Posted: 2:49 p.m. Monday, Sept. 30, 2013
When a dapper A.C. Lyles would walk across the Paramount Pictures lot wearing a snappy suit and always a pair of cufflinks, tourists would inevitably ask, “Who is that?”
Most of the RumorFix staff has met him and we can all say he was truly magical.
A.C. died in his Los Angeles home Friday night at the age of 95.
He is the longest employee in the history of Paramount — spanning more than 85 years. He started at the age of 10 passing out fliers for a Paramount-owned theater in his hometown of Jacksonville, Florida.
A.C. always dreamed of coming to Hollywood and he often told the Paramount pages about how he got here.
He says he wrote for his local newspaper and flew to Hollywood in 1938 to do an interview with Shirley Temple,afterward he went straight to the gates of Paramount Pictures and asked to see studio founder Adolph Zukor, whom he had sent a letter to.
The way he tells the story — he got in those gates and never left.
A.C. got hired in the mail room, later became the youngest publicist at a studio and then became known for producing B-movie westerns in the 1960s including Young Fury and Waco.
His list of famous friends is long — fom James Cagney to Marilyn Monroe to Cary Grant to Bob Hope. He was asked to eulogize Donald O’Connor and he was best man at Ronald Reagan’s first wedding.
In his final years, Lyles served as an ambassador at large for the studio, meeting with visitors, dignitaries and any pretty lady who visited the lot.