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April 24, 2015 10:39 AM EDT

Richard Corliss, one of the world’s most passionate and influential voices on cinema, died Thursday at age 71. During his five decades as a film critic, 35 years of which were spent at TIME, Corliss reviewed more than 1,000 movies and authored four books.

TIME editor Nancy Gibbs sent the following message to the staff on Friday morning:

Read more about Richard Corliss’s life and work here

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