Robert Osborne, the most visible face of Turner Classic Movies since the cable channel first launched in 1994, has died at the age of 84. “All of us at Turner Classic Movies are deeply saddened by the death of Robert Osborne,” wrote Jennifer Dorian, General Manager of TCM, in a statement. “He joined us as an expert on classic film and grew to be our cherished colleague and esteemed ambassador for TCM.” No cause of death has been given.
A friendly, familiar presence to cinephiles for decades, Osborne previously served as a host on the Movie Channel from 1986–1993 and as an actor under contract to Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball’s Desilu Studios. His first book, “Academy Awards Illustrated,” was published in 1965; more recently, he wrote the introduction to TCM’s “Leading Couples: The Most Unforgettable Screen Romances of the Studio Era.”
Osborne is also recognizable to attendees of the TCM Classic Film Festival, which has taken place in the heart of Hollywood every year since 2010. The annual event attracts movie lovers from all across the country and beyond, many of whom are as excited to see Osborne in person as they are for the actual films.
Born May 3, 1932 in Colfax, Washington, Osborne earned a degree from the University of Washington’s School of Journalism. His warm demeanor and exhaustive knowledge of film history will be sorely missed on all future editions of the #TCMparty.