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Jack Doyle(1913 - 1978) Boxing Autograph on album sheet 1937, Legendary Boxer, Singer and Actor

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Jack Doyle - Boxing Autograph on album sheet

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Jack Doyle - Boxing Autograph on album sheet 1937
Good condition


Jack Doyle, also known as ‘The Gorgeous Gael’ was born in 1913 in Cobh, Co Cork. Ireland at that time was a very poor country and at the age of 16 Jack went to England and joined the Irish Guards.

Even at this very young age he was 6 feet 5 inches tall and weighed 14 stone. Within a year, Jack was heavyweight champion of the British Army.
Jack Doyle turned professional in 1932. He went on to win his first 10 fights, mostly in the first round and by knockout. By the mid 1930s he was the golden boy. Women adored him; his good looks, his power and glory and let’s not forget the two to three thousand pounds per fight and his magnificent voice.

He recorded some 12 recordings for the Decca Label. Jack famously said to the adoring media “I sing like John McCormack and box like Jack Dempsey.” This was to haunt him years later in New York when World Champion Dempsey told the press, “I believe Jack Doyle sings like me and boxes like John McCormack.”

In America in 1935 Jack won his first three fights, however, in his fourth fight he was hammered by Buddy Baer. Around this time, he met Delphine Dodge, heiress to the Dodge Car Empire. Delphine said it was love at first sight and followed her handsome lover everywhere.

When her mother, Anna Dodge was made aware of this, she sent a team of lawyers and gangsters to force Jack to walk away. Jack was made an offer of $10,000 and 35 acres in San Fernando Valley– a most unusual offer.

Jack set up home in Hollywood, where his fame went before him. His companions were Errol Flynn, Clark Gable, Bing Crosby and many more ‘stars’.

M.G.M. were very interested in Jack Doyle. He had the look, the height, a great singing voice and all women adored him, but he had one flaw– he could not act. Around this period of his life Jack met Movita Castaneda (pictured left in Mutiny on the Bounty), who was a starlet in the Howard Hughes studio. Movita was to become the only true love of his life and followed Jack back to England when the U.S. Revenue Department deported the now-bankrupt Doyle for non-payment of tax.

Back in England, Jack also owed the U.K. Revenue back tax. His boxing days over, Doyle took up wrestling and singing with Movita around music halls.
In the mid 1940s they came to Dublin and were earning a very handsome £600 per week. Jack married Movita that year in Westland Row church.

Around this time, my mother was buying me a new school uniform in Gorevan’s Department Store in Camden Street. I thought I looked great in my new slacks, purple blazer and cap with yellow piping until we saw Jack Doyle and Movita exiting the DeLuxe cinema.

A huge crowd followed them up Camden Street until they made a hasty retreat into Caulfield’s pub which was across from the Camden cinema. My memories are vague, it was so long ago. All I remember was the colour they brought to a drab, dull 1940s Dublin.

It was all downhill for Jack from then on. Drinking heavily and with no money, he turned bitter and nasty and actually started beating Movita. This all ended in The Premier, Lucan when four Guards had to draw batons on Jack as he was choking Movita.

My wife Nora, who sang and danced with her sisters The Galligan Sisters for many years in their home town of Lucan, tells me it was the talk of Lucan for years. Movita left Jack after this and returned to Hollywood, where she resumed her film career and later married Marlon Brando.

For Jack it was the opposite– ignored, shunned, unwanted, it was downhill all the way. When Movita left, Jack drank heavily. He even spent two weeks in Mountjoy for assaulting police in a pub in Tempelogue. Drinking cheap wine and cider, homeless, even sleeping in cars– sometimes he had no shoes or socks Jack Doyle had a truly horrific fall. Could he have been champion? I don’t think so. Jack was too fond of La Dolce Vita. He loved the glitz and glamour of being a celebrity before that word was coined. Jack Doyle was a celebrity so full of life he was a star.

Jack died in London in 1978. His body lay unclaimed in Paddington Hospital. Word of this was heard by the good people of Cobh who at once collected a large sum of money and brought Jack home for a magnificent and dignified funeral.
Noel Twamley