EXCLUSIVE: “In his own way, Robert Osborne’s contribution to the movies was as significant as Walt Disney or Spielberg or Cary Grant,” Alec Baldwin told Deadline on Monday about longtime the Turner Classic Movies host, who died today at age 84. Baldwin and Osborne co-hosted TCM’s weekly movie showcase/discussion series The Essentials from 2009-11.

“What they all have in common is that their work drove people to see movies, appreciate movies and celebrate movies as the great American art form that they are,” Baldwin continued. “I loved Bob, and I’m sad to see him go.”

In 2013, as part of TCM’s 20th anniversary celebration, Baldwin interviewed his longtime friend for a special Private Screenings: Robert Osborne, which was followed by a night of films picked by Osborne.

Osborne had been the face of TCM since its launch in 1994. Before that, he served as on-air host the Movie Channel from 1986-93. He also had served as main host for the TCM Classic Film Festival in Los Angeles for several years. He also was the unofficial biographer of the Oscars. His first book was 1965’s Academy Awards Illustrated, and he published The Official History of the Academy Awards — a year-by-year chronicle of the Oscars — in 1989. It has been updated every five years since.