Very nice profile in the New York Times this week of Robert Osborne, the genial longtime host of Turner Classic Movies — and did you know he’s a University of Washington graduate? A native of Colfax, Washington, the 82-year-old Osborne has been introducing movies on TCM for 20 years — since TCM’s first broadcast. As they say, what he doesn’t know about movies isn’t worth knowing. Fun fact: He lives in New York in a building called the Osborne, and occasionally has telephone chats with his friend Olivia de Havilland — who’s now 98. As for Osborne’s TCM longevity, well . . .
He expressed gratitude for TCM’s reassurances during his last contract negotiation, and said he planned to work “as long as I have health, and as long as I think I look O.K. on camera.” He added, “If I really couldn’t do it with enthusiasm, that would be the time to quit.”
Mr. Osborne knows his good fortune. He is paid well and widely loved for doing what he would be doing no matter what: watching, researching and talking about movies. That wistful trace in his voice comes from a regret that TCM did not arrive soon enough for so many actors to know how their work has endured.
“When I knew Barbara Stanwyck, she was dead in the water, and she knew it,” he said of the great actress, who died in 1990. “My God, I wish she was still around.”
He’s a treasure. Read the whole article here.