Roger Ebert to Debut New Prosthetic Face

Two thumbs up for Roger Ebert.

The veteran film critic, who lost much of his lower face and his voice to surgeries as part of a thyroid cancer battle, is set to debut a new prosthetic Friday for the premiere of his new TV show, the New York Daily News reported.

“After surgery, I studiously avoided looking at myself in a mirror,” Ebert wrote on his Chicago Sun-Times blog Wednesday. “In my mind my face was still whole.”

But Ebert, who had part of his jaw removed in 2006, said a University of Illinois professor and facial reconstruction expert convinced him “much could be done.”

After a 2-year design process, Ebert is now able to fit a skin-colored silicone device over his lower face and neck, he wrote.

The film reviewer will show off the device Friday on PBS’ "Ebert Presents at the Movies."

But he said he doesn’t plan to “fool anyone” with his appearance.

He uses special text-to-speech software to communicate and told Esquire last year he does not plan to undergo a procedure to recover his voice.

The prosthetic device “will be used in a medium shot of me working in my office, and will be a pleasant reminder of the person I was for 64 years,” Ebert wrote on Wednesday.

“Symbolically, it's as if my illness never happened and, hey, here I still am, on the show with these new kids. When people see the ‘Roger's Office’ segment, they'll notice my voice more than my appearance.”

Selected Reading: People, Daily News, Sun-Times

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