A.C. Lyles

Executive


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his over three-hour Archive interview, A.C. Lyles (1918-2013) talks about his 77-year-long association with Paramount, for which he holds the record for the longest continuously-employed person at a motion picture studio. He details his early years, and at the age of ten working at the Florida Theater in Jacksonville, part of the Paramount-Publix theater chain. He talks about meeting Paramount studio head Adolph Zukor and his continual correspondence with him, until in 1937, Lyles took the train to Hollywood and arrived at the studio gate where he expected, and was given, a job at the studio. He describes his ascent in the ranks at the studio, from working in the publicity department to producing feature films. He discusses the layout of personnel in the publicity department and talks about his work in promoting movies and establishing the "golden circle" of talented young performers. He talks about many of Paramount Pictures' notables, including Cecil B. DeMille, John Barrymore and William Holden. He speaks about Paramount's interest in television, and describes the line-up of early shows on Paramount-owned KTLA. He describes the televising and impact of the "Kathy Fiscus tragedy," which aired on KTLA in 1949. Lyles also talks about knowing and working with television luminaries including Lucille Ball, Michael Landon and DeForest Kelley. He talks about his later associations with television as the producer of Here's Boomer and consulting producer of Deadwood. Finally, Lyles discusses his association and friendship with Ronald Reagan, including his dedicated work for the Reagan Administration as advisor and liaison. Gary Rutkowski conducted the interview on August 30, 20015 in Lyles' office at Paramount Pictures in Los Angeles, CA.

"I think A.C. stands for 'awful corny,' because I am awful corny. It's going to sound very Pollyanna, but I think the greatest achievement that I have, is wanting to work for Paramount on my 10th birthday and now celebrating my 87th birthday 77 years later and still being with Paramount."

Interviewee(s)
Highlights
A.C. Lyles on his various duties at Paramount Studios working for Adolph Zukor and Cecil B. DeMille
A.C. Lyles on Michael Landon doubling DeForest Kelley on Rawhide
A.C. Lyles on producing Here's Boomer
A.C. Lyles on appearing in the feature film "The Hunt for Red October"
A.C. Lyles on Paramount's early interest in television
A.C. Lyles on how he would like to be remembered
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On being promoted from office boy at Paramount, to pairing actors on the lot with bit parts; on collecting script pages from writers at Paramount on a weekly basis, and on running the Golden Circle; on William Holden

Chapter 2

On his various duties at Paramount Studios working for Adolph Zukor and Cecil B. DeMille

Chapter 3

On associate producing Rawhide; on DeForest Kelley guest-starring on Rawhide

Chapter 4

On why he liked working in the Western genre, and on working with John Wayne and John Ford; on the number of Western features per year he was produced
On Gulf and Western taking over Paramount; on producing Here's Boomer

Chapter 5

On his friendship with Jack Webb and John Barrymore; on Lucille Ball; on his association with the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations

Chapter 6

On his greatest career achievements; on advice to an aspiring producer

Chapter 7

On the legacy of Paramount Pictures as a studio; on how he would like to be remembered
Shows

Deadwood

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A.C. Lyles on his relationship with HBO while Deadwood was running, and on show creator David Milch

Here's Boomer

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A.C. Lyles on producing Here's Boomer
A.C. Lyles on Johnny Carson plugging Here's Boomer on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, and on his friendship with Carson

Rawhide

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A.C. Lyles on DeForest Kelley guest-starring on Rawhide

Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, The

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A.C. Lyles on Johnny Carson plugging Here's Boomer on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, and on his friendship with Carson
Topics

Advice

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A.C. Lyles on advice to an aspiring producer
A.C. Lyles on advice for aspiring producers

George H.W. Bush

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A.C. Lyles on his association with the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations
A.C. Lyles on his association with the Reagan and Bush administrations

Media Consolidation

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A.C. Lyles on Gulf and Western taking over Paramount

Memorable Moments on Television

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A.C. Lyles on the early years of KTLA and the impact of the Kathy Fiscus tragedy

Ronald Reagan

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A.C. Lyles on his association with the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations
A.C. Lyles on his association with the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations

Television Industry

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A.C. Lyles on Paramount's association with the DuMont Network
A.C. Lyles on Gulf and Western taking over Paramount
A.C. Lyles on advice to an aspiring producer
A.C. Lyles on advice for aspiring producers

Television and the Presidency

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A.C. Lyles on his association with the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations
Professions

Producers

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A.C. Lyles on advice to an aspiring producer
A.C. Lyles on advice for aspiring producers
Genres

Children's Programming

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A.C. Lyles on producing Here's Boomer

Western Series

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A.C. Lyles on associate producing Rawhide
A.C. Lyles on why he liked working in the Western genre, and on working with John Wayne and John Ford
A.C. Lyles on Michael Landon doubling DeForest Kelley on Rawhide
A.C. Lyles on working as an executive consultant on David Milch's Deadwood
People

Lucille Ball

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A.C. Lyles on Lucille Ball

John Barrymore

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A.C. Lyles on his friendship with Jack Webb and John Barrymore

Cecil B. DeMille

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A.C. Lyles on working with Cecil B. DeMille at Paramount

John Ford

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A.C. Lyles on why he liked working in the Western genre, and on working with John Wayne and John Ford

William Holden

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A.C. Lyles on William Holden
A.C. Lyles on William Holden being discovered, and on the Gabor sisters

DeForest Kelley

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A.C. Lyles on DeForest Kelley guest-starring on Rawhide
A.C. Lyles on Michael Landon doubling DeForest Kelley on Rawhide

David Milch

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A.C. Lyles on his relationship with HBO while Deadwood was running, and on show creator David Milch

John Wayne

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A.C. Lyles on why he liked working in the Western genre, and on working with John Wayne and John Ford

Jack Webb

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A.C. Lyles on his friendship with Jack Webb and John Barrymore

Adolph Zukor

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A.C. Lyles on going to Hollywood to work for Adolph Zukor at Paramount

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