Andrew Craddock Lyles is an American movie producer for Paramount Pictures who produced westerns in the 1950s and 1960s, and has been a major player in Hollywood for the past 78 years.
Lyles was born in Jacksonville, Florida. He remembers seeing the film Wings on his 10th birthday at a theater owned by Paramount in his native Jacksonville, FL. “I just fell in love with the picture and the people who made it. I had a great admiration for Adolph Zukor .” Lyles quickly went to the theater manager, asked for a job, and began distributing bumper stickers and handbills, working his way up to usher in three months.
Working at the theater created an opportunity to meet Zukor himself four years later when the studio head came to visit the theater. Lyles says he was certain that his brief introduction to Zukor as an adolescent would ultimately lead to working at the studio in Hollywood. Zukor told Lyles to finish high school before pursuing his Hollywood dreams. Having already gotten a job at a Paramount theater, the young Lyles was determined to work at the actual Paramount Studios lot that he began writing letters to Zukor every week.
Fate also intervened when Lyles introduced himself to Gary Cooper when the star came to Jacksonville on his way to Miami. Lyles told him about his weekly letters, although he hadn’t yet received any response. The star gave the boy a note to include in his next letter: “I am looking forward to A.C. Lyles being with us at the studio.” That led to a response from Zukor’s secretary, and Lyles began writing letters to her as well.