Errol Flynn

 

Errol Leslie Thomson Flynn (Hobart Australie, June 20, 1909 - Vancouver, Canada, October 14, 1959) was an Australian-American actor best known for his roles in pirate films and his high-profile private life. He was married to: Patrice Wymore (geh. 1950–1959), Nora Eddington (1943–1949), Lili Damita (1935–1942) and had 4 children: Sean Flynn, Rory Flynn, Arnella Roma Flynn, Deirdre Flynn

 

 

Youth and career

 

Errol Flynn was born in Hobart but moved to Sydney as a child. He was sent off school there, because he had an affair with the school sister. He then moved to New Guinea and in the early 1930s to England to become an actor. In 1933 he got his first role

 

Flynn was known in the early thirties by roles in mantle-and-die films, westerns and pirate films. Especially the mantle-and-sword films Captain Blood (1935, his first leading role) and The Sea Hawk (1940), both directed by his favorite filmmaker Michael Curtiz, grew into classics. In 1938 he performed Robin Hood in the adventure film The Adventures of Robin Hood (Michael Curtiz) with Olivia de Havilland as co-star, next to whom he would appear in eight more films. With Michael Curtiz he made one movie after another in the late 1930s. In the forties, Raoul Walsh resolved Curtiz as Flynn's house director. Among his hand were the Western They Died with Their Boots On (1941), the boxing biblical Gentleman Jim (1942) and the war film Objective, Burma! (1945). On the white screen Flynn had the image of tough and handsome rebel, but that was not in his own private life that he described colorfully in his autobiography My Wicked, Wicked Ways

 

Bette Davis was an actress with whom Flynn had a serious fight. They played together in the drama The Sisters (Anatole Litvak, 1938) and in the historical biopic The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex (Michael Curtiz, 1939). In that last film Davis Flynn had to give a blow and she did so as hard as possible, to the displeasure of Flynn. Davis especially hated Flynn, because he often came too late on the set, his text was not always known and more than once drunk arrived on the set. Moreover, in his eyes he was a B-actor. She found the original intended title of the film The Earl of Essex unacceptable. She also insisted that her name should be on top of his posters.Because of his alcoholism and addiction to morphine, he quickly aged and the roles became scarcer for Flynn. Still, he got some nice roles to play like in the drama The Sun Also Rises (Henry King, 1957), based on the eponymous novel by Ernest Hemingway (where he had Ava Gardner, Tyrone Power and Mel Ferrer as opponents) and as in the adventure film The Roots of Heaven (John Huston, 1958), based on the novel by Romain Gary (where he had Juliette Gréco, Trevor Howard and Orson Welles as opponents). Just when he started to make a name for himself as a serious actor in the late 1950s, he died.

Left: Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland in The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938).

 

 

    Private life 

 

Errol Flynn's private life is at least as interesting as his film career. As soon as he was a star in Hollywood, he also gained the reputation of a big-scale, bisexual playboy. He would have had a long-term relationship with co-star Olivia de Havilland (although De Havilland denies this), as well as a fleeting affair with the writer Truman Capote. Flynn was known to give very wild parties in his gigantic Hollywood house. The nickname he received from colleague Marlene Dietrich is telling: Satan's Angel

Despite his ease to seduce women and men, he has been accused more than once of 'statutory rape', having sex with underage girls. Obviously, those accusations were very unfavorable for his film career, but with great interest Flynn was ultimately declared innocent. Excessive drinking and drug use also caused him to quickly get outdated and less and less good movie offers. A notorious anecdote about his alcohol addiction is the story that all production companies forbade him to drink any longer on the film set. Flynn therefore continuously consumed oranges during filming. A healthy choice one would think, were it not that Flynn injected each orange with vodka beforehand Even more controversial were Flynn's political preferences. In the 1980s, the rumor was that Flynn was a fan of fascism and that he had spied for the Nazis during the Second World War. In fact, Flynn was just the extreme left. In 1938 he even went to Spain to write for the magazine Life reports about the republican armies in the Spanish Civil War. Flynn returned after only two weeks because he was emotionally struck by the horrors of the civil war. In addition, a message had surfaced in the media that Flynn would have died. In the late 1950s, Flynn's political preference was again discredited: this time he took it up for Cuba. Flynn was impressed by the appearance of Fidel Castro, who according to him brought freedom and innovation. Flynn even went to Cuba to record a documentary there. Shortly after this open declaration of support for Communism, he died.

