Longtime Daily Variety columnist Army Archerd died Tuesday in Los Angeles of a rare form of cancer, Variety said. He was 87.
In addition to his 52-year run as a columnist for the show business trade, Archerd spent many years as red-carpet emcee of the Academy Awards, beginning in 1958. He also was co-host and co-producer of "The People’s Choice Awards" on CBS from their founding in 1974.
He began covering entertainment on Oct. 18, 1945, and started the "Just for Variety" column in 1953. His last print column ran Sept. 1, 2005; he continued contributing to the paper and writing a blog for Variety.com until July 27 of this year.
He was the first regular TV showbiz reporter, appearing nightly on KNXT (later KCBS) with Hollywood news. He also was a regular contributor to E!’s "The Gossip Show" in the 1990s and, when "Entertainment Tonight" started, was its first on-the-scene reporter.
Archerd’s other TV credits include co-hosting the syndicated "Movie Game" and co-hosting and co-producing "The Celebrity Daredevils" and "Wildest West Show of the Stars" on CBS. Archerd also appeared as himself in more than 100 movies and TV shows.
But Archerd will be best remembered for his daily gossip column in Variety that was a must-read for years and years.
–Lisa D. Horowitz