Army Archerd Army Archerd

Army Archerd, who covered Hollywood's elite as a Daily Variety columnist for 52 years, has died, according to the trade magazine. Archerd died Tuesday in Los Angeles after a battle with a rare form of mesothelioma cancer. He was 87.

Archerd began his career as an entertainment writer with the Associated Press in 1945. He joined Variety in 1953 and began penning his daily column, "Just for Variety," which ran until September 2005.

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For 47 years, he was also the official greeter at the Academy Awards, serving as both emcee and celebrity interviewer on the red carpet.

Archerd was one of the first writers to link AIDS to Hollywood, when he wrote a story about Rock Hudson undergoing treatment for the disease, despite the denials of his managers and publicists.

Archerd is survived by his second wife, Selma, a son and two stepsons.