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  • Carrie Specht

Leonard Maltin to Receive 3rd Annual Robert Osborne Award at the TCMFF


Film Critic and Historian Leonard Maltin has been selected to be the third recipient of what has become the Annual Robert Osborne Award. The Robert Osborne Award recognizes an individual who has helped keep the cultural heritage of classic film alive for future generations. The honor is being bestowed upon Maltin for his significant contribution to film history and preservation. The award will be presented during the 11th Annual Turner Classic Movies Classic Film Festival in April, 2020 during a screening of one of his favorite films, the 1933 William Wyler directed Counsellor at Law (1933).

As an author, Maltin is best known for his reference work, "Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide" and its companion, "Leonard Maltin’s Classic Movie Guide". He's also well-known by television audiences for his 30-year run on Entertainment Tonight. Maltin has also served two terms as President of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, is a voting member of the National Film Registry and was appointed by the Librarian of Congress to sit on the Board of Directors of the National Film Preservation Foundation. And if that weren't enough, he's the recipient of awards from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, American Society of Cinematographers, the Telluride Film Festival, George Eastman House, Anthology Film Archives and San Diego’s Comic-Con International.


It probably goes without saying, but I'll say it anyway - the man has a very impressive resume. Maltin also takes an active, hands-on role in educating the next generation through his teaching position at the USC School of Cinematic Arts. His expertise is deferred to frequently during his regular appearances on TCM, and he has a highly popular weekly podcast, “Maltin on Movies” which he hosts with his daughter, Jessie. No wonder he's the third recipient of the Robert Osborne Award, following in the footsteps of just two others, filmmaker Martin Scorsese and preservationist Kevin Brownlow.


TCM primetime anchor, and frequent Maltin co-host, Ben Mankiewicz had this to say about Maltin, “For movie fans of a certain age - let’s say between 30 and 130 - Leonard Maltin has been an indispensable source of vital information: ‘What was it called? When was it made? Who was in it? And was it any good?’ Consistently, you’d find the answers in Leonard’s books. They set the standard for movie reference.” No doubt, Maltin's millions of fans have formed the same opinion. Many like myself grew up with one of Maltin's books sitting on the family room end table. It was right next to the remote control, and just as essential for making viewing decisions.


Charles Tabesh, senior vice president of programming, TCM concurred with Mankiewicz saying, “Leonard Maltin has been a friend to TCM for many years, and his work to make sure classic film history is accessible to everyone is a cornerstone of what TCM represents. We have relied on Leonard’s extensive film knowledge on air and at every TCM Film Festival in the past, and we are thrilled to be able to honor him with the Robert Osborne Award.” Which is a fact that can't be overstated. TCM and Maltin have had a mutual love and respect for each other since 1994. One could say, Maltin has been a godfather to TCM since day one.


Mankiewicz, went on to say, “Leonard’s knowledge and passion for the movies has spanned an entire history of cinema. Who was the greatest silent screen comedian? Leonard has an answer because he’s seen those pictures. Was 1939 really Hollywood’s greatest year? Ask Leonard. How does Once Upon A Time in Hollywood stack up against The Irishman and should Moonlight’s Oscar win over La La Land be considered an upset? Once again, ask Leonard Maltin. If Leonard doesn’t deserve the Robert Osborne Award, no one does. He’s made movie knowledge accessible to millions of film fans across the globe.”


The Award was created, and named, in honor of Robert Osborne, who for more than 22 years, served as the primetime host and anchor of TCM. Through his charm and genial presence, Osborne helped millions of viewers discover the world of classic movies. He dedicated his life to preserving and sharing the movies he loved, so that others could come to love them as much as he did. His legacy of devotion to classic films and their ability to inspire will live on through the Robert Osborne Award.



For the 11th consecutive year, thousands of movie lovers from around the globe will descend upon Hollywood for the TCM Classic Film Festival. The 2020 festival is set to take place Thursday, April 16 – Sunday, April 19, 2020. Over four packed days and nights, attendees will be treated to an extensive lineup of great movies, appearances by legendary stars and filmmakers, fascinating presentations and panel discussions, special events and more.