Bob Dorian Dies: Presenter of Classic Movies on AMC, was 85

Renowned actor, magician, and trailblazing television host, Bob Dorian, also known as The Amazing Dorian, passed away at the age of 85 on June 15, as confirmed by his family. He will be deeply missed.

Dorian, initially an actor and magician (known as the Amazing Dorian), gained recognition for his work as a voice actor in Sam Raimi’s The Evil Dead (1981) where he featured on a tape recorder that brought back a demon. He also starred in AMC’s first original television series, Remember WENN, which debuted in 1996 and was set in the late 1930s at a fictional radio station in Pittsburgh. Furthermore, he made appearances in Woody Allen’s films, namely The Curse of the Jade Scorpion (2001) and Hollywood Ending (2002).

Melissa Parish, daughter of the late Mr. Dorian, has confirmed his passing. Although details regarding the cause and location of his death have not been disclosed, it is known that he resided in Palm Coast, Florida. Mr. Dorian rose to fame as the leading figure of AMC for 16 years until the channel shifted its focus to original series such as “Mad Men” and “Breaking Bad.” He served as a prominent host before Robert Osborne’s arrival at Turner Classic Movies a decade later. With Mr. Osborne’s passing in 2017, the industry has lost two of its brightest stars.

From an inviting set complete with Hollywood memorabilia, Mr. Dorian presented beloved films from the 1930s, 40s, and 50s. Alongside entertaining anecdotes, he satisfied the cravings of avid movie enthusiasts with recollections of timeless classics, low-budget B-movies, and thrilling serials.

Dorian, a seasoned performer hailing from Brooklyn, has graced the stage, radio, television and film. He has made notable appearances in Hollywood hits such as Woody Allen’s Hollywood Ending and The Curse of the Jade Scorpion. In addition, his voiceover work in Sam Raimi’s 1981 horror classic, The Evil Dead, will send shivers down your spine as he brings to life an archaeologist whose tape-recorded readings from an ancient text awaken a demon.

Dorian had a recurring role on AMC’s Remember WENN and is widely recognized for serving as American Movie Classics’ first prime-time host. Originally launched as a premium channel in 1984, the network specialized in classic movies. Dorian’s hosting added an extra touch of comfort to the presentation, providing Hollywood history and entertaining behind-the-scenes trivia from the comfort of a living room.

Throughout his tenure at AMC, Mr. Dorian simultaneously pursued an acting career. Notably, he featured in multiple episodes of “Remember WENN,” AMC’s pioneering scripted series centered around a radio station in Pittsburgh during the 1930s. Additionally, Mr. Dorian played Uncle Henry and the Winkie general in the 1998 adaptation of “The Wizard of Oz” at Madison Square Garden’s Theater, while also serving as an understudy for Mickey Rooney’s portrayal of the Wizard.

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