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.