TCM pays tribute to host Robert Osborne with weekend of interview highlights

Robert Osborne, who died March 6 at the age of 84, had been part of the Turner Classics Movie channel since its launch in 1994. In tribute to this long-time fan favorite, TCM is devoting this weekend (March 18 and 19) to replaying some of his highlights as an interviewer.

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Among these will be episodes of “Private Screenings” with Debbie Reynolds, Liza Minnelli, Norman Jewison and Betty Hutton. Also featured will be the interview that his pal Alec Baldwin did with him on the occasion of the channel’s 20th anniversary in 2014.

Osborne also oversaw the annual TCM Classic Film Festival beginning in 2010 and TCM will air many of the interviews that he conducted there including those with Oscar winners Eva Marie Saint, Luise Rainer and Alan Arkin as well as honorary recipient Peter O’Toole.

This one-time actor, who got his start at Desilu under the tutelage of Lucille Ball in the late 1950s, turned to entertainment journalism in the 1970s. To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Oscars in 1978, the academy asked him to pen its official history. He updated it a decade later, and then every five years with the most recent version being released in 2013.

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Osborne also wrote the “Rambling Reporter” column for The Hollywood Reporter for a quarter century (1984 – 2009). A one-time film critic for Fox 11 in Los Angeles, he served as president of the Los Angeles Film Critics Assn. during the mid 1980s. He had hosted screenings on The Movie Channel for seven years beginning in 1986 until Ted Turner asked him to be part of his new channel devoted to old movies.

Osborne said then that being a host on TCM was his dream job. “I wanted to be apart of it; I just didn’t know where I fit in. I knew I couldn’t sing, I knew I couldn’t dance. I just lived in a small farm town in the Northwest. I didn’t know where I fit in. I was happy that Ted Turner started a channel and I got to be the guy. That was my great luck.”

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7 thoughts on “TCM pays tribute to host Robert Osborne with weekend of interview highlights

  1. I watched TCM’s Robert Osborne tribute and fell in love! I had no idea the kind of man that Mr Osborne was. Very delightful and caring human being. The interviews with Kim Novak, Peter O’Tool and especially Betty Hutton were so moving. The world has lost a real gem of a gentleman. RIP

  2. I love watching this wonderful man. He is so passionate about life and movies. I know he can never be replaced. Sue

  3. Thank you so much for the wonderful tribute weekend to Robert Osborne. I especially enjoyed the Private Screenings interview of him by Alec Baldwin. It made me laugh, it made me cry. What a wonderful story teller, amazing man. I hope you’ll continue to show his “private screenings” as a tribute. No one could ever replace his interviews of all these famous movie stars. His knowledge and obvious passion for movies can never be replaced.

  4. Robert Osborne will be especially missed, and there is a sadness in many of our hearts that there will never be another person that did his job as well as he did on TCM!

  5. I have had Robert Osborne on my TV everyday for the past 10 years. I leave my TV on while I sleep because of the ringing in my ears. I go to sleep with hearing him and wake up throughout the night hearing him and get ready for work with him on the set. I will miss this man because he has brought so much joy into my life by how he Announces a movie and tell you all about the stars and beginnings of each move. His knowledge is vast and he will be missed very much. RIP and I hope the Lord has a big movie screen in Heaven and I know he is going to get Robert to be the host.

  6. aHe was just the best at what he did. I don’t know how long I had been a fan but I had always loved old movies. I did get to see him when he came here to Austin a few years ago to introduce GONE WITH THE WIND. The audience was all ages and he was received as a rock star. This past weekend watching the private screenings was a joy. His interviewing style was so elegant. Without probing he had the ability to get people speak about themselves. He will be sadly missed.

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