I knew this day was coming. We all did. He wasn’t well for a good while. But EXPECTING a thing and actually FEELING the thing is quite a different… thing.
And so we are here today. Today is THE day. Sadly. And what helps me ( sort of…kind of ) is that I’m not alone. Many many fans of Turner Classic Movies mourn today. Whether we saw him in our homes ( via television ) or in person, got to speak to him, were hugged by him…we feel we knew him. He made us feel we knew him because there was no real wall between him and us. We loved him amiably, respectfully…completely.
When I posted this Tweet, I knew I’d be just one of the throngs of people sharing their love for Robert Osborne. I was lucky enough to meet him a few times in my life. Me, a regular person. A non~famous person. A fan.
I got the chance to be a Guest Fan Programmer for TCM’s fifteenth anniversary back in 2009. Me and fourteen other fans were selected to introduce our favorite movies with Robert. Mine was “The Letter.” Nope, I didn’t feel nervous. I should have…cameras, lights, cables, crew. But nope, I didn’t. He was kind and warm with me. I told him of seeing publicist’s John Springer’s shows where he one~on~one interviewed: Myrna Loy, Bette Davis, Joan Crawford and Sylvia Sidney ( though I missed hers. ) He remembered those outings from back in the 1970’s!!
We filmed our Intro and Outro and were to get our pix taken. I hadn’t dream he’d put his arms around me like you see in this photo. Hmmmm…what a comfy spot it was.
I attended the TCMFF for the first time in 2011. And because of Kyle Kersten, also a guest fan programmer with me, he let the good people of TCM know that I was attending the festival that year. So it was arranged that I do a brief on-air interview with Robert and also announce the next movie for tv fans at home to see. Again, I was lucky to be chosen along with other fans for this brief five minutes of fame. I went to the Roosevelt Hotel lobby to await my turn.
Yep, that speck of blue up front there…it’s me with Robert.
There was a hubbub in the lobby because Robert was interviewing Barbara Rush and Mickey Rooney and Marni Nixon. Finally finally I have my turn. Yes, he remembered me from my Guest Fan Programmer stint. I told him I travelled cross~country via Amtrak from New York to Hollywood to get to the festival. He was impressed ( or maybe agog at how boring that ride might be. It wasn’t. LOL! ) I read the teleprompter and announced the next TCM movie that was up for the folks at home: “They Made Me A Criminal.” In what felt like a blink of an eye…my brief on-camera chit chatty tv appearance with him was done. When it all ended and we were done, I boldly gave him a kiss. < Sigh! > He didn’t leave me hanging. He told the crowd I was a guest programmer and then I held up a pix of him and I showed it to the crowd. I was flattered to be invited to speak on-camera with him again.
I never did get that photo autographed.
I know it looks like I’m stalking him. Well…he wrote a book I wanted. What could I do?
The TCM NYC sight~seeing bus tour was having its launch and again…I was so lucky to be included as one of the fans to go on this tour. And there I met him again. And yes…he did remember me. (( Gaaah!!! )) The tour was fun, but meeting him and Jane Powell was the kick of it all. Thanks to two other fans, I’ve got two fantastic photos of Robert and I that I treasure. ( Click photo above to see details of the tour. )
This is a sad day for all fans of classic films and of Turner Classic Movies. He really was the face and brand of TCM. We still do have these grand old films. But what a way to be introduced…with the sonorous voice and warm, knowledgeable presence of Robert Osborne.
~ [ H O M E ] ~