Richard Corliss, the legendary film critic, died on Thursday. He was 71. Corliss spent more than five decades reviewing films; 35 of those years with Time magazine.
“It is with great sorrow that I tell you that Richard Corliss died last night, following a stroke,” wrote Time editor Nancy Gibbs, in a memo to staffers. “It’s painful to try to find words, since Richard was such a master of them. They were his tools, his toys, to the point that it felt sometimes as though he had to write, like the rest of us breathe and eat and sleep. It’s not clear that Richard ever slept, for the sheer expanse of his knowledge and writing defies the normal contours of professional life.”
In a piece honoring Corliss, Time theater critic Richard Zoglin described Corliss as a “voracious” writer.
“When Time.com was in its early stages and eager for copy from magazine writers, Corliss eyed the new venue like a frontiersman just discovering the Louisiana Territory,” wrote Zoglin. “In addition to supplying the website with reviews of all the films he couldn’t squeeze into the magazine, Corliss launched a series of 4,000 and 5,000-word considerations of classic pop culture, under the title That Old Feeling: thoughtful, evocative, often definitive essays on figures as diverse as Richard Rodgers, Jack Paar, Hugh Hefner, Marlene Dietrich, S.J. Perelman, Alistair Cooke, Bettie Page and Dr. Seuss.”