“Hello, and welcome to Turner Classic Movies. I’m Robert Osborne. Tonight…”
This or something like it was what you could expect to hear kicking off your classic movie night at TCM. No matter the time or the movie, you always felt like Osborne was greeting you into his home to personally share one of his favorite films with you. He shared his vast knowledge of cinema history without ever sounding patronizing or snooty. He was just a big fan like the rest of us. Always genuine, always excited. He made you feel welcome and cozy as you spent a night wrapped up in a blanket, with a bowl of popcorn in your lap, while a film festival was broadcasted into your home.
No matter my mood I always felt safe tuning in to watch Osborne talk about movies, and I looked forward to seeing him just as much the films themselves. It was a place I could escape to when life or the world seemed too grim, too scary, or just plain impossible. That place is still there, but the man of the house, our esteemed and lovely host who made sure everything was just right before we arrived for a celebration of film, is gone. I never met Robert Osborne. I wish I could’ve. Just to be able to shake his hand and tell him what he’s meant to me and so many others would’ve made me happy. I can’t do that now. But I can take comfort in remembering all that he’s done and knowing those memories will insure that, just like the films he loved and cherished so much, he and his wonderful legacy will never be forgotten.