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Hollywood Loses A Legend

Entertainment publicists and Hollywood have lost a legend.

Army Acher (Variety image)

Army Acher (Variety image)

87-year old Army Archerd, who worked at Daily Variety for more than five decades as one of the most respected columnist died Tuesday (9-08-09) in Los Angeles. He died of a rare form of mesothelioma cancer according to the publication he worked for 52 years. The cancer reportedly was due to his exposure to asbestos in during WWII in the Navy.

Patsy and Julian Myers (VOA photo)

In 2005, the Variety Columnist hosted an Entertainment Pubicists Professional Society (EPPS) “Legends of PR on Nov. 9, 2005 Archer moderated a panel of publicity legends including Jay Bernstein, Julian Myers, Jerry Pam, Chuck Panama, Walter Seltzer, Lee Solters and Arthur Wilde on changes in Hollywood. Army Archerd was the ideal person to moderate the panel said the EPPS president.

Showbiz Reporter Archerd was one of the first writers to report on AIDS linked to Rock Hudson, even though the actor’s publicists and managers denied it, while Hudson was undergoing treatment for AIDS. Archer was also a star interviewer on the Academy Awards red carpet.

Julian and Patsy Myers

Julian and Patsy Myers

“He set high standards in Hollywood,” said 90-year old Publicist Julian Myers, LA. “Archer used to come by every Friday at Fox Studios and come away with a unique story every time.”Myers and his wife Patsy were good friends of the family, too. “I saw him a couple of months ago at the Disney Center and that night he called me to tell me his wife had a stroke, but he appeared to be in good health,” observed Myers.
Archer started covering entertainment in 1945, and began the “Just for Variety” column in 1953. His last column ran on Sept. 1, 2005, and he continued contributing to the paper and writing a blog for Variety.com until July 27 according to published reports. He appeared as himself in more than 100 movies/TV shows.
“He was in his 20’s when he worked for the LA Express, which was even before the LA Examiner newspaper,” said Myers. “He was a real gentleman, a many of integrity, quality and a great friend, who attended my 90th birthday, despite the LA Marathon traffic he had to fight. Archerd will be missed, and was really a legend in his own field in Hollywood.”
According to Variety, Archerd was, “also a strong proponent of Jewish causes. When Michael Jackson’s ‘History’ album came out in 1995, Archerd criticized Jackson for a song in which he used the words “Jew me/Sue me” and “Kike me.” A few days later, Jackson called the columnist to reveal that he would re-record the song according to Variety. Archer was also popular on radio and TV shows on KNX, KABC, KDAY and KNX-TV. Archerd was the first journalist ever to be honored with a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Archerd is survived by his wife, actress Selma Archerd, a son, Evan, two stepsons Richard Rosenblum and James Rosenblum and five grandchildren. A daughter, Amanda, died in 2008.

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