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Robert Osborne

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Title: Robert Osborne  
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Collection: 1932 Births, 20Th-Century American Male Actors, 20Th-Century American Writers, 20Th-Century Biographers, 21St-Century American Male Actors, 21St-Century American Writers, 21St-Century Biographers, American Biographers, American Columnists, American Film Historians, American Magazine Writers, American Male Film Actors, American Male Television Actors, American Male Writers, American Television Hosts, Film Historians, Film Theorists, Journalists from New York City, Journalists from Washington (State), Living People, Male Actors from New York City, Male Actors from Washington (State), People from Colfax, Washington, The Hollywood Reporter People, University of Washington Alumni, Writers from New York City, Writers from Washington (State)
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Robert Osborne

Robert Osborne
April 2007
Born Robert Jolin Osborne
(1932-05-03) May 3, 1932
Colfax, Washington U.S.
Residence New York, New York
Nationality American
Alma mater University of Washington
Occupation TCM Host
Years active 1958-present
Employer Turner Classic Movies
Home town Whitman County, Washington
Height 6' 1" (1.85 m)
For other people with the same name, see Robert Osborne.

Robert Jolin Osborne (born May 3, 1932) is an American actor and film historian best known as the primary host for Turner Classic Movies (TCM). Prior to TCM, Osborne had been a host on The Movie Channel.[1]


  • Life and career 1
  • Awards and honors 2
  • Works 3
  • References 4
  • Further reading 5
  • External links 6

Life and career

Born in 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. There, Osborne became part of Lucille Ball's Desilu Workshop, in which Ball worked with and nurtured such young performers as Osborne and actress-singer Carole Cook. One of Osborne's early television appearances was in a 1959 episode of Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse called "Chain of Command," starring Hugh O'Brian. He was also featured in the Christmas Day Desilu Playhouse installment "The Desilu Revue" in December 1959. He also had small roles in such TV shows as The Californians and the 1962 pilot episode of The Beverly Hillbillies, "The Clampetts Strike Oil" (as Jeff Taylor). Not thinking the show would be a success, he decided not to sign up for the series, instead deciding to focus on acting in television commercials.[2]

Ball suggested that Osborne focus his energies on becoming a journalist, as he would often quip, "especially after she saw me act".[3] After The Beverly Hillbillies, Osborne would focus more on writing and journalism. In 1965, he had his first book published, Academy Awards Illustrated.

In 1977, Osborne began his long-standing stint as a columnist for The Hollywood Reporter. The following year, he published 50 Golden Years of Oscar, which won the 1979 National Film Book award. Having joined the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, he was elected its president in 1981, a position he would be re-elected to for the next two years. In 1982, he began a five-year stint as the entertainment reporter/critic on KTTV Channel 11 in Los Angeles. In addition, he began his Rambling Reporter column for The Hollywood Reporter, published five times weekly. In 1984, Osborne began hosting for The Movie Channel, as well as winning the Publicists Guild of America 1984 Press Award. The following year, he began a relationship with Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences (AMPAS), when he hosted a tribute to Shirley Temple at the Academy's Samuel Goldwyn Theatre in Beverly Hills. Three years later, AMPAS commissioned him to write 60 Years of the Oscar.

In 1994, Ted Turner created Turner Classic Movies as a competitor to American Movie Classics (now known as AMC).[4][5] Osborne was selected as the host of their nightly broadcasts.[2] For TCM, in addition to hosting four primetime movies seven days a week, he has also been the host of special one-on-one "Private Screening" interviews featuring many familiar actors and directors. Beginning in 2006, he has also co-hosted TCM's The Essentials. His co-hosts have been Molly Haskell from 2006 to 2007, Carrie Fisher from 2007 to 2008, Rose McGowan from 2008 to 2009, Alec Baldwin from 2009 to 2011, Drew Barrymore and currently Sally Field.[6]

Osborne has also participated in events at the

  • Official website
  • Robert Osborne at the Internet Movie Database
  • Robert Osborne at the TCM Movie Database
  • Cinema Retro interview with Robert Osborne
  • Gilbert Gottfried's Amazing Colossal Podcast long-form interview with Robert Osborne, July, 2014

External links

  • Barry, Dan (November 19, 2014). "Up Next, a Classic Who Loves Old Films: Robert Osborne Is the Face of TCM". The New York Times.  Extensive feature story about Osborne on the occasion of his 20th anniversary as the host of Turner Classic Movies.
  • Robert Osborne's column in The Hollywood Reporter
  • "Robert Osborne Biography: The Host of Turner Classic Movies". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved 2014-11-24.  Turner Classic Movies biography.
  • Thomas, Nick (November 30, 2011). "Robert Osborne’s back, so roll ’em". The Washington Post.  November, 2011 interview with Osborne.

