Legendary Hollywood Insider And Paramount Pictures Ambassador A.C. Lyles Has Died At The Age Of 95, Highlight Hollywood News
Legendary publicist, who never came to office without a beautiful suit, something I’m often accused of, and producer A.C. Lyles, who in recent years has served as the studio ambassador at Paramount Pictures in Hollywood died Friday at age 95. A.C. had the most elegant office in Hollywood, with the exception of the late Aaron Spelling. His office walls adorned with photographs of every era in Hollywood, proving his longevity at the studio that once was the crown gem of Hollywood.
Lyles worked for Paramount since he was ten years old, longer than any other employee in the history of that studio. He first went to work more than 80 years ago in the Paramount mailroom when Adolph Zukor ran the studio. He was a publicist for many years before making a transition to producing for the studio.
Andrew Craddock Lyles was born in Jacksonville, Fla., and first met Zukor while he was working as an usher at the Florida Theater, then owned by Paramount. He finally saved enough money to move to Los Angeles in 1938. After two years in the mailroom, Lyles moved to the publicity and advertising department. He eventually supervised advertising.
He started producing in 1967 with Short Cut to Hell, the only movie ever directed by James Cagney. He went on to produce low-budget movies, mostly Westerns.
After leaving the studio for a short time, he returned to work in television. He worked on ABC’s Afterschool Specials and the CBS Festival of Lively Arts for Young People as well as the A Christmas for Boomer special in 1979. When Paramount produced a series of NBC World Premiere movies in the 1970s, Lyles was a producer on several films including Flight to Holocaust.
As recently as 2006, he was credited as a consulting producer on the HBO Western Deadwood.
Lyles was honored in 1990 by the Boy Scouts of America with its Jimmy Stewart Good Turn Award, and he has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 1992, he was honored by Hollywood publicists as a founding member of their guild.
In his final years, Lyles served as an ambassador at large for the studio, often meeting with visitors and dignitaries who came to the Hollywood lot. And he did so with dignity and a sparkling smile on his face.
Longtime mutual friend, Bernie Shine, shared gracious words about Lyles. “AC Lyles was a former neighbor of mine and old school gentleman. He and his wife, Martha, were dog people. His good looks, impeccable wardrobe, and wonderful personality were the essence of style and grace. He, like the 1950s Thunderbird he drove, were American classics,” said Bernie Shine. Who reminded Highlight Hollywood, that A.C. drove loved his Thunderbird, and drove for as long as he was able. [Photograph of Bernie Shine and Mr. Lyles at the premiere of the Gregg Barson documentary of Jerry Lewis, “Method to the Madness”, taken on December 8, 2011 at Paramount Studios.
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Written By: Tommy Lightfoot Garrett
Photographs are Courtesy: Paramount Pictures
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