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Remembering Roger Ebert: Cancer Didn't Keep Film Critic From Talking To His Wife, Chaz (VIDEO)

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Even the biggest movie buff would be hard-pressed to find a film more inspiring than Roger Ebert's life story.

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.

In this 2010 video from "The Oprah Winfrey Show," Ebert and his wife, Chaz, heard the new computerized voice for the first time. Said Chaz, "I haven't heard his voice since July 1st, 2006."

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."

Roger Ebert passed away on April 4, 2013 at the age of 70.

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Around the Web

Roger Ebert, renowned film critic, dies at age 70 - CNN.com

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Roger Ebert, Film Critic, Dies - NYTimes.com