Eva Marie Saint Pays Tribute to Robert Osborne: "I Loved Watching Him"

Robert Osborne and Eva Marie Saint - Getty - H 2017
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The Oscar-winning actress says of her friend, who died Monday, "He was such a wonderful listener."

I was in awe of Robert Osborne, the man, and his incredible talent. Like everyone else, I loved watching him introduce classic films on TCM. But I was fortunate to also get to know him in real life by spending time with him and being interviewed by him over the years at events around the country.  

Whenever he interviewed me on stage before an audience, he made me feel comfortable and at ease. He was such a wonderful listener. He always did his homework, and his questions were original. I found myself talking about things I had never talked about before. He had great intellect and warmth. Robert was a film scholar and loved sharing his knowledge. He had been an actor, and it was obvious that he loved and respected actors. He brought out the best in anyone who was lucky enough to be interviewed by him.

My husband, the director Jeffrey Hayden, and I had such love and admiration for Robert and shared many memorable dinners with him over the years. He had a zest for life and fans from all over the world. One time, I turned to him and said, "Robert, what you do on TCM is important to so many people, including those who are elderly and alone, or in hospitals." And he said, "Eva Marie, I think about that all the time, and I am so grateful."

I adored Robert Osborne and will miss him dearly.