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Fans, celebrities react to death of film critic Roger Ebert

Fans of Roger Ebert expressed shock Thursday afternoon after the film critic passed away just days after announcing he was seeking treatment for a recurrence of cancer.

"Roger, I hope you're in an infinite movie palace, watching every film the great directors only dreamed of making," wrote comedian Patton Oswalt on Twitter moments after news of the 70-year-old's death broke. "By the way, Death's about to get a SUPER [crappy] review."

On his website Tuesday evening, Ebert said he was receiving radiation therapy to treat a hip fracture that had turned out to be cancerous. He said he planned to take a "leave of presence," continuing to write reviews but only selectively. 

PHOTOS: Notable deaths of 2013

Via Twitter, actor Lou Diamond Phillips described the critic as a "wonderful man" who was "always more than kind to me."

"He wrote intelligent, informed criticism without being petty or cynical," said the "La Bamba" star.

Actress Holly Robinson Peete said she was sending prayers to Chaz Hammelsmith, Ebert’s “beautiful and stoic wife” to whom he had been married since 1992. 

As screenwriter Seth Grahame-Smith lamented on Twitter: "The balcony is closed," referring to Ebert's famous sign-off with the late Gene Siskel on his television review program "At the Movies."

Additional reactions to Ebert's death follow below.

R.I.P. Roger Ebert. One of the greats in his field. I'm very sad.

— Albert Brooks (@AlbertBrooks) April 4, 2013

R.I.P. Roger Ebert. It was a privilege to interact with you. Thank you for the support, the criticism, and the true love for the movies.

— Diablo Cody (@diablocody) April 4, 2013

R.I.P. Roger Ebert, there won't ever be another like him...

— Tom Ortenberg (@TomOrtenberg) April 4, 2013

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>Ebert was singular. We are all in his shadow and his debt.</p>&mdash; a. o. scott (@aoscott) <a href="https://twitter.com/aoscott/status/319906643229949953">April 4, 2013</a></blockquote>

Roger was the first American friend to petition for my visa so I could work in US entertainment. Hope I've made him proud.

— kelly oxford (@kellyoxford) April 4, 2013

I may have disagreed with Roger Ebert's stance on videogames but he made his argument better than most people I agree with.

— Kumail Nanjiani (@kumailn) April 4, 2013

ALSO:

Film critic Roger Ebert dies at 70

Roger Ebert to temporarily slow output as he fights cancer

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amy.kaufman@latimes.com

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