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roger ebert – a true gentleman

I met Roger Ebert once, years ago, at a film festival event in Vancouver. Accustomed as I was to the rather loutish behaviour of many of the wannabes or already ams in the film and television industry, I was somewhat floored when he stood up to greet me when I entered the hospitality suite at an upscale hotel.

Let’s put this more strongly. I nearly fell over. I was somewhat jaded after years of writing about film directors and producers in the warmest possible terms, and then having them snub me, as I walked toward them, smiling. So to have a complete stranger, who apparently seemed to recognize me from my role in McCabe and Mrs. Miller, actually stand up (yes!) and offer his hand when I entered the room, was mind boggling, to use that retro term.

Whenever I saw Roger Ebert’s name after that, I smiled. And I thought, A Great Film Critic. And A True Gentleman.

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