As primetime host and anchor of Turner Classic Movies (TCM) since its launch in 1994, ROBERT OSBORNE brings viewers out of their living rooms and into the world of classic Hollywood, providing insider information, facts and trivia on TCM movie presentations.
In addition to his hosting duties for TCM, Osborne has also done several specials for the network, including Private Screenings, an hour-long interview series with such Hollywood luminaries as Shirley MacLaine, Lauren Bacall, Angela Lansbury, James Garner, Jane Fonda, Sidney Lumet, Norman Jewison, Liza Minnelli, and Tony Curtis. He also hosts TCM’s Guest Programmer series, in which he has been joined in introducing movie lineups by an eclectic mix, including David Mamet, Mia Farrow, Martha Stewart, Whoopi Goldberg, Tom Ford, Liz Smith, Bill Cosby, Donald Trump, James Elroy, Evander Holyfield, Danny DeVito, Renée Fleming, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Gore Vidal, and Kermit the Frog.
With Alec Baldwin, Osborne also co-hosts TCM’s Essentials series, a weekly look at movies he and Alec consider essential viewing for anyone wanting a well-rounded knowledge of some of the best motion pictures ever made.
Osborne is also well known as a columnist and critic. Thanks to a series of books he’s written on the subject of Hollywood’s annual Academy Awards, he is known as the official biographer of Oscar. His latest book, 80 Years of the Oscar, written at the request of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, has been called “the most comprehensive and definitive book ever done on the subject.”
Osborne served as host of the first-ever TCM Classic Film Festival, which took place in Hollywood in April 2010. He has also appeared as a host-moderator with the Boston Pops, the National Symphony Orchestra, the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and hosted events in venues including New York’s Radio City Music Hall, Town Hall, City Center, Alice Tully Hall, the Museum of Modern Art and Jazz at Lincoln Center; Los Angeles’ Grauman’s Chinese Theatre and the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn theatre; Wolf Trap in Vienna, Va.; Chastain and the Verizon Amphitheatre in Atlanta; and the National Archives in Washington, D.C. This year, he will also be appearing again at The Hollywood Bowl, and for the first time with the Boston Pops Orchestra in Boston and with John Williams at the Tanglewood Music Center in Lenox, Mass.
In February 2006 Osborne received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and in January 2008 he received a special award from the National Board of Review for his contributions as a film historian.
Born in Colfax, Wash., Osborne graduated from the University of Washington’s School of Journalism, appearing in local plays in his non-study hours. He eventually went to Hollywood as an actor and soon after was signed to a contract by Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz for their Desilu studios. It was Lucy who encouraged him use his journalistic skills and interest in Hollywood history to pursue writing, which he considers “the best career advice” he’s ever been given. Lucy remained a friend and mentor to him until her death.
Osborne joined the staff of the daily show-business trade paper The Hollywood Reporter in 1977 and six years later began writing the paper’s influential “Rambling Reporter” column, covering all aspects of the movie and television business. In 1982, he also began as the on-air entertainment reporter for the nightly news on Los Angeles’ KTTV. In 1987, he was signed by CBS to make daily appearances on the CBS Morning Program, and from 1986-1993, he was also a regular host of The Movie Channel cable network.
From 1981-83, Osborne served as president of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA). He has been a frequent guest on Good Morning America and other network shows; was twice a CableACE nominee for his “Osborne Report” segments for The Movie Channel; and was nominated for an Emmy as Best Host Moderator. His website is robertosborne.com.