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Watch Roger Ebert’s Moving 2010 Appearance On ‘Oprah’ + His Spirited 2011 TED Talk

Watch Roger Ebert's Moving 2010 Appearance On 'Oprah' + His Spirited 2011 TED Talk

I’m sure you’ve all heard heard that universally-loved film critic Roger Ebert passed away today, in Chicago, a few days after revealing that cancer had returned to his body. 

He was 70 years old.

I spent the last several hours watching video clips of his reviews, and interviews on YouTube, from his days with the late Gene Siskel, on their immensely popular, ground-breaking film review show, to his most recent conversations since he lost his jaw to complications from thyroid cancer treatment, in 2006, stripping him of his ability to talk, eat and drink.

You’ll find a plethora of obituaries online currently, so instead of writing yet another one, I thought I’d instead let the man speak for himself; And after going through countless videos, I settled on 2 that I found the most emotionally stirring, but also indicative of his fighting spirit even as he battled with the illness that would eventually take his life.

The first is from his appearance on the Oprah Winfrey show in early 2010, in which he appeared with his wife, Chaz Hammelsmith Ebert, when he revealed that he was officially cancer-free, although he’d already lost his jaw. Oprah’s cameras tagged along on a typical day for Roger and Chaz – footage that’s intercut with the loving couple on stage with Oprah, in conversation.

It’s all quite touching to watch.

The second is from 2011, when the film critic gave a moving TED talk, with his wife, Chaz, as well as friends, Dean Ornish and John Hunter, present, as they came together to tell his remarkable story of how he lost his voice, and how he would eventually get it back again.

First, his appearance on Oprah (in 2 parts):

And here’s the TED talk:

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My favorite film critic of all time. Certainly he had his bias, but who doesn't? However, having read hundreds of his reviews, I learned his code words.

As I've said many times, I am not — generally — enamored by film critics speech 'cause much of it goes over my head. Take for instance Armond White's criticism of Mr. Ebert, he said that Ebert destroyed film criticism. Well, therein lies my biggest problem with some critics, I just want a simple "review", not an in-depth "study" of the film.

Short story: Unlike Sergio, I didn't serve cocktails at his parties but I did sit next to him in a theater at the Telluride Film Festival. I know, that's not a big deal by many accounts but it was for me.

RIP Mr. Ebert

The Question

You write obituaries, Tambay? Where can I read one? RIP, Ebert.


R.I.P. Mr. Ebert, much respect.


R.I.P. Mr. Ebert…


He will be so missed. I saw him and chaz on oprah at the time and was so inspired and moved. Great choice to post that interview.

James Madison

He will be missed.

Bravo, Mr. Ebert.


During the some 30 years I knew Roger he was always the most kind and supportive and generous person I've ever known. A true scholar and a gentleman and a joy to everyone who knew him.

And he knew how to give one hell of a party.

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