I represent the first generation who, when we were born, the television was now a permanent fixture in our homes. When I was born people had breakfast with Barbara Walters, dinner with Walter Cronkite, and slept with Johnny Carson.
Read the full "Pre-ramble"
Monday, March 06, 2017
My love of movies started when I was 7 years old, living in a small town, going to the movies all the time, and finding the people in the movies more interesting than the people in my small town. Also, at that time, it wasn't that easy to find out about movies
Robert Jolin Osborne May 3, 1932 – March 6, 2017
One of Robert Osborne's early television appearances was in a 1959 episode of Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse called "Chain of Command", starring Hugh O'Brian. He was also featured in the Christmas Day Desilu Playhouse installment "The Desilu Revue" in December 1959.
He also had small roles in such TV shows as The Californians and the 1962 pilot episode of The Beverly Hillbillies, "The Clampetts Strike Oil" (as Jeff Taylor). Not thinking the show would be a success, he decided not to sign up for the series, instead deciding to focus on acting in television commercials.
Ball suggested that Osborne focus his energies on becoming a journalist, as he would often quip, "especially after she saw me act". After The Beverly Hillbillies, Osborne would focus more on writing and journalism. In 1965, Osborne had his first book published, Academy Awards Illustrated.
In 1977, Osborne began his long-standing stint as a columnist for The Hollywood Reporter. The following year, he published 50 Golden Years of Oscar, which won the 1979 National Film Book award. Having joined the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, he was elected its president in 1981, a position he would be re-elected to for the next two years. In 1982, Osborne began a five-year stint as the entertainment reporter/critic on KTTV Channel 11 in Los Angeles. In addition, he began his Rambling Reporter column for The Hollywood Reporter, published five times weekly.
Osborne also participated in events at the Paley Center for Media in New York City saluting the television careers of Lucille Ball and Cloris Leachman. He recently served as moderator at the Paley for an evening celebrating the 100th birthday of Academy Award-winning songwriter Johnny Mercer.Beginning in 2005, Osborne hosted the annual "Robert Osborne's Classic Film Festival" in Athens, Georgia. The non-profit event is held by the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. In 2010, Osborne hosted the very first TCM Classic Film Festival, and participated in subsequent annual festivals.
In 2011, TCM announced that Osborne would be taking "a short break from his TCM hosting duties for minor surgery, followed by a vacation." Osborne did, however, continue to appear on Saturday nights hosting "The Essentials" with Alec Baldwin. In 2012, Osborne began to share some of his hosting duties with Ben Mankiewicz. Mankiewicz hosts primetime films two nights a week as well as many daytime events. Osborne stated that he will continue to work “as long as I have health, and as long as I think I look O.K. on camera.” He also said, “If I really couldn’t do it with enthusiasm, that would be the time to quit.”
In 2014, as part of an exclusive programming deal with Disney, Turner Classic Movies agreed to become the sponsor of The Great Movie Ride. The attraction underwent a refurbishment in 2015, with the addition of a new pre-show and post-show hosted by Osborne, who also provides onboard narration to the ride. The changes were unveiled on May 29, 2015.