Press release: The American Film Institute (AFI) announced the launch of The Osborne Collection, a celebration on AFI.com of the life and work of one of America’s foremost film historians, Robert Osborne (1932-2017). The Collection debuted on May 3, Osborne’s birthday. A true time capsule of American film history, the online collection will feature a variety of Osborne’s famous film introductions, including ones for THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES, BRINGING UP BABY, BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID, FROM HERE TO ETERNITY, THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME, NATIONAL VELVET, ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST, NORTH BY NORTHWEST, PSYCHO, A STAR IS BORN (1954), THE THIN MAN and TOP HAT. To further enrich the viewing experience, the Collection will be connected to the AFI Catalog of Feature Films, the most comprehensive chronicle of the first century of American cinema which was used as a reference for Osborne’s introductions.
In honor of the launch and in celebration of Osborne’s birthday, a conversation between TCM’s Ben Mankiewicz and The Hollywood Reporter’s Scott Feinberg exploring his work and legacy premiered on THR Presents. Watch here: https://thrpresents.hollywoodreporter.com/.
“Bob’s passion for classic film was contagious, and he generously shared that passion with the world. His pioneering tenure as TCM’s host best illustrated his encyclopedic knowledge of film history and made his name synonymous with thoughtful film introductions,” said Bob Gazzale, AFI President and CEO. “With this new Collection, AFI celebrates his impact on the world of film scholarship – and ensures that Osborne’s spirit endures at AFI.”
Featured on the new microsite are Osborne’s introductions for seven films that will be screened as part of this year’s TCM Classic Film Festival launching later this week. Titles include Hitchcock classic NORTH BY NORTHWEST, A STAR IS BORN (1954) and multiple Oscar winner ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST. The festival features more than 100 films and over 30 special guests in a new virtual experience May 6-9 on the TCM channel and HBO Max.
Osborne’s connection to AFI began in 1977 when Olivia de Havilland invited him to escort her to the AFI Life Achievement Award ceremony for Bette Davis, which left an indelible mark on the young journalist. Soon after, Osborne officially joined the staff of The Hollywood Reporter to become a daily columnist from 1982-2009 with the “Rambling Reporter” series, as well as a reviewer for movies and Broadway plays. When Turner Classic Movies (TCM) made its cable television debut in 1994, Osborne was the channel’s premier primetime host and he remained the face of TCM until his retirement in 2016. Osborne’s extensive historical research and numerous books about the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Oscar awards resulted in his eminent status as the official biographer of the Oscars and his role as the official red carpet greeter at the awards ceremonies.
The Osborne Collection can be viewed at AFI.com/Robert-Osborne.