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  • Writer's pictureCarrie Specht

TCM to Honor Leonard Maltin with Robert Osborne Award in Hollywood, April 21-24, 2022

The TCM (Turner Classic Movies) Robert Osborne Award bears the name of the movie channel's late prime time host who was, for all intents and purposes, the face of the network. The award recognizes an individual who has helped keep the cultural heritage of classic film alive for future generations. This April, at the 2022 Turner Classic Movies Film Festival (TCMFF), TCM will present the third award to Leonard Maltin, one of the world’s most respected film critics and historians.

The Robert Osborne Award was first presented in 2018 at the ninth annual TCM Classic Film Festival. The award is named in honor of the first anchor of TCM, who had only just recently passed away. Osborne shared his passion for twenty-four years at TCM "introducing" millions of viewers to the world of classic movies. Hundred of thousands of fans had come to adore Osborne's eloquence and charm.

Even before Osborne's association with TCM he dedicated his life to sharing his vast knowledge of the history of the movies. The annual recipients of the award uphold the same reverence for the heritage of cinema. The first two awards previously presented went to Martin Scorsese (a well-known advocate of restoration) and Kevin Brownlow (an Honorary Academy Award recipient for film preservation). Both men are excessively worthy of praise for their philanthropic efforts in promoting the need to build and maintain cultural libraries dedicated to an art form import to the world over.

“I am thrilled that the TCM Classic Film Festival will be returning to Hollywood in 2022 and that we’ll have the opportunity to celebrate... legitimate legends in-person,” said Ben Mankiewicz, TCM primetime anchor and official host of the TCM Classic Film Festival. Mankiewicz said, “...Leonard Maltin continues to be an indispensable source of film knowledge. His books were IMDB and Wikipedia in a pre-internet age. If you didn’t have a copy - or six - of Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide, you weren’t a serious film buff. He made information about movies accessible and compelling to millions of fans. I know because I was one.”

Maltin is perhaps best known for his Movie Guide, and as one of the world’s most respected film critics and historians. His widely-used reference work and its companion volume, Leonard Maltin’s Classic Movie Guide, as well as his 30-year run on television’s Entertainment Tonight, have made him a well-known public figure. His high profile brings much needed attention to a part of cultural history that is often over-looked simply because of its mass appeal to all ages. However, Maltin has made it clear time and again that every movie, regardless of popular opinion, is a significant contribution to the history of cinema.

His impressive credentials include serving two terms as President of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, an appointment on the National Film Preservation Foundation Board of Directors, hosting and co-producing the popular Walt Disney Treasures DVD series, and his appearance on innumerable television programs and documentaries. His list of recognitions is just as impressive with an award from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, the American Society of Cinematographers, the Telluride Film Festival, the George Eastman House, the Anthology Film Archives, and even from San Diego’s Comic-Con International. The man is respected across all media!

Having had the opportunity to interview the living legend on the TCMFF red carpet, I have experienced in person the vivacious ball of energy that is Leonard Maltin. He is the nicest, sweetest man I've ever met within the film industry. He's as upbeat and and genial as you'd expect, and very gracious to every fan who approaches. I've seen it first hand again and again at the festival, on the TCM Cruise, back stage at the TCM Atlanta studios, and even at private industry screenings at which I have had occasion to attend. And every time, Maltin is sincere in his effusiveness about all things cinematic. This is a man who truly loves his professional calling.

Maltin's shares his passion with the next generation by teaching classes at the USC School of Cinematic Arts, and hosts a weekly podcast “Maltin on Movies” with his daughter Jessie. Unlike many of his peers, he is extremely savvy with social media, holding accounts on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. And he continues to prolifically write about his favorite subject. His latest book is Starstruck: My Unlikely Road to Hollywood. His other books include Hooked on Hollywood, The 151 Best Movies You’ve Never Seen, Of Mice and Magic: A History of American Animated Cartoons, and The Great Movie Comedians, The Disney Films, and The Art of the Cinematographer.

In conjunction with the honors at the event, Maltin will introduce a screening of the 1933 John Barrymore vehicle, Counsellor at Law (1933). If you're at the forthcoming festival, I highly recommend you make time in your schedule for this particular screening. Take my word for it, there's nothing like a Maltin introduction to give you a greater understanding and increase your fondness for any film. And his cheery attitude and friendly demeanor will stay with you through out the rest of the day. How can you miss out on that?

To learn more, visit the festival's official website, Festival passes for the annual event are currently on sale, with Early Bird pricing in place only until December 10th.


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