Roger Ebert, renowned film critic, dies at age 70

LOS ANGELES (CNN) — The last hand in the “two thumbs up” film critic team, Roger Ebert, died Thursday, two days after revealing cancer returned to his body.

Ebert and Gene Siskel co-hosted their iconic review show until Siskel’s death in 1999 after a battle with a brain tumor.

The Chicago Sun-Times, the base of operations for Ebert’s syndicated reviews, announced his death Thursday at age 70.

In an essay on his blog Tuesday, Ebert explained he was planning to slow down and reduce the number of movie reviews he wrote. Ebert had already lost his voice and much of his jaw after battling thyroid and salivary gland cancer.

“My intent is to continue to write selected reviews but to leave the rest to a talented team of writers handpicked and greatly admired by me,” Ebert wrote. “What’s more, I’ll be able at last to do what I’ve always fantasized about doing: reviewing only the movies I want to review.”

Ebert suffered a hip fracture in December, and it recently led to the revelations about cancer, he said.