Robert Osborne, the longtime host of Turner Classic Movies who authored a definitive book on the history of the Oscars, has died. He was 84. He had been off the air with an undisclosed health issue for most of 2017, and TCM announced the news with this statement.
“Robert was embraced by devoted fans who saw him as a trusted expert and friend,” TCM General Manager Dorian said in a statement. “His calming presence, gentlemanly style, encyclopedic knowledge of film history, fervent support for film preservation and highly personal interviewing style all combined to make him a world-class host.”
Osborne and actress Drew Barrymore, as guest presenter for The Essentials Series at TCM.
Osborne was the face to TCM, serving as the cable channel’s primary host since its launch in 1994. He especially loved to host the 31 days of Oscars marathon, and gave viewers insights of Oscar winner movies and performances.
His book 85 years of the Oscars, published by Abbeville Press, captures the enthusiasm surrounding the award show and includes stories and pictures from each year since the inception of the accolades in 1928.
An official publication of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which hands out the Oscars, the 472-page book offers meticulous details of every ceremony and the culture around it.
Osborne chronicled the Oscars since the Academy celebrated 50 years of handing out Oscars in 1978, when he was working for The Hollywood Reporter. He updated and re-released the book every five years.
Photo: The Gold Knight
“We’re fortunate to have Robert Osborne as the author of ‘85 Years of the Oscar’ because his passion for the art of film shows in the text,” said Abrams, president of Abbeville Press, via an emailed statement. “It’s rare to have a reference book convey such love for the material and we appreciate Robert Osborne’s contribution to film history with this vibrant record of the evolution of the industry and the Academy.”
For more on Osborne's book and his love for movies, press HERE.