Robert Osborne, our host for the festival, was the prime time anchor of the Turner Classic Movies television network and has been since the channel was launched in April of 1994.
He was also a columnist-critic for the daily film industry trade paper The Hollywood Reporter, and was the author of a dozen books, including 80 YEARS OF THE OSCAR, an updated version of his history of the Academy Awards written at the request of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and recently published by Abbeyville Press.
Born in Colfax, Washington (population 2500), Osborne attended college in Seattle at the University of Washington, graduating from their School of Journalism and soon after found himself in California, under contract to Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz at their Desilu Studios in Hollywood.
After appearances in several TV productions including the pilot for THE BEVERLY HILLBILLIES and a daytime ABC soap opera called THE YOUNG MARRIEDS followed by a long stage tour with Bob Cummings in a play called GENERATION, Osborne’s brewing enthusiasm to be a journalist resurfaced and he joined the staff of the Hollywood Reporter in 1977, and he remains one of their prominent columnists to this day.
Television – but this time as a journalist and entertainment reporter – then again became a part of his life when, in addition to his work as a daily columnist, he joined the staff of Los Angeles’ KTTV Channel 11 as a nightly on-camera entertainment news reporter.
Later he had a regular spot for a year on the CBS Morning Program and for several years on cable’s The Movie Channel. Then came Ted Turner and Robert’s association with Turner Classic Movies.
In January 2008, Osborne was presented the National Board of Review’s William K. Everson award for his work as a film historian, an honor presented him by Lauren Bacall.
In February 2009, for the fifth time, he was on the red carpet at the 81st Oscar ceremonies in Hollywood as the Academy’s official host for the event, greeting, announcing and interviewing the attending celebrities.
He also has to his credit a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, located at 1617 Vine Street where it was dedicated on Feb. 1, 2006