Gene Siskel: A Star in Film Criticism and the Constellation Ophiuchus

Updated: January 23, 2024    Author: International Star Registry

International Star registry 45th anniversary logo surrounded by stars.

Gene Siskel, whose full name was Eugene Kal Siskel, was an iconic figure in the world of film criticism and journalism. Born on January 26, 1946, his untimely departure on February 20, 1999, left a void in the film industry that can never truly be filled. Throughout his remarkable career, Siskel made significant contributions to film critique, leaving a lasting legacy alongside his colleague Roger Ebert. In this memorial, we will delve into the life, career, and accomplishments of Gene Siskel, celebrating his passion for movies and the stars, both on and off the silver screen.

Early Life and Career

Gene Siskel’s journey into the world of film began in the late 1960s when he joined the Chicago Tribune as a writer. His innate talent and passion for cinema quickly propelled him into the role of the newspaper’s film critic. This marked the beginning of a lifelong commitment to the art of filmmaking.

A Dynamic Duo with Roger Ebert

Siskel’s most enduring legacy, however, was his collaboration with fellow critic Roger Ebert. In 1975, the dynamic duo began co-hosting a monthly television show titled “Opening Soon at a Theater Near You,” which was aired locally on PBS member station WTTW. Their chemistry was undeniable, and the show’s success led to its expansion into a weekly program named “Sneak Previews” in 1978. This expansion brought their film critiques to a national audience via PBS affiliates across the United States.

At the Movies

In 1982, Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert embarked on a new adventure, leaving “Sneak Previews” to create the iconic syndicated show “At the Movies.” This program not only solidified their status as the foremost film critics in America but also introduced their trademark “Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down” movie rating system. Their candid critiques, intense professional rivalry, and heated arguments made for compelling television, captivating audiences and critics alike.

Buena Vista Television Partnership

Despite their fame and success, Siskel and Ebert faced a contract dispute with Tribune Entertainment in 1986. Undeterred, they made a significant move by signing with Buena Vista Television. This partnership led to the creation of “Siskel & Ebert & the Movies” in 1986, later renamed “Siskel & Ebert” in 1987, and underwent several more name changes after Gene Siskel’s untimely death in 1999.

Gene Siskel: A Star in His Own Right

Beyond his contributions to the world of film criticism, Gene Siskel was known for his passion for the stars—both those on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and those in the night sky. In a heartwarming tribute, someone named a star for Gene Siskel as a gift from International Star Registry.

Star Name: Gene Siskel

Star Date: February 15, 1994

Coordinates: Ophiuchus RA 17h 54m 46.00s D 08° 52′ 0.00″

The Fascination with Astronomy

Astronomy, the study of celestial objects and phenomena beyond Earth’s atmosphere, has captivated humanity for centuries. It’s a science that explores the vastness of the universe, from the distant galaxies to the stars that have inspired countless legends and stories.

The star named in honor of Gene Siskel is located in the constellation Ophiuchus. Ophiuchus, often referred to as the “Serpent Bearer,” is a lesser-known but fascinating constellation in the night sky. Its position near the celestial equator allows it to be visible from both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres during various times of the year. Ophiuchus is home to a variety of interesting celestial objects, making it a notable part of the night sky for astronomers and stargazers alike.

International Star Registry: A Memorable Gift

The act of naming a star through International Star Registry is a unique and heartfelt gesture. It allows individuals to commemorate special moments and loved ones in a way that transcends the boundaries of time and space. Naming a star is not only a symbol of affection but also a profound connection to the cosmos.

Name a Star for Special Occasions

International Star Registry offers a range of star-naming packages that make for exceptional gifts on various occasions. Whether it’s a wedding, Mother’s Day, or Father’s Day, there’s a star-naming package suitable for every memorable moment. Here’s why it’s the perfect choice for these occasions:

Memorable Memorial Gifts

In addition to celebratory occasions, International Star Registry also offers a fitting way to remember and honor loved ones who have passed away. Memorial star names provide solace and comfort, knowing that the memory of those we cherish lives on in the night sky.


Gene Siskel’s remarkable career as a film critic and his passion for the stars have left an indelible mark on our culture. The star named in his honor by International Star Registry serves as a timeless tribute to his legacy, shining brightly in the constellation Ophiuchus. Whether for weddings, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, or as a memorial gift, naming a star through International Star Registry is a heartfelt gesture that connects us to the vast cosmos, just as Gene Siskel connected us to the world of cinema.

Gene Siskel’s life, career, and accomplishments continue to inspire film enthusiasts and stargazers alike. His memory lives on in the stars, reminding us that true passion and dedication can make a person a star in their own right.


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