CATEGORIES Movie NewsRoger Ebert was laid to rest Monday, with a funeral service touting both his critical talent as well as his passionate and compassionate spirit.
The celebrated critic, who passed away April 4 after a long battle with cancer, was remembered by family, friends, and fans at Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago. A line of mourners stretched outside the church to pay their respects to the man whose words -- and thumb -- meant so much to them.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel was among the dignitaries who spoke during the service, calling Ebert "the most American of critics."
"Whether or not we knew Roger, we knew he loved Chicago and Chicago loved Roger," Emanuel said. " ... He didn't just dominate his profession. He defined it. Like generations of Chicagoans, before I went to a movie, I needed to find out two things: what times does it start and what did Roger think about it."
Ebert's wife, Chaz, called him "a soldier for social justice" who had "a heart big enough" to accept all people as equals. Filmmaker Gregory Nava noted that "a heart as great as Roger's can never die."
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn provided perhaps the most appropriate tribute with his remarks, closing with an Ebert trademark.
"We love you, Roger, we always will," Quinn said. "Thumbs up."
For more about the service, including the reactions of Ebert's fans, head over to the Chicago Sun-Times's coverage of the funeral.