In Memory of Robert Osborne

The closest I came to meeting Robert Osborne was when I sat within a hundred feet from him as he regaled the crowd before a screening at the TCM Film Festival one year. That’s how I knew the man. The owner of the soothing voice that related so many backstage stories priming you for a first-rate film. Actually, not all of the films were first-rate but his stories made them feel that way. He had a knack for sharing anecdotes that were at once informative and amusing. Like the one about John Wayne’s allergic reaction to makeup on the set of The Quiet Man. The Duke wearing makeup… and suffering for it! You have to laugh at the thought. Except the point of the story was really the budget constraints director John Ford and company were working within. In order to shoot on location in Ireland, sacrifices were made. Wayne sharing O’Hara’s makeup artist, who wasn’t familiar with his skin allergies, was just one of them. Only that’s still not the point. The point is how much care went into making the film — a labor of love for the people involved. And Osborne always knew it. He knew how much hard work and passion went into producing the movies he introduced and he made sure the audience knew it too. A man as timeless as the films he spoke of. He made the movies better.

Bye, Bob.