26.01.1946 - 20.02.1999 (53 years) (Chicago, Illinois, United States)
Eugene Kal Siskel (January 26, 1946 – February 20, 1999) was an American film critic and journalist for the Chicago Tribune. Along with colleague Roger Ebert, he hosted a series of movie review programs on television from 1975 until his death in 1999.Siskel started writing for the Chicago Tribune in 1969, becoming its film critic soon after. In 1975, he was paired with Roger Ebert to co-host a monthly show called Opening Soon at a Theater Near You airing locally on PBS member station WTTW. In 1978, the show, renamed Sneak Previews, was expanded to weekly episodes and aired on PBS affiliates all around the United States. In 1982, Siskel and Ebert both left Sneak Previews to create the syndicated show At the Movies. Following a contract dispute with Tribune Entertainment in 1986, Siskel and Ebert signed with Buena Vista Television, creating Siskel & Ebert & the Movies (renamed Siskel & Ebert in 1987, and renamed again several times after Siskel's death).Known for their biting wit, intense professional rivalry, heated arguments, and their trademark "Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down" movie ratings system, Siskel and Ebert became a sensation in American pop culture. Siskel remained in the public eye as Ebert's professional partner until Siskel's death on February 20, 1999, at age 53, from complications following his May 1998 brain surgery.