Donald Bogle, a celebrated film historian who is known for his work on pioneering Black artists, is set to receive the Robert Osborne Award in April at the Turner Classic Movies Classic Film Festival in Los Angeles.
The festival’s Robert Osborne Award, named for the longtime TCM anchor who died in 2017, honors individuals’ endeavors to keep classic film’s cultural heritage alive.
Receiving the fourth annual award, Bogle’s work has documented the achievements and struggles of Black artists. Covering stars from Paul Robeson to Sidney Poitier to Halle Davis and Whoopi Goldberg, the historian’s work spans decades in the industry. His book “Toms, Coons, Mulattoes, Mammies, and Bucks: An Interpretive History of Blacks in American Films” won the Theater Library Association Award for film. His other works include “Dorothy Dandridge: A Biography,” “Heat Wave: The Life and Career of Ethel Waters,” “Brown Sugar: Over a Hundred Years of America’s Black Female Superstars” and his recent “Hollywood Black: The Stars, The Films, The Filmmakers.”
Bogle has also commentated on documentaries and TV programs such as PBS’ “The African-Americans: Many Rivers to Cross,” and his articles have been featured in publications such as Film Comment, Ebony, Elan and Essence.
Bogle previously served as co-host and commentator with Osborne for TCM’s 2006 series “Race and Hollywood” and has been a principal film historian in TCM’s annual film festival.
“For more than five decades, Donald Bogle has been shining a light on the influence Black artists have had on cinema since the dawn of the medium. There has been no more important historian for the contributions of African Americans in Hollywood, making him the perfect candidate for the Robert Osborne Award,” said Ben Mankiewicz, TCM primetime anchor and film festival host. “We have relied on his extensive film knowledge on air and at the Festival for nearly 20 years, and I can confidently say that Bogle is the only writer I’ve worked with to have had a book optioned by Whitney Houston.”
Osborne was a respected Hollywood historian, TV host, author and actor who served as the primetime host and anchor of TCM for more than 20 years, from the channel’s inception in 1994.
Bogle will receive the honor at this year’s TCM Classic Film Festival before a screening of the film that ignited his fascination with cinema: 1954’s “Carmen Jones.” The 14th TCM Classic Film Festival is set to take run April 13-16, centered at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.