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.