Ebert, who has struggled with cancer for a number of years, had a growth on his salivary glad removed on June 16, but on Saturday, a blood vessel near the operation site burst, according to the reports from the writer's home paper, the Chicago Sun-Times.
Chaz Ebert, the critic's wife, told the paper that Ebert "is stable and responding well to the recent surgery. Roger and I are so grateful for your prayers and support, but please give the big guy the space and time needed to recover until he is ready to use those thumbs again."
Film critic at the Sun-Times since 1966, Ebert is probably best known for his series of syndicated review programs, beginning with "Sneak Previews," which co-starred Chicago Tribune critic Gene Siskel. The pair went on to do "Siskel & Ebert at the Movies," launching the popular "thumbs up, thumbs down" format. Siskel died of cancer in 1999 and, after a lengthy search, fellow Sun-Times columnist Richard Roeper was brought in as Ebert's co-host.
"Ebert & Roeper" taped six shows in advance, so the show will continue to air while he recovers.
In addition to his criticism, Ebert spent a spell in Hollywood, working as screenwriter on "Beyond the Valley of the Dolls" and also writing the scripts for "Up!" and "Beneath the Valley of the Ultra-Vixens" under pseudonyms.