Thursday, January 10, 2008

Farewell, Johnny Grant

This morning Hollywood shines a little less brightly. It's greatest star, Johnny Grant, passed away last night.

Johnny 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 was not only part of 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 beginning to experience.

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 Hollywood and I are devastated by his passing. May Johnny Grant rest in peace.