Roger Ebert’s Oscar picks on Oprah, he’s cancer free


Roger Ebert was on Oprah’s pre-Oscar special yesterday. The famous movie critic was just profiled in a moving piece in Esquire that detailed his long career and how he’s continued to write influential reviews after losing his ability to speak after a series of operations for thyroid cancer. Oprah asked Ebert a few questions about his life and he responded through a text-to-speech application on his computer, having prepared most of the answers ahead of time. He talked about recurring dream he had after losing the ability to drink or eat food (his wife Chaz explained in a pre-taped segment that Roger can no longer eat after losing the bottom part of his mouth) in which he remembered his father taking him for a root beer at the age of five. Ebert explained that his brother-in-law told him that the memory was God’s gift to him after taking away his ability to drink. It was really touching, as was Ebert’s close relationship with his wife of 18 years, Chaz, who is his caregiver and partner as he continues his schedule of reviewing up to four movies a day.

Oprah also announced to much acclaim that Ebert is cancer free! He hasn’t spoken for four years, and has to rely on a computer voice to speak for him. There’s a Scottish company that’s trying to make a text to speech application using Ebert’s own voice, put together using footage from his years on television. Ebert demonstrated a prototype of the software for Chaz in a taped segment and she held his hand and started crying. He explained in own stilted voice that being able to speak in his own voice would cheer him up. Chaz called it “incredible” and Roger called it “uncanny, a good feeling.”

Back on the show, a teary-eyed Oprah praised Chaz and explained how Chaz refused to let her husband die after his prognosis was grim in the early days. It really made me cry when Oprah said “she stood by him, and has been with him, and taken care of him, and shown what true love is.” Chaz talked about what a great man Roger is and said “When I married Roger, I knew what an amazing man he was. He is smart, he’s funny, he is very respectful of women, he’s appreciative of other cultures… it’s hard to find someone like him and I didn’t want to lose him. I refused to give up.”

In terms of Ebert’s Oscar picks, he said he “can’t remember a year when it seemed easier to pick the Oscars. Of course, those may be famous last words.”

Best Supporting Actress – Monique for Precious
Best Supporting Actor – Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds

Best Actress – Sandra Bullock – The Blind Side
Best Actor – Jeff Bridges – Crazy Heart

Best Picture and Best Director – Ebert calls this “The only dicey category.” He explains that “Up in the Air was the early frontrunner, and Avatar could win after it’s record-breaking profits. But I think it’s a win for Kathryn Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker. I also vote Kathryn Bigelow for best director. If you vote against her, you’re also voting against years of tradition that say the winner of the Directors Guild award will also win the Oscar.”

Roger will be at the Academy Awards, and Oprah said “We shall see you there. We’ll be cheering and celebrating you on.” I just loved seeing Roger on Oprah and will be looking out for him at the Oscars!


Screencaps & photos courtesy of

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16 Responses to “Roger Ebert’s Oscar picks on Oprah, he’s cancer free”

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  1. Ursula says:

    Now that is true love. This man melts my heart.

  2. Embee says:

    What a beautiful love story.

  3. canadianchick says:

    Awww that’s awesome, glad he’s getting a voice assisting program. His wife sounds like a very cool woman.

  4. Toe says:

    Did anyone watch The Blind Side? what about District 9 for best picture? I’m 100% for The Hurt Locker for best movie.

  5. nana says:

    i read that he dated Oprah before. i wonder if he got children and before hes really good looking. it saddens me that those operations to fix his voice were failure and that his jaw surgeries made his shoulders smaller and weakened his legs due to muscle grafting. hes a strong man and i admire Chaz for supporting him through the years.

  6. SammyHammy says:

    That is what love is all about. What a great couple.

  7. Rianna says:

    They sound like they have such a beautiful relationship. I hope that my partner would stand by me like she did with him if something like that happened.
    I love reading Roger’s movie critique site. He is so funny as well as informative at the same time. I don’t always agree with him but its a fun read once a week 🙂

  8. kelbear says:

    He is a great man. Best critic ever!

  9. elina says:

    this made me cry. such a loving couple.

  10. Roma says:

    With all the trashy celebrity gossip, it feels nice to read an article like this. The Esquire piece made me bawl when I read it a week or so ago.

  11. Sumodo1 says:

    Hold the phone! Did anybody think Oprah was talking to Ebert as if he’d gone deaf and lost several IQ points? Well, I did. And, she was treating him like he was gonna die. I bet Ebert wants people to josh around with him, and be clowning around. The man is brilliant, funny and everybody’s fave movie critic and Oprah treated him like he was on his last legs. I was reminded of the overly elegiac tone interviewers took with the late Henry Fonda, when he was campaigning for his film, “On Golden Pond.”

  12. Constance says:

    He is wonderful. I met him years back in Chicago. I wish truly the best for this “Hollywood” couple. They really honestly deserve it.

  13. simplicity says:

    Through his difficult circumstances it’s good to see he still finds value in work. If I need a quick review of an older film, I’ll check Ebert.

  14. snapdragon says:

    wow…what a trooper. and his recent tweet about john mayer’s dislike of black womne’s vaginas (roger said something like “what’s not to like, john?”) was totally hilarious.

  15. Whaaaaatchu Say says:

    Man, this guy is a f-ing hero, seriously. He gets mad respect from me, and his wife is a saint. If it was me, I would have overdosed a long time ago, he is truly stronger, braver and more courageous than I could ever hope to be, and I wish him nothing but the best. God bless him!

  16. Robert Eberts.. you are amazing. He really did make me flinch. Praise to you for fighting with the disease and coming out a winner. Hats off.