Roger Ebert in Serious But Stable Condition

  • Roger Ebert
    Fred Prouser/Landov
  • Roger Ebert, in 1975
    Bettmann/Corbis
  • Marisa Tomei and Roger Ebert
    Evan Agostini/Getty
  • Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert
    Everett
  • Roger Ebert and wife Chaz
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07/03/2006 09:45AM

Movie critic Roger Ebert is in serious but stable condition at Northwestern Memorial Hospital following a lengthy emergency operation to repair complications from an earlier cancer surgery, the Associated Press reports.

"I am pleased to report that the doctors say Roger is stable and responding well to the recent surgery," his wife, Chaz Ebert, said on Monday.

Richard Roeper, cohost of the Ebert & Roeper TV show, said his partner's vital signs appeared to be good after the procedure.

Ebert, 64, has had four cancer surgeries – once in 2002 to remove a malignant tumor on his thyroid gland and twice on his salivary gland in 2003.

On June 16 he had surgery to remove a cancerous growth on his salivary gland, and said at the time that he expected to make a full recovery. He described the tumor as a "slow-growing and persistent cancer. You live with it."

But around 8 p.m. on Saturday, a blood vessel burst near the site of the operation, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

Ebert, the Sun-Times's film critic since 1967, won the Pulitzer Price for criticism in 1975, the same year he and rival Chicago Tribune critic Gene Siskel launched their movie review TV show with their trademark thumbs up or down.

Siskel died in 1999. With Roeper as a replacement, the show continued. Six new shows have been taped in advance, to be aired over the next few weeks while Ebert recuperates.

"Roger is a fighter, and I have every confidence and hope that he has thousands of movie reviews ahead of him," says Roeper. "Led, of course, by his wife, Chaz, he has an amazing circle of family and friends surrounding him with love and support. I also want to express gratitude to the many fans across the country who have already sent their best wishes."

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