updated 04/04/2013 AT 7:20 PM ET
•originally published 04/04/2013 AT 8:00 PM ET
Roger Ebert is resting in peace.
“We were getting ready to go home today for hospice care, when he looked at us, smiled, and passed away,” Roger’s wife of 20 years, Chaz, said Thursday in a statement, shortly after news broke of his death. “No struggle, no pain, just a quiet, dignified transition.”
But the loss of the iconic movie critic, 70, has understandably left Chaz “devastated,” as she refers to him as “my husband, my friend, my confidante and oh-so-brilliant partner.”
“He fought a courageous fight. I’ve lost the love of my life and the world has lost a visionary and a creative and generous spirit who touched so many people all over the world,” she said. “We had a lovely, lovely life together, more beautiful and epic than a movie. It had its highs and the lows, but was always experienced with good humor, grace and a deep abiding love for each other.”
Survived by his stepchildren, Sonia and Jay, and grandkids, Raven, Emil, Mark and Joseph, Roger “just yesterday was saying how his grandchildren were ‘the best things in my life,’ ” Chaz says. “He was happy and radiating satisfaction over the outpouring of responses to his blog about his 46th year as a film critic. But he was also getting tired of his fight with cancer, and said if this takes him, he has lived a great and full life.”
A day before his passing, the same day of 46th anniversary of reviewing movies, Roger announced his cancer had returned.
“We are touched by all the kindness and the outpouring of love we’ve received,” Chaz said. “And I want to echo what Roger said in his last blog, thank you for going on this journey with us.”