Dear Army is gone, coincidentally and appropriately, just as the Century of Hollywood has ended.
That was Army’s Century, where he told us mostly good things about good people. He made almost every weekday better for us because we learned something constructive and heartening.
When I met Army around 1949, he was "leg man" for columnist Harrison Carroll at the Los Angeles Herald-Express, coming out to 20th Century-Fox on Fridays to visit the sets, get news from the stars, and make the lives of us publicists better. I visited him in his $12,000 Sherman Oaks tract home, where he turned down an offer to join a film production company as an officer because he felt it would conflict with his standards as an objective newsperson.
Friends of Army included Fox PR head Harry Brand, Darryl and Richard Zanuck, David Brown, Gregory Peck, Marilyn Monroe (I arranged for the photo of them together which today accompanies his Internet column, shot on the "Seven Year Itch" set), Julie Andrews, Blake Edwards, Angie Dickinson, composer-conductor Alfred Newman, publicists Chuck Panama, Jerry Pam, Mike Gerety, Gene Schwam, Murray Weissman, Mike Casey, Leonard Morpurgo, the late Warren Cowan, industry figures Sid Ganis, Bradford Brown, A.C. Lyles, Bruce Davis, the late Dennis Weaver, John Pavlik and Gil Cates. And literally thousands more…
Selma brought extra joy into Army’s life, and just 10 weeks ago he phoned to tell me that she had had a stroke the night before (when, coincidentally, again, we had seen them at the Junior Philharmonic Orchestra performance at the Disney Hall where they were introduced that evening two hours earlier).
Well, the Hollywood we loved is gone, and so is the dear, talented author-chronicler who brought it to us. May he rest in peace, and may what he gave us inspire us to try to live up to his standards.
Good-bye, dear Army.