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Ebert once a surprise guest in his boyhood home

Published: Friday, April 5, 2013 3:00 p.m. CST

URBANA (AP) — Michael Esteves says owning the house where Roger Ebert grew up means getting used to guests dropping by for a look. Including Roger Ebert.

The 39-year-old Esteves bought the Urbana home where the film critic grew up in 2005.

In 2009 Ebert was out front to see a plaque dedicated to the site. Afterward he asked to come inside.

Ebert couldn't speak but Esteves says he wrote short notes about spots in the house, such as the sink where he "washed a million dishes." And Esteves says Ebert gave his movie collection two thumbs up.

Evestes says Ebert came back occasionally. He sometimes brought students from his alma mater, the nearby University of Illinois, with him.

Ebert died Thursday at age 70 after a long battle with cancer.

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