The chief film critic for the Times for more than two decades, Maslin stepped down in 1999 to lead a more leisurely life as one of the paper's book critics.

Maslin took an unlikely path to the New York Times. A Manhattan native, Maslin earned a degree in mathematics, of all things, from the University of Rochester and began her career in journalism as a rock critic for The Boston Phoenix and Rolling Stone. In 1977 she moved to the New York Times as a film critic, a job she held for over two decades. Noteworthy for her early appreciation for indie films, which she discusses in the 2009 documentary For the Love of Movies: The Story of American Film Criticism, she was also one of the first female lead critics for the Times. However, after twenty years, Maslin stepped down and moved away from film criticism, becoming a book critic for the paper, which gives her more time to work as the head of the board of the Jacob Burns Film Center upstate. [Image via Getty]