Film historian, television host and Hollywood Reporter columnist Robert Osborne has been selected as the Academy's 2006 red carpet celebrity greeter, Academy President Sid Ganis announced today.

Osborne will step into the slot occupied for the past four decades by Daily Variety columnist Army Archerd, who has stepped down and this year will himself be a celebrity guest of the Academy at the 78th Academy Awards.

In addition to writing a column for the Hollywood Reporter, Osborne is the prime time host of Turner Classic Movies and a frequent host of Academy events, both in New York and Los Angeles. In addition, he is the author of the Academy's official history, "75 Years of the Oscar" and hosts Robert Osborne's Classic Film Festival in Athens, Georgia.

"Robert Osborne's taking over this important Oscar night slot is perfect," Ganis said. "He's a man personally familiar with today's stars, but with a historian's knowledge of the movies and the Oscar ceremonies."

"Army became an institution on our red carpet," Ganis added. "He had done it for so long that no one, including Army, is sure when he started or how long he has introduced celebrities to the bleacher crowds. We don't even have a name for it

Evan Jacobs