Hollywood's unofficial mayor dies
The man known as the "honorary mayor of Hollywood" for his tireless devotion to promoting the home of the movie industry, was found dead in his penthouse hotel suite in Los Angeles, police said Thursday.
Johnny Grant, 84, was found dead in his rooms at the landmark Roosevelt Hotel and is believed to have died of natural causes. He was best known for managing the Hollywood Walk of Fame induction ceremonies, organizing the Hollywood Christmas Parade and being a friend to the stars.
"There will never be anyone who loved Hollywood as much as he," actress Angie Dickinson told local TV station KCAL.
In keeping with the tradition he started, flowers were to be laid at his star on the Walk of Fame. According to the Los Angeles Times, he asked for his ashes to be buried at the famous Hollywood sign overlooking Los Angeles.
Grant, who always wore glasses and a beaming smile, was named the honorary mayor of Hollywood in 1980, even though the filmmaking hub isn't officially a city, only a community of Los Angeles.
The position was the main role of Grant's life, even though he had claimed a brief role in the classic 1954 movie White Christmas, where he played a TV host who helped Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye honour their old general. He was the host of the 1940s game show Stop the Clock and a tireless organizer of entertainment shows for US troops in Vietnam and Korea.
Grant even received his own star on the Walk of Fame in 1987 in between Zsa Zsa Gabor's and bandleader Glenn Miller's. ( Dpa )