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Watch: Roger Ebert's Memorial Tribute (VIDEO)

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood April 12, 2013 at 2:26PM

Watch: Roger Ebert's Memorial Tribute (VIDEO)
Roger Ebert
Roger Ebert

Over three hours Thursday night at the ornate Chicago Theatre that Roger Ebert had helped to restore, a parade of friends, family, and followers paid tribute to the esteemed film critic who died at age 70 on April 4.

Watch the streaming video of the "Roger Ebert: A Celebration of Life" tribute below. Here's Matt Singer's coverage on the memorial tribute at Criticwire, and THR. Here's our obit, a wrap of reaction to his loss, and coverage from the funeral on Monday.

"Roger Ebert is probably the most influential film critic in the world," Sony Pictures Classics co-president Michael Barker said in Chicago. "He was a poet of the people...I always felt he was the conscience of the movie industry."

Film Critic Todd McCarthy, who was mentored by Ebert as a student in Evanston, called Ebert “a populist without prejudice.” Also tributing Ebert were his "Ebert and Roeper" co-host Richard Roeper, Telluride Film Festival's Tom Luddy, filmmakers Ava DuVernay ("Middle of Nowhere"), Gregory Nava ("El Norte"), Julie Dash ("Daughters of the Dust") and Andrew Davis ("Holes"), who read Ebert's review of "The Fugitive," and hilariously politically incorrect comic Dick Gregory. “He reeked of integrity,” said local actor John Cusack, onstage with sister Joan, who read wa letter from the President and First Lady. Scott Wilson and Chris Tucker were also on hand.

Video samples on big screens included Russ Meyer's "Beyond the Valley of the Dolls" (1970), which Ebert wrote, along with snippets from Ebert’s broadcast reviews, interviews, appearances and his 1992 wedding. At the end, wife Chaz Ebert revealed, “when the cancer returned, this time he said: `I’m tired, you must let me go.’”

This article is related to: Video, News, Roger Ebert (1942-2013), Roger Ebert Fellowship

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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.