-- Army Archerd, noted for his interviews with stars arriving at the Academy Awards, announced Thursday he was giving up the column he has written in the Hollywood trade paper Daily Variety for 52 years, although he plans to continue reporting on the entertainment industry.
Archerd, 83, said he will "still be fully employed" and expects to continue covering major events. He also plans to keep covering the Oscars and work on his memoirs. "I just won't have the pressure of deadlines," he said.
Archerd's column had been required reading for producers, agents, actors, directors, publicists and others in the film and television industries. He prides himself on never having to issue a retraction in his column, "but I have been asked to retract the truth I have printed," he said happily.
Archerd believes he can still be of service to Daily Variety, noting, "I have so many contacts all over the world." Indeed, his Rolodex has long been the envy of practically everyone in the entertainment industry.
While studying at UCLA, young Armand Archerd was introduced to the movie world when he began delivering mail to Paramount Studios. After Navy service in World War II, he returned to Los Angeles and was hired by the Associated Press to assist with a Hollywood column.
In 1953 he was chosen to write the "Just for Variety" column for Daily Variety. He started his Oscar arrival interviews that same year.
Archerd scored his biggest scoop in 1985 when he was the first to report that actor Rock Hudson had AIDS.
He reflected Thursday on his beginnings as a reporter: "Everything old is new again. When I was with AP, we had deadlines all the time. The news had to get on the wire right away. Now I'm doing the same thing. I write a story and put it right on the Daily Variety Web site."