LOS ANGELES (AP) Johnny Grant, the avuncular honorary mayor of Hollywood who traveled the world as Tinseltown's No. 1 cheerleader for more than a half-century, has died. He was 84.
Grant died Wednesday, apparently of natural causes, said officer Jason Lee. Grant was found dead on a bed in the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, Lee said.
Grant was perhaps best known as the jolly host alongside more than 500 celebrities he inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
The lifelong bachelor lived in a 14th-floor suite at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.
Grant's mission in life was bringing the Tinseltown story to everyone. He hosted red carpet Oscar arrivals and Walk of Fame festivities, and produced Hollywood's annual Christmas Parade.
Grant also joined globe-trotting Bob Hope as a USO ambassador, bringing entertainers to war zones to perform for U.S. military personnel during the Korean and Vietnam wars and battles in the Middle East.
He helped introduce homesick soldiers to Debbie Reynolds, Connie Stevens, Jane Russell, Terry Moore, Penny Singleton and Angie Dickinson, among others, leading Hope to once quip that he himself was "the rich man's Johnny Grant."
Grant also had a part in Irving Berlin's "White Christmas" (1954) with Bing Crosby and played himself in 1966's "The Oscar."
The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce named Grant Hollywood's honorary mayor in