancer. He was the second half of the legendary duo, which were  Roger and Gene Siskel (who passed away in 1999).

Two years before his death he wrote:

“I know it is coming, and I do not fear it, because I believe there is nothing on the other side of death to fear. I hope to be spared as much pain as possible on the approach path. I was perfectly content before I was born, and I think of death as the same state. What I am grateful for is the gift of intelligence, and for life, love, wonder, and laughter. You can’t say it wasn’t interesting. My lifetime’s memories are what I have brought home from the trip. I will require them for eternity no more than that little souvenir of the Eiffel Tower I brought home from Paris”

Two days before his demise, the passionate critic ended his last blog post with:

“So on this day of reflection I say again, thank you for going on this journey with me. I’ll see you at the movies.”

Anybody with a passion for cinema was saddened by the news. President Obama wrote:

“Roger was the movies … he could capture the unique power of the movies to take us somewhere magical … The movies won’t be the same without Roger”

To this I can only say rest in peace…

You will be missed