A long-time houseguest of mine passed away today. Turner Classic Movies host Robert Osborne died at the age of 84.
Osborne started his Hollywood career as an actor, but quickly made the transition to writing. He penned a reference book about the Academy Awards and had a column in The Hollywood Reporter for more than 25 years. He eventually made the move to television, where he started on The Movie Channel, but when TCM began broadcasting in 1994, Osborne was there to introduce the network's very first film, Gone with the Wind.
In regard to Osborne's career on TCM, Screencrush writer Matt Singer says it best:
"Though Osborne wielded an expert's knowledge of film history, he never came off as an elitist snob. He never made viewers feel inferior just because they hadn't seen Dark Victory before; he was always excited that they were ready to watch Dark Victory now. He made old movies accessible, setting an inclusive tone and striking an inspiring example."
Several of my friends know, even if I'm not going to watch television, I turn the TV on and set it to TCM simply to give the network ratings. It is because of that odd sense of loyalty that Osborne could be heard throughout my house nightly. It is a disappointing day for film lovers.