Roger Ebert debuts his new look before the 'At the Movies' premiere on Friday
Roger Ebert, 68, has revealed his new face and the prosthetic he will wear on his new PBS show, "Ebert Presents at the Movies" which debuts on Friday, January 21, 2011.
The 68-year-old Pulitzer Prize winner and the Chicago Sun-Times movie critic lost his voice and part of his jaw during his battle with thyroid cancer. Ebert will employ a computer voice on the show and but been working with a craniofacial specialist and experts at the University of Chicago to mold a new silicone chin.
"After surgery, I studiously avoided looking at myself in a mirror," Ebert wrote in a post on his Chicago Sun-Times journal, where he also demonstrated that his sense of humor remained in-tact. "I suggested a false beard which I would wear suspended from hooks over my ears, like a kid playing Abe Lincoln in the school play."
Ebert posted multiple photos of his new prosthetic on the Chicago Sun-Times website and says that the doctors "did a pretty wonderful damn job" with the final product, which closely resembles the critic's former facial structure.
Joining Ebert to co-host his new show will be Christy Lemire, who works for The Associated Press and Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, a Russian-born critic and essayist for Mubi.com, who is also co-founder of Cine-File.info and a contributing writer for The Chicago Reader.
"Can you think of another TV show that deals with the movies as movies instead of as celebrity showcases?" Ebert told the news wire. "We don't praise everything."
The show will bring back the copyrighted "Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down" format made famous by Siskel and Ebert, who said he will not debate with the two co-hosts, adding: "They'll be awarding the Thumbs, and you can't have three Thumbs."
The original "At the Movies" had several show titles and began in 1975, airing on the Chicago-based PBS station WTTW. It featured Ebert's longtime friend and fellow film reviewer Gene Siskel, who died of brain cancer 1999. It began airing nationally in the 1980s.
Richard Roeper replaced Siskel after his death and Ben Lyons and Ben Mankiewicz took over for both him and Ebert in 2008. A.O. Scott and Michael Phillips replaced the two in 2009 and the show was canceled earlier this year.
Check out an interview with Roger Ebert from March, in which he spoke about the way he communicates post-surgery, courtesy of WLS Television in Chicago, the sister station of KABC Television, OnTheRedCarpet.com's parent company.