Tuesday, August 9, 2005


LOS ANGELES, California (AP) -- Army Archerd, noted for his interviews with stars arriving at the Academy Awards, announced Thursday he was giving up the column he has written in the Hollywood trade paper Daily Variety for 52 years, although he plans to continue reporting on the entertainment industry.

Archerd, 83, said he will "still be fully employed" and expects to continue covering major events. He also plans to keep covering the Oscars and to work on his memoirs. "I just won't have the pressure of deadlines," he said.

Archerd's column had been required reading for producers, agents, actors, directors, publicists and others in the film and television industries.

And he has been a great source of connections within the TV Universe thanks to his lengthy membership in the "League of Themselves", those celebrities who appear as themselves in fictional TV productions.

Here's a list of Archerd's appearances in which he played himself. (He had quite a few other series in which he played actual characters, such as the White House Press Secretary in an episode of 'Amos Burke, Secret Agent', but we're mostly interested in seeing the credit "Army Archerd as Himself".)

"77 Sunset Strip" playing "Himself" in episode: "Six Superior Skirts" (episode # 2.3) 16 October 1959

"Burke's Law" playing "Himself" in episode: "Who Killed Marty Kelso?" (episode # 1.22) 28 February 1964

"Burke's Law" playing "Himself" in episode: "Who Killed the Richest Man in the World?" (episode # 2.9) 11 November 1964

"Here's Lucy" playing "Himself" in episode: "Lucy Meets the Burtons" (episode # 3.1) 14 September 1970

'Columbo': "Forgotten Lady" (1975) Himself

More Than Friends (1978) (TV) .... Himself

The Users (1978) (TV) .... Himself

The Star Maker (1981) (TV) .... Himself

"Matt Houston" playing "Himself" in episode: "Who Would Kill Ramona?" (episode # 1.6) 31 October 1982

"Hotel" playing "Himself" in episode: "Choices" (episode # 1.2) 5 October 1983

The Ratings Game (1984) (TV) .... Himself

"Burke's Law" playing "Himself" in episode: "Who Killed the Soap Star?" (episode # 1.7) 11 March 1994

"Murphy Brown" playing "Himself" in episode: "Dick and Dottie" (episode # 8.11) 27 November 1995

"Ellen" playing "Himself" in episode: "Emma" (episode # 5.8) 19 November 1997

"Diagnosis Murder" playing "Himself" in episode: "Talked to Death" (episode # 5.18) 26 February 1998

What a fantastic collection of crossovers!

Game shows, news programs, and documentaries can be included in the mix, but there's not much sport in using them for links. Archerd hardly needs such programs to qualify for eventual inclusion in the TV Crossover Hall of Fame, but there are two I'd like to point out.

One is a game show:
"The Movie Game" (1969) TV Series .... Himself/Assistant

And the other was a series that utilized home movies to show Hollywood stars at play:
"Guest Shot" (1962) TV Series .... Himself

There are also a few shows in which he went unnamed. But because he was appearing as either a reporter or a TV commentator, then I feel it's safe to assume he was appearing as himself in his chosen profession.

"Burke's Law" playing "1st Reporter" in episode: "Who Killed Wimbledon Hastings?" (episode # 2.20) 3 February 1965

"Honey West" playing "Announcer" in episode: "Come to Me, My Litigation Baby" (episode # 1.23) 18 February 1966

"Adam-12" playing "Reporter" in episode: "Foothill Division: Mac's Boots" (episode # 6.3) 26 September 1973

Jacqueline Susann's Valley of the Dolls (1981) (TV) .... TV Commentator

And then there was a character he played in the wild, wild West:

"The Big Valley" playing "Bank Clerk" in episode: "A Time to Kill" (episode # 1.18) 19 January 1966

"The Big Valley" playing "Stage Depot Clerk" in episode: "Devil's Masquerade" (episode # 3.24) 4 March 1968

It's my thinking that both clerks were one and the same man. In the space of two years, either he had taken on a new job or he was moonlighting at the stage depot. And I'm thinking it's possible that this clerk from Stockton, California, might have been an ancestor for the tele-version of Army Archerd.

Of course, in the episode "A Time To Kill", it doesn't sound very promising for a bank clerk to live another two years.....

Army Archerd says he's not retiring, just that he won't be held to any more deadlines. So here's hoping that he can still continue to make appearances in Toobworld as himself and thus link even more shows through his presence. Show business series in which he still might make a difference include 'Entourage' and 'The Comeback', both on HBO. (It's a shame he never got the chance to appear on 'I'm With Her'; that show could have used such a link.)


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