Jarvis Astaire obituary

J

John Rawling

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Businessman who made his name as a boxing promoter and then went on to be a film producer and financier

Jarvis Astaire, who has died aged 97, is best remembered as the business brain behind the boxing alliance he formed with the mercurial matchmaker Mickey Duff, which dominated the sport in Britain for more than two decades before the emergence of Frank Warren in the 1980s. But he was also a film producer and financier, and bridled at any attempt to pigeonhole him as a boxing man. “Boxing has never accounted for more than 10% of my business activity,” he wrote in his 1999 autobiography, Encounters. “I have always resented it when people, and particularly the media, refer to me as the boxing promoter Jarvis Astaire.”

In the world of film, Astaire managed Dustin Hoffman for four of his peak years in Hollywood, during which he made films such as Lenny (1974), All the President’s Men (1976) and Marathon Man (1976). He was also the producer or backer of many other films and television programmes, and was credited with being the driving force behind the development of closed circuit television coverage of major sporting events.

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