Yesterday, I read the sad news that cancer had returned to Roger Ebert, and I suspected that the headlines of today - that he has died, at just 70 - were not far off.
He published his final entry in Roger Ebert's Journal for the Chicago Sun-Times just two days ago.
"Thank you," it opened, as he thanked his readers for what they gave him over the years.
I came to know Roger Ebert and his thumb-giving colleague Gene Siskel through the PBS show Sneak Previews, which was such an eye-opener to the teenage movie buff that I was in the late Seventies. I devoured magazine reviews of movies (anything I could find at home or at the library by Judith Crist or Richard Corliss and later Pauline Kael), but I loved watching Ebert and later reading his books and columns. He had popular tastes, but he had a wonderful way of shining a light on movies that needed the boost. No doubt many of the obituaries to be written in the next few hours will focus on the profound influence he had on independent and foreign titles, some being able to find distributors and audiences because of his words. That was one mighty thumb.