I’m sad to hear that film critic, Roger Ebert died on Thursday, April 4th. He is one of those celebrities who I was fortunate to meet in my early years as a journalist.
In 1984-85, I was a news writer at WLS-TV in Chicago. Roger Ebert had a weekly movie segment at the station. I happened to sit next to his WLS producer.
When I met him he was nice, I also thought he was a bit shy. One time we starting talking while he was waiting for his producer to get done editing his video package. Roger was surprised to learn I was Latina. He thought I was Hawaiian, because then I had long hair.
He knew I was a news writer at the station, but eventually I was able to tell him that my goal was to go back on television as a news reporter. Prior to my job at WLS, I was a TV reporter in Toledo.
I told him that my dream job would be to cover the cop beat. He happened to be one of the first who told me that I needed guts and tenacity to do a good job. He told me it was hard work, and commitment. He also told me not to waste time being a news writer if I wanted to be a on-air reporter.
I was at WLS-TV less than a year. I never got to say goodbye to Roger, but when I got a job in Corpus Christi, Texas, I did send him a postcard to let him know I was back on TV. I don’t know if he ever got my postcard. Maybe it ended up on a pile of letters from his fans. All I know is that I never forgot what he told me.
Rest in Peace Roger. Thank you for sharing your passion for films and your words of wisdom with me.
Here’s a nice story produced by WLS-TV on the life of Roger Ebert>>Video