Chaz Ebert Steps Out on Her Own and with Roger

(The below video excerpt was added a year after the following story; the original video used was no longer available.)

Chaz Ebert knew when she was 6 that she wanted to be a lawyer.

She didn’t know until much later that she would put her experience to use in a movie-related business.

The wife of movie critic Roger Ebert, Chaz draws on her legal background in her role as vice president of the Ebert Company. In that position she will produce a movie-review TV series to start this fall, and she oversees many other projects.

And Chaz – her name at birth was Charlie Hammel – will emcee the 12th annual Roger Ebert’s Film Festival from Wednesday through Sunday at the Virginia Theatre in Champaign.

She has hosted the event since 2007, after her husband lost his speaking voice because of complications following surgery for thyroid cancer.

Champaign resident Betsy Hendrick, a longtime friend of Roger Ebert, said the public has seen Chaz Ebert’s character and loving nature, particularly over the past few years as she has taken on a more visible role as her husband’s voice.

More at the Champaign News-Gazette.

The media can be so clueless. “Mysterious woman,” indeed. Because she’s black? She’s Roger’s wife. Honestly.

However, I still remember when the Eberts were at a televised NAACP awards dinner, and he and his wife were singled out by a comedian warming up the audience. The comedian may not have known that they were married, so he kept shooting zings at Roger (I was pissed at that) until he was schooled. Brother’s mouth forgot to close. The audience roared.

Well, here’s hoping that Chaz becomes more well known. And if you’re in the area and can afford it, stop on by and enjoy Ebertfest.

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~ by blksista on April 21, 2010.

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