Robert Osborne, film historian and longtime host on Turner Classic Movies, died Monday at age 84.
Osborne was known by classic film buffs for his knowledgeable introductions to movies that aired on TCM, having been part of the network since it was started by Ted Turner back in 1994. He also hosted the TCM Classic Film Festival, which was founded in 2010.
Prior to joining TCM, Osborne started out in Hollywood as a contract actor at Lucille Ball’s Desilu Studios before switching over to entertainment journalism. Starting in the 1970s, he was a columnist at The Hollywood Reporter, writing their “Rambling Reporter” column until 2009. In the 1980s, he became the president of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association while working as an entertainment reporter and critic for Fox 11 in Los Angeles. Later that decade, he became a host on The Movie Channel, a job that became a precursor to his job on TCM.
Throughout his career, Osborne wrote extensively on the history of the Academy Awards, becoming one of the most well-known Oscar historians in Hollywood. To coincide with the Oscars’ golden anniversary in 1978, he wrote the book “50 Golden Years of Oscar: The Official History of the Academy Awards” which he updated with a new edition in 1988 and continued to update every five years through 2013.
TCM announced Osborne’s passing via a statement from the network’s general manager Jennifer Dorian via Twitter:
- TCM Public Relations (@TCMPR) March 6, 2017
- TCM (@tcm) March 6, 2017