Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Most Recognizable Face In Hollywood Is Gone!

Hollywood. To many it's glitz, glamour and sucess. A place filled with wanna-be actors trying to get their big break. A city with no actual mayor. But Hollywood does have a mayor albeit an honorary one. And yesterday, that Mayor who is one of the most recognizable faces in Hollywood, has died. Yes, Johnny Grant, Hollywood's honorary mayor, longtime producer of the Hollywood Christmas Parade and broadcasting pioneer, died Wednesday, according to Los Angeles police. "Johnny Grant was Hollywood's greatest star," Councilman Eric Garcetti said. "He brought Hollywood the industry and Hollywood the neighborhood together."

Grant died at his penthouse apartment in the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. He been one of Hollywood's most enthusiastic supporters for more than 50 years. Grant most recently was head of the Hollywood Walk of Fame committee, which determines star nomination selections. As honorary mayor, Grant presided over many unveilings of stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the last coming Friday for the late actress Elizabeth Montgomery.The Academy Of Television Arts And Sciences paid tribute to grant in 1988 -- awarding him the highest honor of the governor's award. Grant also served for 20 years as the producer of the Hollywood Christmas parade.

Grant is believed to have made the most overseas tours to entertain U.S. troops, 60, with the final one coming last month to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. "The USO and military has been a big part of my life, ever since WWII, when as a GI, I emceed a show and introduced Bob Hope," Grant said before leaving for Cuba. "He encouraged me to come to Hollywood when the war was over. Hope gave me the combination to the joke file lock and sent me to March Field to stand in for him 55 years ago, and I haven't stopped since."

So today is a sad day. We lost another legend. Johnny grant got two stars in Hollywood and a street named for him. He defined class and commitment to his craft and the entertainment industry. We will miss him when celebs get their stars on the Walk of Fame and every Hollywood Christmas Parade. He not only helped usher in Hollywood's first golden age, and will be surely missed. Goodbye Johnny and Godspeed!