Roger Ebert tribute is `Celebration of Life` at Chicago Theatre - KMSP-TV

Roger Ebert tribute is a `Celebration of Life` at Chicago Theatre

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

A memorial tribute for legendary film critic Roger Ebert took place at the Chicago Theatre Thursday night. The 'Celebration of Life' program spotlights Pulitzer Prize winner's prolific life.

The memorial featured special moments from "At the Movies," as well as personal tributes from Ebert's wife, Chaz, and his granddaughter, Raven. Ebert's friends, readers and contemporaries, as well as those he wrote about - from Hollywood and the independent film industry - came to the event.

Chaz Ebert welcomed her husband's fans to the Chicago Theatre on Thursday, and remembered him as a father, friend, humanitarian and journalist.

A choir began the memorial by singing "Roger Ebert, we will always love you."

John Cusack said Ebert was always supportive of artists. Cusack said Ebert "always gave you a fair shake."

Ebert often watched the films he reviewed at screenings hosted at the Chicago Theatre. His star is the only one cemented into the sidewalk inform of the venue, a proper tribute to the great writer.

Ebert will also be honored next week at Ebertfest, his annual film festival in Champaign.

He wrote for the Chicago Sun-Times for 46 years, and passed away after losing his decade-long battle with cancer. But "the world's film critic" fought to provide audiences with his critiques even after he lost the ability to speak - accessible reviews that nearly every movie-goer could relate to.

Musical performances included Walt Whitman and the Soul Children of Chicago and the Grammy-award winning gospel choir from Chicago-based Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church, lead by Rev. Charles Jenkins.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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