Friday, May 17 marked the 95th birthday of A.C. Lyles, affectionately known in Hollywood as “Mr. Paramount” due to his long career at Paramount Pictures.
The event was hosted by Tom LaBonge, Los Angeles City Councilman, and Jimmy Pappas, the goodwill ambassador of Musso and Frank, and Special Deputy Tia Kanavos. The setting was the Old Room, where friends of A.C. gathered to renew friendships and reminiscence. Floral bouquets with a western theme topped the tables and the walls were decorated with enlarged photographs celebrating the long career of the producer of Paramount western films.
Adolph Zukor II, grandson of Adolph Zukor, founder of Paramount Studios, and Betty Lasky, daughter of pioneer film maker Jesse Lasky, recalled their long friendship with A.C. Their families founded Famous Players-Lasky Corporation, which later became Paramount Pictures. Adolph II and Betty both enjoy long friendships with Mr. Lyles. Jane Withers recalled memories that began 73 years ago.
Mayor Jimmy made a touching speech, explaining how much A.C. meant to him during his own career at Paramount. A short film biography was shown before lunch that reviewed A.C.’s long career, beginning in the 1930’s and continuing today.
Guests included friends Mickey Rooney, Rhonda Fleming, Ann Jeffreys, Jane Withers, Buzz Aldrin, Paramount executives and dozens more.
The birthday celebration was done in the grand style of old Hollywood, with Mayor Jimmy greeting the legends as they came to pay tribute to an old friend.
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Editor’s note: A.C. Lyles passed away on September 27, 2013.