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Robert Osborne, Beloved Host of Turner Classic Movies, Dies at 84

Posted on Monday, March 6th, 2017 4:34 PM

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We don't usually mark the passing of those involved in the movies, but I'm going to make an exception in this case.

When I saw the headline from The Hollywood Reporter come across my news feed today, "Robert Osborne, Beloved Host of Turner Classic Movies, Dies at 84," it was one of those punches to the gut that you feel when someone significant has passed away. I never met the man, but I've enjoyed watching him as host of Turner Classic Movies as he introduced the movies, interviewed various actors, actresses, and directors. I've often said that if I operated a movie theater, I would want Robert Osborne to introduce every movie, as that would make the experience a special one for every audience.

© 2017 Turner Classic Movies, Inc.Tribute image as seen on tcm.com © 2017 Turner Classic Movies, Inc.

Prior to working with Turner Classic Movies, Osborne was a writer with The Hollywood Reporter, and they published an article about his passing, which had the aforementioned headline:

Robert Osborne, the former columnist for The Hollywood Reporter who as the genial and scholarly host of Turner Classic Movies became a beloved icon to a legion of groupies with gray hair, died Monday in New York, the cable network announced. He was 84.

David Staller, his longtime partner, told The Hollywood Reporter that Osborne died in his sleep in his apartment from natural causes.

"Robert was embraced by devoted fans who saw him as a trusted expert and friend," TCM general manager Jennifer Dorian said in a statement. "His calming presence, gentlemanly style, encyclopedic knowledge of film history, fervent support of film preservation and highly personal interviewing style all combined to make him a truly world-class host.

"Robert's contributions were fundamental in shaping TCM into what it is today, and we owe him a debt of gratitude that can never be repaid."

View the full article.

In addition to hosting movies and specials on Turner Classic Movies, he also appeared at the annual TCM Classic Film Festival in Hollywood and other events. He wrote several books, including 85 Years of the Oscar: The Official History of the Academy Awards and Turner Classic Movies: The Essentials: 52 Must-See Movies and Why They Matter.

TCM has a tribute to Robert Osborne on their web site, which includes photos with various celebrities and the video below:

Here is an example of one of his movie introductions on TCM, for A Clockwork Orange.

You can see many more such intros, by both Osborne and heir apparent, Ben Mankiewicz, on the YouTube channel, TCM Intros.

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Please Note: These comments are submitted by the readers of The BigScreen Cinema Guide and represent their own personal opinions, and do not represent the views of The BigScreen Cinema Guide, or any of its associated entities.

Mar 7, 2017 - George Jobson VIP Member

I've been watching Turner classic Movies for many years and I'm going to miss Robert very much.  

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