When acclaimed film critic Roger Ebert died Thursday after a long battle with cancer at age 70, he left behind his longtime wife, Chaz Ebert, who used humor to cope with her husband’s illness.
Ebert, arguably the most recognizable film critic in America, married the former Chaz Hammelsmith in July 1992. The marriage would last for more than 20 years, until Ebert’s death on Thursday.
Chaz Ebert, a trial attorney when she met the film critic, is president of Ebert Productions and vice president of the Ebert Company. She has 1,400 Twitter followers, and although Chaz Ebert hasn’t used the micro-blogging website since January, she has frequently expressed her devotion for her husband on her feed.
Through Twitter, Chaz Ebert has given the public a rare glimpse into her marriage with Roger, tweeting a picture of this Christmas card where the longtime couple are wearing Santa hats.
“MERRY CHRISTMAS, JOY AND PEACE FROM CHAZ AND ROGER!” the tweet read.
Chaz also tweeted this photo of Roger in his younger days while opining about the fractured hip Ebert suffered late last year.
“Hospitals have up and down days. This is a down day, intense PT [physical therapy,] but Roger is making progress. Fractured hip a b---,” she wrote.
Chaz also used Twitter to cheer her husband on, campaigning for him to join “Dancing With The Stars” after he recovered.
“Roger Sweetie, lets [sic] heal that fracture and get you Dancing With The Stars as soon as possible,” she wrote.
Chaz used humor when revealing how her husband broke his hip, quipping that the fracture was due to “tricky disco dance moves.”
“Roger in hospital with hip fracture (tricky disco dance moves) but he is doing well, asking for computer, will probably tweet,” she tweeted Dec. 6.
A day later, she updated Ebert’s fans on his condition.
“Roger progress! On feet and feisty today, not quite ready for moves like Jagger...,” she tweeted.
On the couple’s 20th wedding anniversary, Chaz shared an old black-and-white photo of the couple’s lips pressed together.
“July 18, 1992: I can't believe its been TWENTY YEARS! Happy Anniversary!,” Chaz wrote.
Chaz joined Twitter on March 8, 2012. She tweeted at her husband for her third Twitter post. Ebert’s Chicago Sun-Times and television colleague, Richard Roeper, was the second person she tweeted at.
“@ebertchicago Mr Twitter, I can never match your tweets, but at least I can now follow them. Your Sweetie,” she wrote.