Born in Jacksonville, Florida, Lyles began working for Paramount studios after high school. He began as an office boy, worked in the publicity department of Pine-Thomas Productions the second feature unit of Paramount, and eventually became assistant to the producer on The Mountain, released in 1954. His first role as full producer was on Short Cut to Hell, released in 1957 that was a remake of This Gun for Hire and directed by James Cagney. He also produced nine episodes of the television show Rawhide.
In an interview with Alex Simon and Donald Keith, Lyles recalled he was approached by Paramount to do a Western when they realized they had none on their schedule of releases. When Law of the Lawless did well at the box office, Paramount asked him how many more he could do a year. Lyles replied “five” and he was given the go ahead to produce more second features for the studio. Lyles filled his cast with many older, experienced actors who were his friends.
Lyles continued to produce a variety of low budget traditional westerns for Paramount in the 1960s, as well as other movies in other genres like the Korean War film The Young and the Brave the detective drama Rogues Gallery in 1968 and the science-fiction filmNight of the Lepus for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer that featured the American Southwest menaced by giant mutant rabbits.
On March 3, 1988 Lyles was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame located at 6840 Hollywood Blvd.
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He married Martha French in 1955. On September 27, 2013. Lyles died at his Los Angeles home. He was 95 and survived by his wife Martha French. They had no children.
Photos credit to: Alex Palomares, Steven Escobar/Diversity News Magazine & MMPA.
Editor’s Note: We met A.C. Lyles in two occasions first at 18th Annual MMPA Oscar Week Luncheon where he received an award from the MMPA and then at “Debbie Reynolds: The Exhibit” held on Tuesday, August 16, 2011 at The Paley Center For Media in Beverly Hills, CA.