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Ebert Tries New Computer Voice First on Wife Chaz, Then Oprah

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood March 2, 2010 at 7:53AM

Chicago Sun-Times critic Roger Ebert seems to be everywhere these days, from the cover of Esquire (a must-read) to a Tuesday appearance on Oprah Winfrey. Ebert shares his Oscar predicts with Oprah, using his new computer voice, which uses audio from his old shows to recreate a voice that sounds a lot like him. Other times he sounds like Stephen Hawking.
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Thompson on Hollywood

Chicago Sun-Times critic Roger Ebert seems to be everywhere these days, from the cover of Esquire (a must-read) to a Tuesday appearance on Oprah Winfrey. Ebert shares his Oscar predicts with Oprah, using his new computer voice, which uses audio from his old shows to recreate a voice that sounds a lot like him. Other times he sounds like Stephen Hawking.

Ebert posts his reaction to the Esquire piece here; and Esquire adds more to their photo gallery. Ebert is also inviting folks to join The Ebert Club. And he and his wife Chaz have also established the Chaz & Roger Ebert Truer Than Fiction Award--which Film Independent gives to an emerging director of non-fiction features who has not yet received significant recognition-- at the 25th Film Independent Spirit Awards with a gift through their family foundation. The 15th annual Truer Than Fiction Award also includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant. "Documentaries are at the cutting edge of independent film right now, and new technologies are making them more immediate and observant than ever," stated Ebert.

Check out this moving video of Ebert trying out his new voice machine with his wife, Chaz, who had not heard him speak since July 1, 2006. It's a heart-tugger.

This article is related to: Awards, Stuck In Love, TV, Oscars, Roger Ebert Fellowship


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.