Robert Osborne, the former columnist for The Hollywood Reporter who as the genial and scholarly host of Turner Classic Movies became a beloved icon to a legion of groupies with gray hair, died Monday in New York, the cable network announced. He was 84.
“Robert was embraced by devoted fans who saw him as a trusted expert and friend,” TCM general manager Jennifer Dorian said in a statement. “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.”
Osborne began his career as an actor, was mentored by the legendary comedienne Lucille Ball and became the official biographer of Oscar thanks to a series of books he wrote about the Academy Awards. Osborne missed the 2015 TCM Classic Film Festival, announcing at the last minute that doctors advised him to have an undisclosed medical procedure that he had planned to put off.
More from: The Hollywood Reporter