Roger Ebert not returning to his show


CHICAGO -- Roger Ebert will resume writing reviews later this month, but will not rejoin his syndicated TV show because he's still unable to speak.

In a letter published in Tuesday's Chicago Sun-Times, the Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic and co-host of TV's "Ebert & Roeper" said surgery in January ended in complications, and his ability to speak was not restored. He said the return of speech would require another surgery.

"But I still have all my other abilities, including the love of viewing movies and writing about them," Ebert said.

Ebert, 65, said he's looking forward to his annual film festival starting April 23.

"I will resume writing movie reviews shortly thereafter," he said.

Ebert, famous for his "thumbs-up" or "thumbs-down" critiques, had surgery in 2006 to remove a cancerous growth on his salivary gland. He also had emergency surgery that year after a blood vessel burst near the site of the operation.

He had undergone cancer surgery three times before the 2006 operation -- once in 2002 to remove a malignant tumor on his thyroid gland and twice on his salivary gland the following year.

Ebert said he remains cancer-free, and is not ready to think about more surgery.

"I should be content with the abundance I have," he said.

The 10th annual Ebertfest at the University of Illinois runs April 23-27. Ebert chose 13 films for the festival.