As primetime host and anchor of Turner Classic Movies (TCM), Robert Osborne brought viewers out of their living rooms and into the world of classic Hollywood , providing insider information, facts and trivia on TCM movie presentations.
Osborne was also a columnist-critic for The Hollywood Reporter, the daily show business trade paper. He was known as the official biographer of Oscar®, thanks to a series of books he wrote on the subject of Hollywood s annual Academy Awards®. His book, 80 Years Of the Oscar, written at the request of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, has been called the most comprehensive and definitive book ever done on the subject.
Osborne was born in Colfax, Wash., and graduated from the University of Washington s School of Journalism, appearing in local plays in his non-study hours. He eventually went to Hollywood as an actor under contract to Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. It was Lucy who encouraged him to pursue writing, which he considered the best advice at the best time he had ever been given. Lucy remained a friend and mentor to him until her death.
Osborne joined the staff of The Hollywood Reporter in 1977 and six years later began writing the papers influential Rambling Reporter column, which covers all aspects of the movie and television business. In 1982, he also began as the on-air entertainment reporter for the nightly news on Los Angeles KTTV. In 1987, he was signed by CBS to make daily appearances on the CBS Morning Program, and from 1986-1993, he was also a regular host of The Movie Channel cable network.
From 1981-83, Osborne served as president of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA). He was a frequent guest on Entertainment Tonight, Good Morning America and other network shows; was twice a Cable ACE nominee for his Osborne Report segments for The Movie Channel; and was nominated for an Emmy® as Best Host Moderator. Osborne was also the winner of the 1984 Press Award from the Publicists Guild of America. On Feb. 1, 2006, he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and in January 2008, he received a special award from the National Board of Review for his contributions as a film historian.
In addition to his hosting duties for TCM, Osborne has also done several specials for the network, including Private Screenings, an hour-long interview series with such Hollywood luminaries as Shirley MacLaine, Lauren Bacall, Angela Lansbury, James Garner, Jane Fonda, Sidney Lumet, Norman Jewison, and Tony Curtis. He also hosted TCMs Guest Programmer series, in which he has been joined in introducing movie line-ups by an eclectic mix, including David Mamet, Alec Baldwin, Mia Farrow, Martha Stewart, Whoopi Goldberg, Tom Ford, Liz Smith, Bill Cosby, Donald Trump, James Elroy, Evander Holyfield, Danny DeVito, Renee Feming, Gore Vidal and Kermit the Frog.
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Lots of history, lots of fun, good insights.