America's most influential and widely recognized film critic, Roger Ebert transported the movie review from the back of the newspaper into the living room, making film criticism a component of modern social intercourse for the masses. Hailing from central Illinois, he parlayed a love for film and journalism into a career as a staff critic at The Chicago Sun-Times in the late 1960s, a position he would maintain throughout his illustrious career. Adding to his growing reputation was a screenplay for the Russ Meyer exploitation classic "Beyond the Valley of the Dolls" (1970), a Pulitzer Prize in 1975, and a little movie review show on local Chicago television alongside competing film critic Gene Siskel of The Chicago Tribune. That program would soon morph into the nationally syndicated "Siskel & Ebert" (1986-1999) on which Ebert and his apparent arch-nemesis influenced cinematic tastes as they bickered and bantered, ultimately giving movies their iconic votes of "thumbs up" or "thumbs down." Although devastated by Siskel's death from a brain tumor in 1999, Ebert soldiered on with new review partners on further iterations of the show until a debilitating battle with cancer that began in 2002 eventually led to the reviewer's departure from television. Though physically impaired, Ebert continued his criticism in the paper and online with renewed vigor, proving that while the disease had robbed him of his voice, his incisive wit and intelligence remained intact. He continued his ongoing fight with cancer until his death at age 70 in April of 2013.