Sunday, April 7, 2013

Roger Ebert and me

Pulitzer Prize-winning movie critic Roger Ebert died on April 4 at age 70. I had the opportunity to meet him just once in March 2000 at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles.
Like Ebert and Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, I’m an alumnus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I was invited to a reception at the Playboy Mansion that Hefner was holding in honor of Ebert and his film festival.
After meeting Hefner and Ebert, I asked Ebert if he could recommend any films that could be enjoyed by the entire family. He suggested the Iranian film “Children of Heaven” (1997).
It was very much like Ebert to champion lesser known movies. And I’ll be darned if it’s not a great movie.
Ebert will be greatly missed by film buffs like me.

Photos: Roger Ebert (top) and Hugh Hefner speaking at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles on March 23, 2000.

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