Thursday, January 10, 2008

Hollywood Owes Part of Fortune to Death Grant

Long before the term "public relations" burst onto the scene, Johnny Grant was doing his fair share of work for the location that he loved: Hollywood. Tinseltown's No. 1 cheerleader for more than a half-century, has died. He was 84.

Grant was perhaps best known as the jolly host alongside more than 500 celebrities he inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Grant's mission in life was bringing the Tinseltown story to everyone. He hosted red carpet Oscar arrivals and Walk of Fame festivities, appeared in bit parts in movies, and produced Hollywood's annual Christmas Parade.

"I feel I have been the luckiest guy in the world," he often said. "It's been a pretty good ride."
Grant was known and well-liked by a slew of Hollywood's finest. It seems that part of the rise to stardom in Hollywood in the middle of the 20th century required a certain closeness with the fallen Grant.
Ana Martinez-Holler, a spokeswoman for the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce who has worked with Grant for 20 years, said he had had several recent health problems, including a broken bone in his back. "I had lunch with him today...we had omelets together and he said he wasn't feeling good," she said Wednesday. "I saw him walk away after lunch, and that was the last time I saw him."

"Hollywood won't be the same without him," she said.
We can't help but wonder whether Grant had a premonition that Hollywood's glitz and glamour were on the decline. There have been examples of older couples dying just hours apart. Perhaps Grant, a bachelor his whole life, couldn't go on living without his precious Hollywood Glamour-Grant.

[Yahoo! News]
[ABC News]

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