A.C. Lyles, a producer whose affiliation with Paramount Studios spanned more than 85 years, has died. He was 95.
Lyles died Friday night at his home in Los Angeles, said his assistant Pam Gibson.
His long association with the studio began when Lyles was 10 and started handing out fliers for a Paramount-owned theater in his hometown of Jacksonville, Fla. It continued after he came to Hollywood, knocked on the famous studio gates and got a job in the mail room.
He eventually became a studio publicist and then a producer best known among western-film buffs for such B-movie westerns in the 1960s as “Young Fury” and “Waco.” He was active as a producer into his late 80s, contributing to the HBO western series “Deadwood.”
His best friends included James Cagney and Ronald Reagan, and when Reagan became president Lyles advised him on private sector initiatives.
Later in life, Lyles served as an unofficial goodwill ambassador for the studio, often entertaining audiences with his stories of stars from bygone eras. As the years passed, he was frequently called upon to deliver eulogies for his famous friends, a long list that included Bob Hope and Donald O’Connor.