Before becoming television's most famous film critic, Ebert, who passed away on April 4, 2013, was a reporter. He joined the Chicago Sun-Times in 1966 and became the paper's film critic one year later. In 1975, his work earned him the Pulitzer Prize.
That same year, Ebert debuted his long-running television show with fellow critic Gene Siskel. In 1998, Siskel was diagnosed with a brain tumor and died less than a year later.
Another blow came in 2002, when Ebert was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, which later spread to his salivary glands and jaw. The cancer eventually took his voice. In 2006, he was forced to leave his show after more than 30 years on the air.
Although the cancer left Ebert unable to speak, eat or drink, it didn't slow him down. In 2010, a company in Scotland used cutting-edge technology to take hours of Ebert's past movie commentaries and create a new, computerized voice from those clips.
Ebert was looking forward to sounding like his old self again. "When I type anything, this voice will speak whatever I type," he wrote. "When I read something, it will read in my voice. I have got to say, in first grade they said I talked too much. And now I still can."
Chaz, hearing the familiar-sounding computerized voice, was moved to tears. "It's incredible that that's your voice," she said in the clip. "Roger? What do you think?"
"Uncanny," he responded. "A good feeling."
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Film critic Roger Ebert attends the 2002 Independent Spirit Awards March 23, 2002 in Santa Monica, CA. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
In this Jan. 12, 2011 file photo, Pulitzer Prize-winning movie critic Roger Ebert works in his office at the WTTW-TV studios in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File)
This undated file photo originally released by Disney-ABC Domestic Television, shows movie critics Roger Ebert, right, and Gene Siskel. (AP Photo/Disney-ABC Domestic Television)
This Jan. 2009 file photo shows film critic and author Roger Ebert, recipient of the Honorary Life Member Award, at the Directors Guild of America Awards in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles, file)
This May 17, 2004 file photo shows Pulitzer Prize winning film critc Roger Ebert at the 57th International Film Festival in Cannes, southern France. (AP Photo/Michel Euler, file)
This January, 2011, file photo provided by Roger Ebert shows the famous film critic wearing a silicone prosthesis over his lower face and neck. (AP Photo/Ebert Productions, David Rotter, file)
Film critic Roger Ebert arrives at 'Damsels In Distress' Premiere at The Elgin during the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival on September 13, 2011 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
Film critic Roger Ebert and Director Martin Scorsese attend the Roger Ebert Conference Center Announcement held at the American Pavillion during the 62nd International Cannes Film Festival on May 15, 2009 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
Critic Roger Ebert and actress Virginia Madsen attend the 61st Annual Directors Guild of America Awards at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza on January 31, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for DGA)
Critic Roger Ebert and his wife Chaz Hammelsmith Ebert accept his Honorary Life Membership award onstage during the 61st Annual Directors Guild of America Awards at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza on January 31, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for DGA)
Film critic Roger Ebert poses at the book signing for his 'Great Movies II' at Barnes & Noble Booksellers on March 7, 2006 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)
Movie Critic Roger Ebert gestures as he receives the 2,288th Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame June 23, 2005 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
Movie Critic Roger Ebert and actress Julie Delpy in the audience at the 20th IFP Independent Spirit Awards in a tent on the beach on February 26, 2005 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Film critic Roger Ebert attends the 32nd Annual AFI Life Achievement Award: A Tribute to Meryl Streep on June 10, 2004 at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Vince Bucci/Getty Images)
Movie critic, Roger Ebert and wife Chaz Hammelsmith Ebert attend the '32nd Annual AFI Lifetime Achievement Award: A Tribute to Meryl Streep' held at the Kodak Theatre, June 10, 2004 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Film critic Roger Ebert speak at the 'The American Directors' discussion panel during the 'Variety Cannes Conference Series 2004' on May 15, 2004 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Getty Images)
Film critic Roger Ebert talks with director/producer Campbell Scott at the American pavilion during 56th International Cannes Film Festival 2003 on May 16, 2003 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Getty Images)
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"A Clockwork Orange"
IMDB: 8.5 Ebert: 2 stars "Stanley Kubrick's 'A Clockwork Orange' is an ideological mess, a paranoid right-wing fantasy masquerading As an Orwellian warning. It pretends to oppose the police state and forced mind control, but all it really does is celebrate the nastiness of its hero, Alex."
