Credit: @Chaz Photo: Roger Ebert and Wife Chaz

The screen has faded to black for beloved film critic Roger Ebert. 

The Chicago Sun-Times tweeted today (April 4), "It is with a heavy heart we report that legendary film critic Roger Ebert (@ebertchicago) has passed away. ... There is a hole that can't be filled. One of the greats has left us. Roger Ebert has passed away at the age of 70."

Just two days before the sad news, Ebert said he would be taking a "leave of presence" from his writing because of the return of his cancer. 

Ebert was diagnosed with papillary thyroid cancer in 2002, and in 2003 he was operated on for cancer in his salivary gland. According to TODAY, "Further surgeries to remove more cancerous tissue required removal of a section of jawbone and he continued to suffer complications over the next few years. After fracturing his hip last December he underwent further surgery." The hip fracture he suffered was revealed to be a cancer.

In 2010 he told Esquire he knew his death was coming, "and I do not fear it, because I believe there is nothing on the other side of death to fear. I hope to be spared as much pain as possible on the approach path." 

We hope he had a painless passing, surrounded by love. His intelligence, warmth and humor will be much missed. Thumbs up for a legend!

Sources: TODAY, @Suntimes