 

 

Flynn married three times and was father of four children. His first marriage was concluded on 29 June 1935 with actress Lili Damita. The couple separated on April 8, 1942. From this marriage one child was born in 1941 (actor and journalist Sean Flynn, who was murdered in 1970 by the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia). In August 1943 Flynn married Nora Eddington, also an actress. On July 7, 1948 they separated. Two children were born out of this marriage; Deirdre in 1945 and Rory in 1947. His third and final marriage was with the almost twenty years younger actress Patricia Wymore, on October 23, 1950. They stayed together until his death and on December 25, 1953 they had a daughter (Arnella) . Arnella died on September 21, 1998, at just 44 years of age. In his last days Flynn had a long-term relationship with a 15-year-old girl, Beverly Aadland.

 

Errol Flynn died in 1959 in Vancouver, on board of his hunt, of a severe heart attack. The only 50-year-old Flynn appeared to have the body of a 75-year-old man after autopsy.

 

 

 

 

Filmografie

 

In the Wake of the Bounty (1933) - Fletcher Christian

    I Adore You (1933) - Klein rolletje

    Murder at Monte Carlo (1934) - Dyter

    The Case of the Curious Bride (1935) - Gregory Moxley

    Don't Bet on Blondes (1935) - David Van Dusen

    All-American Drawback (1935) - Rol onbekend

    Captain Blood (1935) - Peter Blood

    The Charge of the Light Brigade (1936) - Maj. Geoffrey Vickers

    Green Light (1937) - Dr. Newell Paige

    The Prince and the Pauper (1937) - Miles Hendon

    Another Dawn (1937) - captain Denny Roark

    The Perfect Specimen (1937) - Gerald Beresford Wicks

    The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) - Robin Hood

    Four's a Crowd (1938) - Robert Kensington 'Bob' Lansford

    The Sisters (1938) - Frank Medlin

    The Dawn Patrol (1938) - Kapitein Courtney

    Dodge City (1939) - Wade Hatton

    The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex (1939) - Robert Devereux

    Virginia City (1940) - Kerry Bradford

    The Sea Hawk (1940) - Geoffrey Thorpe

    Santa Fe Trail (1940) - Jeb Stuart

    Footsteps in the Dark (1940) - Francis Monroe Warren II

    Dive Bomber (1941) - Lt. Douglas S. 'Doug' Lee, MD

    They Died with Their Boots On (1941) - George Armstrong Custer

    Desperate Journey (1942) - Luchtmacht-luitenant Terrence 'Terry' Forbes

    Gentleman Jim (1942) - James J. Corbett aka Gentleman Jim

    Edge of Darkness (1943) - Kannonier Brogge

    Northern Pursuit (1943) - Korporaal Steve Wagner

    Uncertain Glory (1944) - Jean Picard

    Objective, Burma! (1945) - Kapt. Nelson

    San Antonio (1945) - Clay Hardin

    Never Say Goodbye (1946) - Phil Gayley   

     

    Cry Wolf (1947) - Mark Caldwell

    Escape Me Never (1947) - Sebastian Dubrok

    The Lady from Shanghai (1947)

    Silver River (1948) - 'Mike' McComb

    Adventures of Don Juan (1948) - Don Juan

    It's a Great Feeling (1949) - Jeffrey Bushdinkle, de bride

    That Forsyte Woman (1949) - Soames Forsyte

    Montana (1949) - Morgan Lane

    Rocky Mountain (1950) - Kapt. Lafe Barstow (CSA)

    Kim (1950) - Mahbub Ali, Red Beard

    Hello God (1951) - Man on beach Anzio

    Adventures of Captain Fabian (1951) - capt. Michael Fabian

    Maru Maru (1952) - Gregory Mason

    Against All Flags (1952) - Brian Hawke

    The Story of William Tell (1953) - William Tell

    The Master of Ballantrae (1953) - Jamie Durie

    Crossed Swords (1954) - Renzo

    Lilacs in the Spring (1954) - John 'Beau' Beaumont

    The Dark Avenger (1955) - Prins Edward

    King's Rhapsody (1955) - Richard, king of Laurentia

    Screen Directors Playhouse Televisionseries - François Villon

    The Errol Flynn Theatre Televisionseries - John Morton (Afl., Rescued, 1957)

    Istanbul (1957) - James Brennan

    The Big Boodle (1957) - Ned Sherwood

    The Errol Flynn Theatre Televisionseries - Don Juan/Zichzelf (presenter)

    Playhouse 90 Televisieseries - Kapt. Russell Bidlack (Afl., Without Incident, 1957)

    The Sun Also Rises (1957) - Mike Campbell

    Too Much, Too Soon (1958) - John Barrymore

    The Roots of Heaven (1958) - Forsythe

    The Red Skelton Show Televisieserie - Gentleman Hobo (Afl., Freddie's Beat Shack, 1959)

    Goodyear Theatre Televisieserie - 'Doc' Boatwright (Afl., The Golden Shanty, 1959)

    Cuban Rebel Girls (1959) - The American journalist