ROBERT OSBORNE ~ TCM HOST

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   ]  ~

35 thoughts on “ROBERT OSBORNE ~ TCM HOST

    • Hello Jenni…hard to write about him without seeming like I’m showing off. He was such an understated man. This is a sad day, somehow strangely comforting to see Social Media all abuzz with his name and photos of him with adoring fans. Sad. I appreciate you stopping by and making a comment. Lets keep those classic films alive.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Well stated, CineMaven. I was there in 2011. Everything was so right. I squeeze your hand and give you a hug to commemorate a wonderful time gone by and a fabulous gentleman we all shared for so many memorable years… Max

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello MAXIE!!! Wait…did we sit near each other for “THE CONSTANT NYMPH” screening where I was slobbering puddle of tears? [ Correct me if I’m wrong. ] How ARE you? Poor Robert. Poor US. We are the ones who’ll be sorely missing him. Take good care, Max.

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  2. Theresa,
    Thanks for sharing your personal memories of Robert Osborne yes you were indeed so very lucky!

    I met you at my first TCMFF last year, but two years too late to meet Robert. Hope to see you and all TCMFF folks next month. It will be hard but we have to continue to treasure our Classic Films and by doing so we honor Robert Osborne.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Lori….Thanks for reading my brief brush with Robert Osborne. We met, ey? Which year? Gosh, I don’t remember. Ha!! Obscure movie stars who died sixty years ago…I remember. GO FIGURE!! If you see me at this year’s fest next month…come up to me. Grab me by my locs and say: “I’m LORI!” What a bittersweet festival this will be.

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  3. Such wonderful memories for you, thanks for sharing them. I’m sorry I never got to meet Robert but he was a welcome guest in my house just about every night. I”ll sure miss him.
    And yes, Amtrak time is not the same as normal time. People who haven’t traveled by train don’t understand. : )

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is a beautiful post, Theresa. As you may know, because I have a tendency to dwell on it, I missed my chances to speak with Mr. Osborne. I thought I would have another chance. It never happened. Thank you for sharing your awesome story and photos.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Paula…yes I have heard you mention that missed opportunity. I hope you let that be a life’s lesson for you. If you see an opportunity take it. Make it happen. We don’t know if we get a second chance. Something UNmovie~related is haunting me…a chance I didn’t take. Thank you Paula. I appreciate the compliment.

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    • Hi there Toni. I was indeed really lucky to have had my brushes with Robert Osborne, and am pretty blown away by people’s response to my encounters. And I know…it’s all due to him. Thank you Toni for taking the time to stop by here. Thanks!

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  5. Hi Theresa. Thank you for this post. Living in England, I have sadly never had the chance to see the US TCM channel. I have heard many good things about it from American friends though, and they all loved Robert Osborne. Thank you for sharing your memories and photos of your time with him. TCM truly sounds like a classic fans channel, and from what I’ve heard he really helped make it such. R.I.P. Robert Osborne. Maddy

    Liked by 1 person

    • ‘Ello there Maddy. I know my European friends says TCM in Europe sucks if they even get it at all. Robert Osborne was the personification and brand like I’ve never known a brand to be. With him gone…I wonder if now the flood gates will open for skewing TCM towards a younger audience? If you like classic films, hearing Osborne’s commentary introducing a film was just a comforting bookend before and after the movie. Thank you Maddy for reading and sadly enjoying this particular blog post of mine. All the way in England, ey? Gee.Take good care.

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  6. Truly heartbreaking. Robert Osborne was a true role model to me. I have my heart set on being a film historian and he exhibited such passion, grace, and care towards classic Hollywood. He was the best link we had to that world. Gorgeous tribute.

    By the way, Theresa, did you realize that TCM put you in one of its tribute videos to Mr. Osborne? You can see it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sGMV2qcsLQA

    Just thought you’d like to know!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Robert Osborne was the epitome of what you say Michaela…”passion, grace and care towards classic Hollywood.” Well~said. ( Sorry I didn’t reply sooner. My laptop was in the shop. Grrr!! )

      And yes…yes I did see that I had the distinct honor of being included in TCM’s video tribute to Robert. To be linked to him in this way is just an incredible honor. Thanks for posting the YouTube clip of it. It’s a lllllll about Robert, isn’t it. Thanks for your comments.

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