Lots of ink today on the passing of Johnny Grant, 84, the honorary mayor of Hollywood--and one of the area's biggest boosters. "He not only helped usher in Hollywood's first golden age, but he stuck with Hollywood when many others abandoned it, and he helped usher in the second golden age that we are now seeing begin," said City Council President Eric Garcetti in a statement. Grant, who lived in a 14th-floor suite at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, according to Hollywood Reporter, was named Hollywood's honorary mayor in 1980 by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, notes the AP. He presided over his last Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremony this past Friday--for the late actress Elizabeth Montgomery, according to CBS2. And how about this awesome fact: According to the Los Angeles Times, Grant wanted his ashes strewn under the Hollywood sign.
"Johnny Grant was Hollywood's greatest star. He brought Hollywood the industry and Hollywood the neighborhood together. He was at the center of the story of Hollywood.
Johnny not only knew all the players that brought about Hollywood's first golden age, he was one of those participants that made it happen. He was our best booster, our unofficial historian, our neighborhood chairman, and the heart of this town.
There was hardly a player in Hollywood over the last seven decades who did not know Johnny. He defined class and commitment to his craft and to his adopted hometown. He not only helped usher in Hollywood's first golden age, but he stuck with Hollywood when many others abandoned it, and he helped usher in the second golden age that we are now seeing begin.
Johnny's love of Hollywood was mirrored by his unmatched patriotism. Just last month, we honored him for his 60th visit to U.S. troops as the number one USO ambassador. He holds the record for the most visits of any entertainer to our nation's troops, having lifted the morale of our men and women in uniform in every conflict since (and including) World War II.
Johnny was a dear, dear friend, and I and Hollywood are devastated by his passing. May Johnny Grant rest in peace."