Celebrity News

Hollywood's "Mayor" Johnny Grant Dies at 84

By:
Jan 10, 2008 | 3:56am EST

Hollywood's honorary mayor Johnny Grant has died at the age of 84.

Grant--one of the movie industry's most enthusiastic supporters for over 50 years--passed away on Wednesday evening in his room at the Roosevelt Hotel in Los Angeles.

According to the Los Angeles police department, Grant, who was a lifelong bachelor and permanent resident at the hotel, was found dead on his bed. His death is believed to be of natural causes.

Grant started his career in 1939 hosting a local radio show in his hometown of Goldsboro, North Carolina. He went on to join the army air corp. during World War II, presenting a radio program in New York aimed at servicemen, and featuring interviews with entertainment stars of the day.

After his discharge he stayed in the city working as a reporter for radio station WINS--going on to host the first national telethon with Bing CrosbyBob Hope and Frank Sinatra in 1952.

In 1954 Grant moved to Hollywood, landing a role in White Christmas alongside Crosby. He also had a part with William Bendix in The Babe Ruth Story before playing himself in 1966's The Oscar.

Grant expanded into television and was well known for revitalizing the Hollywood Christmas Parade after he signed on as a parade producer in 1978.

He also hosted a variety of high-profile TV shows and was awarded two coveted Emmy awards for his achievements in the industry--as well as the title of honorary mayor of Hollywood, which he was given in 1980 by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce.

Grant was also chairman of the Hollywood Walk of Fame Committee and oversaw the induction of over 500 stars into the legendary strip.

COPYRIGHT 2008 WORLD ENTERTAINMENT NEWS NETWORK LTD. All Global Rights Reserved.

More Celebrity News
 
comments powered by Disqus