|Born||Robert Jolin Osborne
May 3, 1932
Colfax, Washington. U.S.
|Residence||New York, New York|
|Alma mater||University of Washington|
|Employer||Turner Classic Movies|
|Home town||Whitman County, Washington|
|Height||6' 1" (1.85 m)|
|Spouse(s)||Sarah Osborne (1965-present)|
- For other people with the same name, see Robert Osborne (disambiguation).
Robert Jolin Osborne (born May 3, 1932) is an American actor and film historian best known as the primary host for Turner Classic Movies since that service began in 1994, and previously a host of The Movie Channel.
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, becoming part of Lucille Ball's Desilu Workshop, in which Ball worked with and nurtured young performers such as Osborne and actress-singer Carole Cook. One of Osborne's early television appearances was in 1959 on an episode of Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse called "Chain of Command," starring Hugh O'Brian. He was also featured on the special Christmas Day Desilu Playhouse installment "The Desilu Revue" in December of that year. He had small roles in such TV shows as The Californians and in the pilot episode of The Beverly Hillbillies.
Ball suggested that Osborne combine his love of film with his abilities as a journalist. Osborne took her advice, although he has continued to appear in small parts in television and film, including an appearance parodying his TCM hosting job on Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law.
Osborne was a columnist for The Hollywood Reporter from 1982 to 2009. In 2008, Abbeville Press published his book 80 Years of the Oscar: The Official History of the Academy Awards. Between 1986 and 1993, Osborne was an on-air host for The Movie Channel. In 1994, he moved to Turner Classic Movies.
For TCM, in addition to hosting four primetime movies seven days per week, he has also been the host of special one-on-one "Private Screening" interviews featuring many familiar actors and directors. Since 2006, he has also co-hosted TCM's The Essentials, with Molly Haskell from 2006 to 2007, with Carrie Fisher from 2007 to 2008, with Rose McGowan from 2008 to 2009, with Alec Baldwin from 2009 to 2011, and currently with Drew Barrymore.
Osborne has also participated in events at the Paley Center for Media in New York City saluting the television careers of Lucille Ball and Cloris Leachman. He recently served as moderator at the Paley for an evening celebrating the 100th birthday of Academy Award-winning songwriter Johnny Mercer.
Osborne also hosts the annual Robert Osborne's Classic Film Festival in Athens, Georgia. It began in 2005. The non-profit event is held by the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. In 2010 he hosted the very first TCM Classic Film Festival. The 2011 Film Festival took place April 28 to May 1 in Hollywood, with the 2012 festival to take place in the spring.
On July 11, 2011, TCM announced that Osborne would be taking "a short break from his TCM hosting duties for minor surgery, followed by a vacation." Osborne's original projected three-month leave of absence stretched into five months, with his official return as host of Turner Classic Movies taking place on December 1, 2011. Osborne did however continue to appear on Saturday nights hosting "The Essentials" with Alec Baldwin.
In the fall of 2012, Osborne further reduced his schedule by sharing some of his TCM hosting duties with fellow journalist and film historian Ben Mankiewicz. As of this writing, in April, 2013, a new program was introduced on TCM. It's called "Friday Night Spotlight" where every Friday night for each month, a different celebrity or expert host will take viewers through a collection of films focusing on a specific topic. Here is the revised TCM primetime hosting schedule: Osborne hosts Turner Classic Movies on Mondays through Wednesdays; Mankiewicz hosts on Thursday nights; For the "Friday Night Spotlight", a different celebrity hosts each month; on Saturday nights, Osborne hosts "The Essentials" with actress Drew Barrymore then he takes over by himself for the rest of the evening; on Sundays, Osborne hosts the first two movies of the evening beginning at 8:00 P.M., then Mankiewicz takes over as host for the "Silent Sundays" and the "TCM Imports".
Awards and honors
Osborne won the Publicists Guild of America 1984 Press Award. In 2005, he received an honorary doctorate from the Academy of Art University, and he 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.
- 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 Years of the 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)
- 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.")
- Biography at Osborne's official website
- Turner Newsroom: Robert Osborne
- Film Festival overview
- Lou Lumenick (2001). "Robert Osborne taking leave from TCM." The New York Post, July 11, 2011
- Timeline at Osborne's official website
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Robert Osborne.|
- Official website
- Robert Osborne's column in The Hollywood Reporter
- Robert Osborne at the Internet Movie Database
- Robert Osborne at the TCM Movie Database
- Turner Classic Movies biography
- Box Office Mojo Interview
- About.com Interview
- Profile at Washington Post
- Cinema Retro interview with Robert Osborne
- Washington Post interview with Robert Osborne, November, 2011