Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Welcome Back, Robert Osborne!

After a five month absence that felt like an eternity to his many fans, Robert Osborne returns to Turner Classic Movies Thursday night.  Though Ben Mankiewicz and great guest hosts ranging from Eva Marie Saint to Leonard Maltin did an outstanding job with the primetime lineups, it will still be wonderful to welcome Bob back and have him in my home for the holidays.  I mean, Robert Osborne and December's Star of the Month William Powell...what could be better?

There are many qualities about Robert that make him so magical.  Born and raised in my own home state of Washington, he has an appealing almost Midwestern quality--much like Nebraskan Johnny Carson--that makes him so approachable.  Yet there is such an elegance and eloquence about him as well.  Some of that comes from his education and extensive career in journalism, such as his decades at The Hollywood Reporter. And some comes from his personal experience, starting his career behind the camera as an actor at Desilu Productions and segueing into an informed cinema critic.  Never truly critical, though, he always sounds as if he's simply having a conversation about the movies and stars he loves. It's that sprezzatura about Robert that makes him special.

Bob is the perfect host.  Always dressed to perfection--with the assistance of his talented wardrobe stylist, Holly Hadesty (above)--he looks the way I wish all men would.  He also channels an encyclopedic knowledge of cinema through that soothing voice of his.  Like many others in the TCM audience, Robert has given me a post-graduate education in classic cinema that I will always appreciate and treasure.  There was actually a time in my life when I was quite ill and often confined to bed, but because of the knowledge and passion that Robert shared while I watched TCM I could always feel it was time well spent.  I will never be able to thank him enough for that.

Now as I begin my own public discussions on style in cinema--both in writing and in videos in front of the camera for GlamAmor--Robert is the standard I stick to.  He frequently comes to mind.  And why not?  As his own early advocate Barbara Rush (below) described him at the last TCM Classic Film Festival, "He looked like a president and sounded like Orson Welles."  Couldn't have said it better myself.

And so...from your entire TCM family, Robert...welcome home.


Melissa Clark said...

What a lovely and touching tribute, Kimberly. It's been great seeing the outpouring of affection for Robert Osborne on the classic movie blogs this week. My own blog has been sadly ignored by me for months now, but I just had to log in again to share my own "welcome back" wishes there. Definitely a case of not knowing what you had until it's gone! TCM has been missing much of its zing these past months, and I'm very glad Mr. O will be back so soon.


Marline said...

I am so glad you shared your appreciation for the velvet-voiced silver fox, Mr. O. He IS the gold standard of cinema hosts, managing to make everything he says sound interesting without a hint of snarkiness or smarminess. I heard him say that Lucille Ball was a huge friend to him and taught him many things, some of which are surely channeled by him in his hosting duties. I'm sooo glad he's back and your lovely tribute is a fine way to welcome him. Great job, Kimberly!

Kimberly Truhler said...

Thanks for your comments, ladies, and for joining the welcome back to Robert. There's a whole movement on Twitter and Tumblr right now to send everyone's love, so I'm sure he's really feeling it. I also gave a shout out to Ben Mankiewicz...don't want him to think we didn't appreciate his performance during this challenging time at the network. TCM is lucky to have them both, and I'm looking forward to seeing Robert again tonight!

Mere said...

I love this post! I am so glad Robert Osborne is back as well! And I love the quote about his encyclopedic knowledge and his soothing voice! :)

Kimberly Truhler said...

Oh thank you, Mere! Yes, everyone is so excited to have him back...there was even a #TCMParty on Twitter that night to #welcomebackBob. :)

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