IMDB: 8.1 Ebert: 2.5 stars "In Jake Gyllenhaal, he finds an actor able to suggest an intriguing kind of disturbance; the character is more curious than frightened, more quixotic than eccentric, and he sets a nice tone for the movie. But somehow the control fades in the closing scenes, and our hands, which have been so full, close on emptiness. 'Donnie Darko' is the one that got away. But it was fun trying to land it."
"Dead Poets Society"
IMDB: 7.9 Ebert: 2 stars "It is, of course, inevitable that the brilliant teacher will eventually be fired from the school, and when his students stood on their desks to protest his dismissal, I was so moved, I wanted to throw up."
IMDB: 8.9 Ebert: 2 stars "It's macho porn -- the sex movie Hollywood has been moving toward for years, in which eroticism between the sexes is replaced by all-guy locker-room fights. Women, who have had a lifetime of practice at dealing with little-boy posturing, will instinctively see through it; men may get off on the testosterone rush."
"Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas"
IMDB: 7.7 Ebert: 1 star "The result is a horrible mess of a movie, without shape, trajectory or purpose--a one joke movie, if it had one joke. The two characters wander witlessly past the bizarre backdrops of Las Vegas (some real, some hallucinated, all interchangeable) while zonked out of their minds. Humor depends on attitude. Beyond a certain point, you don't have an attitude, you simply inhabit a state."
IMDB: 8.4 Ebert: 2.5 stars "Now that we know Quentin Tarantino can make a movie like 'Reservoir Dogs,' it's time for him to move on and make a better one. This film, the first from an obviously talented writer-director, is like an exercise in style."
"Full Metal Jacket"
IMDB: 8.4 Ebert: 2.5 stars "Many of the passages seem self-contained, some of them are masterful and others look like they came out of the bottom drawer. This is a strangely shapeless film from the man whose work usually imposes a ferociously consistent vision on his material."
IMDB: 7.6 Ebert: 2 stars "The most offensive thing about the movie is its hypocrisy; it is totally committed to the pornography of violence, but lays on the moral outrage with a shovel."
IMDB: 7.8 Ebert: 1 star "Occasionally, perhaps sex and violence should be treated with the seriousness they deserve. Given the power of the darker scenes in this movie, we're all the more frustrated that the director is unwilling to follow through to the consequences of his insights. 'Blue Velvet' is like the guy who drives you nuts by hinting at horrifying news and then saying, 'Never mind.'"
"Fast Times at Ridgemont High"
IMDB: 7.2 Ebert: 1 star "How could they do this to Jennifer Jason Leigh? How could they put such a fresh and cheerful person into such a scuz-pit of a movie? Don't they know they have a star on their hands?"
"Harold and Maude"
IMDB: 8 Ebert: 1.5 stars "The visual style makes everyone look fresh from the Wax Museum, and all the movie lacks is a lot of day-old gardenias and lilies and roses in the lobby, filling the place with a cloying sweet smell. Nothing more to report today. Harold doesn't even make pallbearer."
"Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid"
IMDB: 8.2 Ebert: 2.5 stars "But unfortunately, this good movie is buried beneath millions of dollars that were spent on 'production values' that wreck the show. This is often the fate of movies with actors in the million-dollar class, like Newman. Having invested all that cash in the superstar, the studio gets nervous and decides to spend lots of money to protect its investment."
"Leon: The Professional"
IMDB: 8.6 Ebert: 2.5 stars "But always at the back of my mind was the troubled thought that there was something wrong about placing a 12-year-old character in the middle of this action. In a more serious movie, or even in a human comedy like Cassavetes' "Gloria," the child might not have been out of place. But in what is essentially an exercise - a slick urban thriller - it seems to exploit the youth of the girl without really dealing with it."