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updated: 4/5/2013 8:00 AM

10 things to remember about Roger Ebert

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  • Film critic Roger Ebert in the kitchen of his home in Chicago. Ebert published a cookbook of more than two dozen recipes for the rice cooker called "The Pot and How to Use It."

      Film critic Roger Ebert in the kitchen of his home in Chicago. Ebert published a cookbook of more than two dozen recipes for the rice cooker called "The Pot and How to Use It."
    Associated Press file photo

By Associated Press

Ten things to remember about acclaimed film critic Roger Ebert, who died on Thursday:

1. There were many firsts in his career. Roger Ebert was the first journalist to win the Pulitzer Prize for movie criticism in 1975. He also earned an honor given to the movie stars he wrote about. Ebert was the first critic to have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

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2. Ebert did something every year that he hated. In 2010, Ebert wrote a piece for The Wall Street Journal with the headline "Why I Loathe Top 10 Film Lists."

3. He wasn't afraid to die. Ebert wrote that he didn't think there was anything on the other side of death to fear.

4. Ebert didn't date Oprah Winfrey. There was lots of gossip to the contrary, but Ebert wrote in his 2011 memoir that it wasn't true. Ebert said the pair went to the movies once, "but that's what it was: We went to the movies."

5. He was a fan of Studs Terkel. Ebert called the Pulitzer Prize-winning author the greatest man he knew well. He wrote that Terkel taught him that "your life is over when you stop living it."

6. Ebert won The New Yorker's weekly cartoon caption contest. It was one of his goals. He entered more than 100 times and often posted his entries on Twitter. He won in 2011.

7. He was at home on social media. Ebert had nearly 840,000 Twitter followers and had tweeted more than 31,000 times. He had more than 100,000 likes on Facebook and wrote a regular blog. He announced on his blog Tuesday that he was scaling back his movie reviews and finished the post saying: "So on this day of reflection I say again, thank you for going on this journey with me. I'll see you at the movies."

8. Humble roots in Illinois. Ebert grew up the son of a union electrician who worked at the University of Illinois in Urbana. He graduated from the university and it hosts an annual film festival in his honor called Ebertfest.

9. Not just a critic, but a screenwriter. Ebert wrote the screenplay for the film "Beyond the Valley of the Dolls," directed by Russ Meyer. It earned an X rating and became a cult favorite.

10. Rice cooker recipes were a pastime. Ebert received a rice cooker as a wedding present in 1992 and would take it with him to film festivals for food during busy movie-viewing schedules. He published a book of recipes in 2010 with the title: "The Pot and How to Use It. The Mystery and Romance of the Rice Cooker.

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