Roger Ebert cutting back on workload after cancer returns

April 3, 2013

[Update: Roger Ebert died Thursday.]

Famed Chicago Sun-Times movie critic Roger Ebert is cutting back on his workload because of a cancer recurrence.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning critic wrote late Tuesday night in his online journal that he’s taking what he calls a “leave of presence," which he says means he's not going away completely. Ebert writes he must "slow down" from the more than 200 reviews and blog post he'd been writing each year. He'll instead write "selected" reviews.

Ebert also announced he'd be relaunching RogerEbert.com, where readers can have access to the more than 10,000 reviews he's penned in his 46 years at the Sun-Times. Ebert says he'll be taking ownership of the site under a sepate entity called Ebert Digital, run by Ebert, his wife Chaz and Josh Golden of Table XI. The new website will also feature the writings of other movie critics.

Ebert says his health is to blame for the "leave of presence."

"The painful fracture that made it difficult for me to walk has recently been revealed to be a cancer," he writes. "It is being treated with radiation, which has made it impossible for me to attend as many movies as I used to."

Though he'll continue writing, Ebert will be off the "day-to-day grind," as he calls it — he may even write about his health. 

"So on bad days, I may write a movie so good it transports me beyond illness," Ebert said. "On good days, I may wax ecstatic about a movie so good it transports me beyond illness."