Before and after: Roger Ebert debuts prosthetic neck

After a battle with thyroid cancer that had part of the 68-year-old’s jaw removed in 2006, Ebert is now ready to appear on his new PBS show “Ebert Presents at the Movies” on Friday, looking like his old self.

“I studiously avoided looking at myself in a mirror,” Ebert wrote on his blog this week.

After his jaw was reconstructed, it was a “two-year process that has now resulted with my coming into possession of a silicone prosthesis,” Ebert explains. “This device [fits] over my lower face and neck and colored to match my skin.”

Now Ebert ready to come back, but he says he’s not planning to “fool anyone.”

“I will wear the prosthesis on the new television show – that’s not to fool anyone, because my appearance is widely known,” he says. “It will be a pleasant reminder of the person I was for 64 years.”

“Symbolically, it’s as if my illness never happened and, hey, here I still am, on the show with these new kids,” he adds. “When people see the ‘Roger’s Office’ segment, they’ll notice my voice more than my appearance.”

Roger Ebert’s Journal