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Roger Ebert says he will be wearing a prosthetic chin when his new PBS show Ebert Presents at the Movies premieres Friday.
Part of Ebert’s jaw was removed in 2006 as a result of his thyroid cancer battle. “After surgery, I studiously avoided looking at myself in a mirror,” he blogs.
Then he met Dr. David J. Reisberg, a professor of craniofacial medicine at the University of Illinois in Chicago and a specialist in facial reconstruction.
He told Ebert, 68, “much could be done.”
So began a two-year process “that has now resulted with my coming into possession of a silicone prosthesis,” Ebert says.
Along with the help of other doctors, Dr. Reisberg “created a prototype prosthesis and sculpted it carefully to more closely resemble what had been there before. This device would fit over my lower face and neck and, colored to match my skin, would pass muster at a certain distance,” Ebert says.
Ebert says his prosthesis isn’t meant “to fool anyone, because my appearance is widely known. It will be used in a medium shot of me working in my office, and will be a pleasant reminder of the person I was for 64 years. Symbolically, it’s as if my illness never happened and, hey, here I still am, on the show with these new kids. When people see the “Roger’s Office” segment, they’ll notice my voice more than my appearance.
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