Robert Osborne Brought The Magic Of Hollywood Into Our Livingrooms
I would be remiss if not posting about Robert Osborne. As a lover of movies and film it was sad to hear Osborne died at the age of 84.
In our home, like countless others around the country, it was Osborne who provided background on the cast of characters about to be seen, or insight into the magic of Hollywood and film making. No movie could really start on TCM until he had added some nugget of news about the star of the film, or the way the script had been written, or what some movie mogul thought about the end result. Osborne seemed to know everything that we wanted to know, and with his clear and measured way of presenting the backstory, he made us a part of the hey-day of movie-making.
It was clear each time he set up the movie to be shown he had a true affinity for old films. I often thought what stories he could tell if not for the camera recording his every word! Films last forever and in the hearts of movie buffs I suspect Osborne will also continue to be recalled with a smile and tug of nostalgia.
Osborne now has one of the best seats in the biggest theatre of all and might be seated next to Bettie Davis who no doubt is regaling him with stories about Joan Crawford. I can see Osborne smile.
For the last 23 years, the silver-haired Mr. Osborne brought a sophisticated, gentlemanly air to TCM, where he turned his savant-like familiarity with films, their back stories and their stars into absorbing intros, outros and interviews.
He typically introduced 18 movies a week, as well as marathons and special presentations, that provided an escape into a golden age when Fred and Ginger were dancing, Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman ruled and Marlon Brando was transforming acting.
And, it turned out, his presence and storytelling helped turn TCM into a prime destination for movie buffs.