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Apr 25 2007

‘Thumbs up’ from Ebert

042407ebertChicago Sun-Times and syndicated TV movie critic Roger Ebert is slowly getting back into action after being sidelined for nearly a year by serious health problems, including cancer, bleeding in the brain and a tracheostomy. “To paraphrase a line from ‘Raging Bull,’ I ain’t a pretty boy no more,” he says. “(Not that I ever was. The original appeal of ‘Siskel & Ebert’ was that we didn’t look like we belonged on TV.) … I was told photos of me in this condition would attract the gossip papers. So what?” Ebert says that we spend too much time “hiding illness,” that his condition is steadily improving, and that he has no plans to miss his annual Overlooked Film Festival at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, though he’ll be seated in a reclining chair to ease his back pain. “Photos of me in the chair should be captioned ‘La-Z-Critic,’ he says. “Ebert & Roeper” airs locally early Sunday mornings on WTAE-TV (4) in Pittsburgh and WTAJ-TV (10) in Altoona, and Saturday afternoons on WFMJ-TV (21) in Youngstown.