American film historian and TCM on-air personality Robert Osborne has died, the network said Monday.
“All of us at Turner Classic Movies are deeply saddened by the death of Robert Osborne,” said TCM general manager Jennifer Dorian in a statement. "Robert was a beloved member of the Turner family for more than 23 years."
Osborne, 84, had been with the Turner-owned, classic movie channel since its inception as a host of its nightly movie telecasts, and in 2006 co-hosted the network’s The Essentials series. Osbourne, who acted in several TV shows in the 1950s and 1960s, including The Beverly Hillbillies, was also an accomplished television journalist and author.
Turner’s statement reads as follows:
“All of us at Turner Classic Movies are deeply saddened by the death of Robert Osborne. Robert was a beloved member of the Turner family for more than 23 years. He joined us as an expert on classic film and grew to be our cherished colleague and esteemed ambassador for TCM.
"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. 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.
"Our thoughts and prayer are with his family and friends at this time."