Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic Roger Ebert announced Tuesday evening in a post on his Chicago Sun-Times blog that he has suffered a return of cancer.
As a result, Ebert — who has written prolifically in recent years on a host of topics other than just cinema — said he will be taking a “leave of presence.”
“What in the world is a leave of presence? It means I am not going away,” Ebert wrote. “My intent is to continue to write selected reviews but to leave the rest to a talented team of writers handpicked and greatly admired by me. What’s more, I’ll be able at last to do what I’ve always fantasized about doing: reviewing only the movies I want to review.”
In 2012, Ebert said he penned 306 movie reviews, one or two blog posts per week and “assorted other articles” — a higher output than any other point in his career. The blog post commemorated the 46th anniversary of Ebert joining the Sun-Times as a film critic.
Ebert suffered a hip fracture in December, which led to the latest diagnosis of cancer. He was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2002, and in 2006 he lost his ability to speak after his carotid artery burst during a surgery to remove cancer located in his jaw. The latest health episode, Ebert wrote, will likely color his writing going forward.
“At this point in my life, in addition to writing about movies, I may write about what it’s like to cope with health challenges and the limitations they can force upon you. It really stinks that the cancer has returned and that I have spent too many days in the hospital,” he wrote. “So on bad days I may write about the vulnerability that accompanies illness. On good days, I may wax ecstatic about a movie so good it transports me beyond illness.”
The Oral Cancer Foundation wishes Roger Ebert a successful course of treatments, and a quick return to a full and and productive healthy life.
**This news story was resourced by the Oral Cancer Foundation, and vetted for appropriateness and accuracy.