New York: Robert Osborne’s death has come suddenly and as a shock for most of his fans. Despite being 84-year old, the Turner Classic Movies host was not known to be suffering from any serious illness.
He was a treasure-trove of information on everything Hollywood. From mid-fifties till a few years ago, he was behind documenting the history of Hollywood in different ways. He documented the history of Academy Awards penned down a book titled history of Legends.
A genial and warm person, he loved sharing his extensive information and knowledge of the subject with his audience, wherever and whoever they were.
Osborne was associated with the Turner Classic Movies from the day, ever since the TCM made its on-air debut in April 1994.
His shift from acting to being a journalist and author was rather gradual process. Osborne, a Washington native, moved to Hollywood to pursue a career in acting and was once mentored by Lucille Ball, according to an official bio on his website. Lucille Ball was a top actress, comedian, model, film-studio executive, and producer. She was best known as the star of the self-produced sitcoms I Love Lucy, The Lucy–Desi Comedy Hour, The Lucy Show, Here’s Lucy, and Life with Lucy and had great influence on Osborne.
In a message released to the media, Turner Classic Movies general manager Jennifer Dorian said, “Robert was embraced by devoted fans who saw him as a trusted expert and friend…His calming presence, gentlemanly style, encyclopedic knowledge of film history, fervent support of film preservation and highly personal interviewing style all combined to make him a truly world-class host…Robert’s contributions were fundamental in shaping TCM into what it is today, and we owe him a debt of gratitude that can never be repaid.”
At 33-years of age, in the year 1965, Osborne penned his first book published, Academy Awards Illustrated. More than a decade later, Osborne began his long-standing stint as a columnist for The Hollywood Reporter. One year later in 1978, he published 50 Golden Years of Oscar, which won the 1979 National Film Book award. Osborne was not married. He had a partner of 20 years, David Staller.
List of books authored by Osborne
Academy Awards Illustrated. ESE California. 1965.
Hollywood Legends: The Life and Films of Humphrey Bogart and Greta Garbo. Marvin Miller. 1967
Academy Awards Oscar Annual. ESE California. 1971–1976.
Best Actor Oscar Winners Since 1927. ESE California. 1977
Best Picture Oscar Winners Since 1927. ESE California. 1977.
Best Actress Oscar Winners. ESE California. 1977
50 Golden Years of Oscar. ESE California. 1978.
60 Years of the Oscar: The Official History of the Academy Awards. Equation. 1988
65 Years of the Oscar: The Official History of the Academy Awards. Abbeville Press. 1994
70 Years of the Oscar: The Official History of the Academy Awards. Abbeville Press. 1999
75 Years of the Oscar: The Official History of the Academy Awards. Abbeville Press. 2003
80 Years of the Oscar: The Official History of the Academy Awards. Abbeville Press. 2008
85 Years of the Oscar: The Official History of the Academy Awards. Abbeville Press. 2013
Osborne, Robert; Foreman, Alexa L.; Peltason, Ruth A.; Vieira, Mark A. (2004). In the Picture: Production Stills from the TCM Archives. Chronicle Books