Army Archerd at the 1988 Academy Awards
January 13, 1922|
Bronx, New York, U.S.
|Died||September 8, 2009
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Joan Paul (1944-1969; divorced; 2 children)
Selma (Fenning) Archerd (1969-2009; his death)
Armand Andre "Army" Archerd (January 13, 1922 – September 8, 2009) was an American columnist for Variety for over fifty years before retiring his "Just for Variety" column in September 2005. In November 2005, Archerd began blogging for Variety and was working on a memoir when he died.
Archerd was born in The Bronx, New York, and graduated from UCLA in 1941. He was hired by Variety to replace columnist Sheilah Graham (former girlfriend of F. Scott Fitzgerald) in 1953. His "Just for Variety" column appeared on page two of Daily Variety and swiftly became popular in Hollywood. Archerd broke countless exclusive stories, reporting from film sets, announcing pending deals, giving news of star-related hospitalizations, marriages, and births. In 1984, he was given a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame, in front of Mann's Chinese Theater, where he had emceed dozens of movie premieres.
Archerd was Jewish and a strong proponent of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and Holocaust awareness. He was married to Selma Archerd, a former actress from November 15, 1969 until his death. They had one child and lived in Westwood, Los Angeles, California.
Archerd made four appearances on the popular, long-running game show "The Hollywood Squares" in the 1970s. His bluffs to questions from Peter Marshall became legendary, as he was able to fool contestants into believing his (often ridiculous) answers. Some say he was even better than the accepted champion in that regard, long-time participant John Davidson.
He made several appearances in TV series, like Batman (episode 39) and Marcus Welby, M.D., and films such as The Young Runaways (1968), The Outfit (1973), Won Ton Ton, the Dog Who Saved Hollywood (1976), Gable and Lombard (1976), California Suite (1978), The French Atlantic Affair (1979) and The Happy Hooker Goes Hollywood (1980).
- Some sources, including IMDb and Variety cite 1919 as his year of birth; the Social Security Death Index cites 1922
- Abcarian, Robin (2009-09-08). "Army Archerd dies at 90; Variety columnist watched over Hollywood for half a century". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2009-09-09.