"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."
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, when, at the age of ten, he started 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, including 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 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 such television luminaries as Lucille Ball, Michael Landon and DeForest Kelley. Lyles talks about his later associations with television as the producer of Here's Boomer and consulting producer of Deadwood. Lastly, 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 in Lyles office at Paramount Pictures in Los Angeles, CA on August 30, 2005.