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Penn Jillette

Ebert and Siskel: Partners shared unique relationship

This is a feature story from 1999. At the time, Sid Smith was a Tribune Arts Critic.


On the day of Gene Siskel's funeral, Time magazine film critic Richard Schickel suggested that the on-air chemistry between Siskel and Roger Ebert defied analysis.

“He'd sometimes refer to me as his first wife,” Ebert said in an interview the same day. They were, in a professional sense, married; theirs was a public partnership that, although ending in tragedy, enjoyed an astonishing 24-year run.

Other celebrated media and entertainment duos have ended over the years, for whatever reasons, forcing one or both partners to go it on their own. (For now,...