Turner Classic Movies host and film historian Robert Osborne has died at 84.
TCM shared a touching tribute video on Monday celebrating Osborne’s contributions and achievements. “Today we say good-bye to a dear member of our TCM family,” the network wrote on Twitter. “Our thoughts are with all who love, as we do, Robert Osborne.”
A cause of death was not announced.
In the 90-second tribute, footage of Osborne spanning decades are shown as multiple people reveal how big of an impact he’s made on their lives and in the film world.
“Sometimes you meet a person who you feel like you’ve known forever, like an old friend,” said one close pal, while another spoke of Osborne’s warmth: “His personality remained as warm and as loving and as human as he was the day I first met him.”
“You’re a gift to me, you’re a gift to us all,” said another.
“Robert was embraced by devoted fans who saw him as a trusted expert and friend. His calming presence, gentlemanly style, encyclopedic knowledge of film history, fervent support for film preservation and highly personal interviewing style all combined to make him a truly world-class host,” Jennifer Dorian, General Manager of Turner Classic Movies said in a statement.
“Robert’s contributions were fundamental in shaping TCM into what it is today and we owe him a debt of gratitude that can never be repaid,” she continued. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this time.”
Celebrities like Fred Willard, Pat Sajak and Marlee Matlin took to social media to pay their respects following the sad news.
So sad to learn of Robert Osbourne's death.He was a very nice man and very kind to me. A genuine classic gentleman.Sympathy to TCM family.— Fred Willard (@Fred_Willard) March 6, 2017
So saddened by the death of Robert Osborne of @tcm. He helped spark my interest in classic films. He was a special man.— Pat Sajak (@patsajak) March 6, 2017
OH NO. A truly decent, funny & intelligent man. Loved film and made others excited about it. Was lucky to have met him. https://t.co/c8FVzRkRWu— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) March 6, 2017
Very sad to hear about Robert Osborne passing. I programmed on TCM with him in 2015 & it was a treat. He couldn't have been more charming.— edgarwright (@edgarwright) March 6, 2017
RIP Robert Osborne. Your rapturous devotion to cinema was delightfully contagious.— John Gallagher, Jr. (@JohnGallagherJr) March 6, 2017
Osborne was the longtime host of Turner Classic Movies, leading the network since 1994 to 2016, when he left due to a health issue.
His resume ncluded an uncredited 2015 cameo on Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, 1980’s The Man With Bogart’s Face and a guest spot on The Beverly Hillbillies in 2062. Osborne also wrote several official books on the Academy Awards.