Army Archerd, whose 52-year run as a Daily Variety columnist made him unique among showbiz reporters, died Tuesday in Los Angeles of a rare form of mesothelioma, a lung cancer thought to be the result of his exposure to asbestos in the Navy during WWII. He was 87.
He began covering entertainment on Oct. 18, 1945, and started the “Just for Variety” column in 1953. His last column ran on Sept. 1, 2005, but he continued contributing to the paper and launched his Variety.com blog on Sept. 21, 2005. His last blog post was on July 27, 2009.