Army Archerd, whose breezy column for the entertainment trade publication Daily Variety kept track of the various Hollywood working in more than half a century, has died. He was the 87th
Archerd's wife, Selma, said he died Tuesday at UCLA Medical Center for mesothelioma, cancer of the lungs strongly linked to asbestos exposure. She said that cancer was a result of his time in the shipyards, while service in the Navy during World War II. She said he had been very sick the last two years, especially in the last two weeks.
Over the years, won praise from Hollywood Archerd business always check the accuracy of their news tips before you print them. He had a great phone with a heavily guarded private numbers, which he would use to call the movie stars and studio heads directly to sniff out where the rumor was true, and that was not.
His biggest scoop came in 1985 when he was the first to report that the veteran leading man Rock Hudson had AIDS. It was the first time a major Hollywood star was revealed to be an AIDS victim, and it helped break down some of the secrecy of the disease.
Archerd - Armand Archerd was born in New York in 1922 - also broke the story that Julia Roberts had jilted fiancee Keifer Sutherland in 1991 and the long-term bachelor Warren Beatty was married to Annette Bening in 1992. His source for the Beatty-Bening story was Beatty himself.
"I know it sounds like a cliche," said Selma, "but the time we spent together, it was just a wonderful life to know the most incredible people in the world is very well received by those who are running all over the world as millionaires, though we were poor.”
In more than 50 years, also served as Archerd kcheckpass interviewer at the Academy Awards. Acting nominees and other celebrities were taken on a platform at the red carpet for a brief chat with Archerd, who was consulted by thousands of fans gathered outside the theater.
"I try to give the candidates a few moments in the sun, perhaps their last," he explained in 2002.
Archerd columns were generally mild-mannered, although he could lash out at what he thought was cheating. After he excoriated Michael Jackson to include anti-Semitic remarks in his "History" album, entertainer apologized and took them out.
Archerd first brush with the studios came early in the 1940s when he worked for Paramount Mailroom while a student at the University of California, Los Angeles.
After World War II service in the Navy, he returned to Los Angeles and began his news career working with long-lasting entertainment reporter Bob Thomas on a daily
Three years later he became assistant to the Harrison Carroll, gossip columnist for the now-defunct Los Angeles Herald-examiner.
In 1953 he was chosen to Daily Variety's "Just for Variety" column to be tomorrow's reading of Hollywood's Movers and Shakers. He later went on to become one of the first journalists to be honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
His marriage to Joan Archerd, as the two children, Amanda and Evan, ended in divorce in 1969 after 25 years. He married his second wife, Selma, in 1970.
Source: Associated Press.