Further reading

  1. ^ Susan King, "Robert Osborne: a classic gentleman", Los Angeles Times, November 4, 2013. ("Osborne's hosting gig on TCM has made him a superstar among classic film buffs.")
  2. ^ a b Bernstein, Adam (August 14, 2005). "Turner's Classic Host Robert Osborne Brings Film Gems to Life on TCM". Washington Post. 
  3. ^ a b "Robert O. Bio". Retrieved March 13, 2014. 
  4. ^ Mitchell, Kim; Granger, Rod (April 18, 1994). "Turner launches TCM".  
  5. ^ Grahnke, Lon (April 10, 1994). "Classic Films Find New Cable Outlet In Turner Empire".  
  6. ^ "Robert Osborne Biography". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved March 13, 2014. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ a b Film Festival overview
  9. ^ Lumenick, Lou (July 11, 2011). "Robert Osborne taking leave from TCM". New York Post. 
  10. ^ Bobbin, Jay (July 5, 2012). "Turner Classic Movies' Ben Mankiewicz: 'It is a big responsibility' hosting the channel". Zap2it. 
  11. ^ Lumenic, Lou (October 1, 2012). "New movie maven". New York Post. 
  12. ^ Mckinely, Will (October 1, 2012). "Robert Osborne Taking Time Off from Turner Classic Movies". 
  13. ^ Barry, Dan (November 19, 2014). "Up Next, a Classic Who Loves Old Films: Robert Osborne Is the Face of TCM". New York Times. 


  • Academy Awards Illustrated (1965)
  • Hollywood Legends: The Life and Films of Humphrey Bogart and Greta Garbo (1967)
  • Academy Awards Oscar Annual (1971–1976)
  • Best Actor Oscar Winners (1977)
  • Best Actress Oscar Winners (1977)
  • Best Picture Oscar Winners (1977)
  • 50 Golden Years of Oscar: The Official History of the Academy Awards (1978)
    • 60 Years of the Oscar: The Official History of the Academy Awards (1988)
    • 65 Years of the Oscar: The Official History of the Academy Awards (1993)
    • 70 Years of the Oscar: The Official History of the Academy Awards (1998)
    • 75 Years of the Oscar: The Official History of the Academy Awards (2003)
    • 80 Years of the Oscar: The Official History of the Academy Awards (2008)
  • "Foreword" – Picture Show: Classic Movie Posters from the TCM Archives by Dianna Edwards and Turner Classic Movies (2003)
  • In the Picture: Production Stills from the TCM Archives by Robert Osborne, Alexa L. Foreman, Ruth A. Peltason, and Mark A. Vieira (2004)
  • "Foreword" – Under the Rainbow: An Intimate Memoir of Judy Garland, Rock Hudson and My Life in Old Hollywood by John Carlyle (2006)
  • "Foreword" – Leading Men: The 50 Most Unforgettable Actors of the Studio Era by Turner Classic Movies (2006)
  • "Foreword" – Leading Ladies: The 50 Most Unforgettable Actresses of the Studio Era by Turner Classic Movies (2006)
  • "Introduction" – Leading Couples: The Most Unforgettable Screen Romances of the Studio Era by Turner Classic Movies (2008)


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 2008, he received the National Board of Review's William K. Everson Award.

Awards and honors

Osborne resides in New York City.[3]

In 2011, TCM announced that Osborne would be taking "a short break from his TCM hosting duties for minor surgery, followed by a vacation." Osborne did, however, continue to appear on Saturday nights hosting "The Essentials" with Alec Baldwin.[9] In 2012 Osborne began to share some of his hosting duties with Ben Mankiewicz.[10][11] Mankiewicz hosts primetime films two nights a week as well as many daytime events.[12] Osborne stated that he will continue to work “as long as I have health, and as long as I think I look O.K. on camera.” He also said, “If I really couldn’t do it with enthusiasm, that would be the time to quit.”[13]

In 2010, he hosted the very first TCM Classic Film Festival, and has participated in subsequent annual festivals. [8]

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