Bill Dudley Remembers TCM’s Robert Osborne

By Bill Dudley

Robert Osborne was a film historian. He knew everything you and I did NOT know about movies.

Growing up the small town of Colfax Washington, Robert went to the local movie theater every week. He kept diaries of all his favorite films and their stars. After he became successful, he bought the theater.

Robert would receive long standing ovations from his adoring fans at every TCM Fest he emceed.  Robert “O” knew everyone from Joan Crawford and Kim Novak to Ron Howard. 

I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Robert “O” several times at the Turner Classic Movie Festivals. He has been ill for the past 2 years, and was not present for the festival both times. The 8th annual festival is coming up in April, and I’m sure a big tribute will be in order.  

He started out as an actor when none other than Lucille Ball suggested he should use his film knowledge to be a writer. Good choice, as a long career at The Hollywood Reporter was followed by his stint as a movie host first on Showtime, and later in his signature role as our host and guide to 100 years of film on TCM.  

Robert “O” was there from the network’s beginning in 1994 until only a short time ago when illness prevented him from continuing. A close friend, David Staller said, “He made the choice to call it a day, and he wants everyone to know that he will see them at the after party.”  

Robert “O” was truly one of a kind. He will be missed greatly by millions of people !!!!

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