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Fatale Attraction: Anne Archer

Actress Anne Archer has it all: elegance, sophistication, wit, a wonderful family, and a taste for fine cigars.
Paul Chutkow
From the Print Edition:
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Summer 96

(continued from page 3)

During these early years of her career, Archer was having her frustrations at home as well. After six years of marital ups and downs, she decided to call it quits. Ever seeking balance and harmony, Archer managed to make it an amicable split. Today, she says, she remains good friends with her ex-husband (whom she prefers not to name)and he remains an excellent father to their son.

In the months after the breakup, the last thing Archer was seeking was another relationship. But in her acting class she met an aspiring actor named Terry Jastrow. "We did scenes together and he looked upon me as sort of a--I don't want to say 'mentor,' that's not the word--but I was fully in the business and working all the time. And so I educated him about the business part of acting. I treated him as a friend."

One day, Jastrow told Archer that he was going up to Stanford University for a football game. He was going to do a little work there and he was inviting two others from the acting class, David and Cheryl Ladd, to come along. Would Archer like to come? Archer was not sure. Then the Ladds backed out and Archer made up her mind: "Terry was heartbroken, so I said, 'OK, I'll come.'"

Jastrow had mentioned he was doing some work for ABC Sports at the game and Archer assumed he was working as a gofer, just to make a little money to help pay for his acting classes. Once she arrived in San Francisco, however, she got quite a shock. "Terry has this guy pick me up at the airport and drive me to the stadium. I don't know what's going on. Then this guy takes me into this television truck and there's Terry directing the entire show. For the first time I saw he wasn't a gofer; he was the boss of the whole thing! It was hysterical."

What Archer soon learned was that Terry Jastrow was one of Roone Arledge's wunderkinder and one of the youngest directors in the history of ABC Sports. The young man she saw in that TV truck bore little resemblance to the tentative, fumbling young man she had seen struggling in acting class. "Terry was different now. He was control. In acting, he was sort of looking to me for what was going on. And now I was on his turf." They started dating, later moved in together, got married and several years later had a son, Jeffrey. They have been together 18 years, and with Jastrow, Archer says she has found the necessary balance for which she had long been searching.

"There used to be a joke at ABC: There were no red lights in Terry Jastrow's life. And it's true today. He can't fail. He just makes it so right. I'm probably sane today because of him. He's very enthusiastic, very dynamic." Jastrow is now president of Jack Nicklaus Productions, which handles the legendary golfer's many business ventures and also produces broadcasts of golf tournaments.

At one point, Jastrow was the producer for Howard Cosell's sports magazine show, "Sports Beat," on ABC, and Cosell introduced him to the joys of smoking fine cigars. Archer quickly took to sharing a cigar with Jastrow, usually after dinner and preferably in some lovely tropical place. "Cigarettes bother me," she says. "But cigars are different. You don't inhale, the tobacco is good, there are no chemicals and it's only an occasional thing. So I like it. It's a social, relaxing event for me, not something I turn into a habit."

As with a great wine, or a great Port, Archer believes "you have to pay a certain kind of homage to smoking a fine cigar." She and Jastrow are part of an informal group of aficionados who meet from time to time at cigar friendly restaurants around Los Angeles. In Jastrow's home office, they have installed a special ventilation system so he can smoke in comfort. Archer says she has only two rules about cigar smoking: "Not in the car or in the bedroom."

At holidays and birthdays, Archer often gives Jastrow cigar accessories, such as cutters and ashtrays. Once she gave him a picture of himself smoking a cigar. On another occasion she gave him an engraved silver cigar case. His favorite smoke: Montecristo No. 1. Archer prefers a smaller Montecristo. "There are other cigars I like better; I just can't get them here," she says with a laugh.

Archer says she never smokes alone; for her, enjoying a fine cigar is something social and convivial, and usually festive. "We're pretty much a cigar smoking group, at least the men are," she says. "I'm usually the only woman smoking. I'm just very comfortable with cigars; I always have been. It's relaxing, it tastes good, it's just very enjoyable. And I love to blow smoke rings!"

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