Longtime Paramount producer A.C. Lyles has died. His assistant Pam Gibson tells the LA Times that Lyles died Friday night at his Los Angeles home. He was 95. Lyles was associated with Paramount for over 85 years, beginning at the age of 10 when he handed out fliers for a Paramount-owned theater in his hometome of Jacksonville, FL. He eventually made his way to Hollywood, getting a job in the Paramount mail room. He went on to become a studio publicist and producer best known for several B westerns in the 1960s including Young Fury and Waco. He continued to work as a producer into his 80s and also served as an unofficial goodwill ambassador for Paramount. He also was a longtime friend of Ronald Reagan; in 1983 the president appointed Lyles to be a member of the President’s Advisory Council on Private Sector Initiatives. Most recently Lyles worked on HBO’s Deadwood. UPDATE: Paramount’s Brad Grey sent this memo around to Paramount’s staffers announcing Lyes’ passing:
To: Paramount Employees
From: Brad Grey
It is with deep sadness I share the news that A.C. Lyles passed away this past Friday evening. A true institution at Paramount, A.C. was a man of great talent and elegance, and a legend in our industry.
Proud to be referred to as “Mr. Paramount,” A.C. was the longest serving employee in our studio’s history and a direct link to one of Hollywood’s most storied eras. For a remarkable 85 years, A.C. made Paramount his home, made us his family and always took a moment to share a story that reminded us just how fortunate we are to do the work that we do here.
It was often noted that A.C. had the shortest resume in Hollywood history: Paramount 1928 – 2013. He began his career at Paramount at the age of 10 distributing bumper stickers and handbills for Paramount’s Florida Theater. As a teenager, A.C. wrote a letter every Sunday for years to Adolf Zukor, founder and head of Paramount Pictures in Hollywood, until he secured a job at the studio. (more…)