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Celebrating 25 Years of TCM
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Celebrating 25 Years of TCM - 4/29


Robert Osborne (1932-2017), the beloved host of Turner Classic Movies, recalled a few years before his death that, "It's been quite a wild ride since April 14, 1994, when Ted Turner stood on a podium on an island in the middle of New York's Time Square and threw a switch that launched the channel nationwide." As we celebrate our 25th anniversary, the adventure continues with exciting events including this month's TCM Classic Film Festival, a TCM Classic Cruise in October and, of course, the channel's nonstop outpouring of classic cinema.

In honor of this special anniversary and Robert Osborne's memory, we present six TCM specials including the premiere of Best of Private Screenings (2019), a compilation of segments from his series of intimate interviews over the years. The series began in 1995 and continued through 2014 for a total of 28 interviews. Robert's longtime friend, actress/singer Jane Powell, was his first guest in a lineup that included such top stars and filmmakers as Jane Fonda, Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, Anthony Quinn, Debbie Reynolds, Esther Williams, Stanley Donen and Walter Mirisch.

Private Screenings: Robert Osborne (2014) was the final entry in the series and turned the tables on our host by having actor Alec Baldwin, who served as co-host on TCM's The Essentials, interview Osborne himself. In addition to his banter with Baldwin, the episode features photographs from Osborne's personal collection, shots from his early acting work and clips from his interviews with such colorful personalities as Betty Hutton, Robert Mitchum and Mickey Rooney.

Robert Osborne's 20th Anniversary Tribute (2015) is a celebration that took our host by surprise at the 2014 TCM Classic Film Festival on the stage of Hollywood's Montalban Theatre. During a Q&A session with fans, Osborne was interrupted by Jeopardy host Alex Trebek, who proceeded to conduct a surprise tribute on the occasion of Osborne's 20th anniversary with TCM. In "This Is Your Life" style, Trebek introduces various family members and friends to the stage. Joining Osborne relatives are such longtime associates as fellow hosts Ben Mankiewicz and Alec Baldwin, plus celebrity guests Eva Marie Saint, Diane Baker, Robert Wagner and his wife, Jill St. John. Michael Feinstein performs a favorite Osborne tune, "The More I See You," from the 1945 film Diamond Horseshoe.

Private Screenings: Liza Minnelli (2010) finds Osborne interviewing the Oscar-winning actress/entertainer as she reminisces about her own life and career, as well as her celebrated parents, performing legend Judy Garland and much-lauded film director Vincente Minnelli.

Live from the TCM Classic Film Festival: Sophia Loren (2016) is an interview special from the 2015 event in which the younger of Loren's two sons, Edoardo Ponti, engages her in an intimate 65-minute conversation. Before a live audience, mother and son discuss Loren's career and life, including her early years in World War II-era Naples, Italy.

Live from the TCM Classic Film Festival: Norman Lloyd (2016) is a record of another interview from the 2015 Festival. This one is conducted by TCM host Ben Mankiewicz of Lloyd, the actor/producer/director whose career spans nine decades and covers every facet of entertainment including theater, radio, movies and television. Lloyd, who earned the title of "Oldest Working Hollywood Actor," was 100 at the time of the interview.

by Roger Fristoe