Film historian and former Hollywood Reporter columnist Robert Osborne, who shared his knowledge and passion for movies with millions of viewers as the longtime host of Turner Classic Movies, has died. He was 84.
“All of us at Turner Classic Movies are deeply saddened by the death of Robert Osborne,” read a statement from Jennifer Dorian, General Manager of Turner Classic Movies. “He joined us as an expert on classic film and grew to be our cherished colleague and esteemed ambassador for TCM.”
Osborne has been on TCM since it made its on-air debut in April 1994. A cause of death has not been announced.
Born on May 3, 1932 and raised the small town of Colfax, Washington, Osborne graduated from the University of Washington ‘s School of Journalism. He began his career working as a contract actor for Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball’s Desilu Studios. After numerous acting roles, Ball suggested that Osborne focus his energies on becoming a journalist. His first book, “Academy Awards Illustrated,” was published in 1965.
Osborne won the Publicists Guild of America 1984 Press Award. He also received an honorary doctorate from the Academy of Art University in 2005, and was awarded a star at Vine Street on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2006. In 2007, he received the National Board of Review’s William K. Everson Award.
Years ago, I had the good fortune of lunching with Mr. Osborne and last saw him at the TCM Classic Film Tour in 2013. The man was a true mensch. May he rest in peace.