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Robert Osborne, the genial host of Turner Classics Movies, will be taking a three-month leave of absence effective immediately.

TCM.com reports Osborne will use the time for minor surgery followed by a three-month vacation. Osborne, 79, has hosted every one of TCM's prime-time features since the network went on the air in 1994.

In Osborne's absence, guest hosts and "friends of the network" will handle the introductions. Already scheduled are Robert Wagner (week of July 11), Jane Powell (week of July 18) and Tippi Hedren (week of July 25).


Bob Dorian and Elwood introduce Pier Paolo Pasolini's Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom

Not that I want to break Robert Osborne's rice bowl, but wouldn't it be a kick if TCM invited the original American Movie Classics anchor, Bob Dorian, to help guide viewers through a few pictures? The equally amicable and informative Dorian has been absent from the network since AMC underwent a format change in 2000. I personally miss the guy and cannot think of a better temporary replacement.

In the meantime, our thoughts and prayers for an accelerated recovery go out to that classiest of fellows, Robert Osborne.

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