Roger Ebert's Widow on Honoring Her Husband

Roger Ebert's Widow on Honoring Her Husband

Roger Ebert's widow Chaz Ebert opened up to ET for the time since her husband's death, just ahead of accepting the Van Guard Leadership award on Roger's behalf.

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The Van Guard award is given out by Sundance -- an institution that meant a lot to Roger.

"Roger got so many awards that sometimes he wasn't that excited," said Chaz. "This is one he was very excited about, because he said that Robert Redford did so much for independent American films that it was an honor to receive this award."

As Sundance left an imprint on Roger, so did Roger on film lovers everywhere -- evidenced poignantly in a photograph taken at the Cannes Film Festival where 250 people gave a 500-thumbs-up salute to the legend.

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"I pictured him looking down from an aerial view of 500 thumbs up on the beach and smiling," said Chaz.

Roger continues to influence cinema through the Roger Ebert Film Studies Center -- a non-profit organization set up to support arts and education programs.