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Paramount Lifer A.C. Lyles Dead at 95

6/12/2014

By TheWrap Staff
TheWrap

A.C. Lyles, who worked for Paramount in some capacity for more than 80 years and still kept an office on Melrose, has died, studio insiders said Monday. He was 95.

Lyles died Friday in Los Angeles.

Starting at Hollywoods archetypal bottom rung the mailroom Lyles worked his way up to publicity and advertising, where he toiled for decades before going on to produce both movies and television shows, nearly all of them at Paramount. Affable and gregarious, Lyles became the companys de facto goodwill ambassador and resident expert on studio history through the years.

Born in Florida, his first official job was as an usher and page boy at the then Paramount-owned Florida Theater, where he met studio head Adolph Zukor. Lyles kept in touch with Zukor until he saved enough money to move to Los Angeles in 1938.

Zukor gave Lyles a mailroom job, though he also took on gopher duties for the studio boss, including showing studio visitors around the Melrose lot. He was promoted to publicity a couple of years later, serving in several capacities until 1957, when he got his first producing credit for James Cagneys directorial debut, the low-budget gangster film Short Cut to Hell.

From there he went on to produce dozens of low-budget movies and TV series, many of them Westerns. His most recent credit was as a consulting producer on HBOs Deadwood.

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