NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Robert Osborne, the genial face of Turner Classic Movies and a walking encyclopedia of classic Hollywood, died Monday in New York. He was 84.
“All of us at Turner Classic Movies are deeply saddened by the death of Robert Osborne,” read a statement from Jennifer Dorian, general manager of TCM. “He joined us as an expert on classic film and grew to be our cherished colleague and esteemed ambassador for TCM.”
“Robert was embraced by devoted fans who saw him as a trusted expert and friend,” Dorian added. “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 truly world-class host.”
Osborne began his career as an actor under Lucille Ball’s “Desilu Productions” and was a columnist for The Hollywood Reporter.
He was the on-air host of Ted Turner’s fledgling classic movie network from its inception in 1994. He was there from the start, to introduce “Gone With the Wind,” and remained Turner Classic’s primary — and often sole — host since.
For TCM viewers, Osborne was a constant and calming presence. He introduced films with bits of history and trivia, and conducted interviews with stars about their favorite old films.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)