Errol Flynn

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Errol Flynn

Errol Flynn c.1940
Born Errol Leslie Thomson Flynn
20 June 1909
Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
Died August 14, 1959(1959-08-14) (aged 50)
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Cause of death Heart attack
Spouse Lili Damita (m. 1935–1942, divorced)
Nora Eddington (m. 1943–1948, divorced)
Patrice Wymore (m. 1950–1959, his death)
Children Sean Flynn, Deirdre, Rory, Arnella

Errol Leslie Thomson Flynn (20 June 1909 – 14 October 1959) was an Australian-American movie actor. He is known for his swashbuckler roles in movies like Adventures of Don Juan and The Sea Hawk.

Early years[change | edit source]

Errol Flynn was born in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia. His father Theodore Thomson Flynn, was a lecturer (1909) and later professor (1911) of biology at the University of Tasmania. Flynn was born at the Queen Alexandra Hospital in Battery Point. His mother was born Lily Mary Young. She dropped the first names Lily Mary shortly after she was married and changed her name to Marelle.[1] Flynn described his mother's family as "seafaring folk". This may account for his lifelong love of the sea and boats.[2]

First movies[change | edit source]

He became a naturalized American citizen in 1942. He is remembered for his successful on-screen partnership with Olivia de Havilland. They appeared together in eight movies: Captain Blood (1935, his first great success), The Charge of the Light Brigade (1936), The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938), Four's a Crowd (1938), Dodge City (1939), The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex (1939), Santa Fe Trail (1940), and They Died with Their Boots On (1941).[3][4] This partnership started rumors of romance. De Havilland denied these rumors. She said her relationship with Flynn was one of friendship only.

WWII years[change | edit source]

Flynn tried to enlist in every branch of the United States Armed Services during WWII. He was classified 4F because of numerous health issues. Hollywood executives kept his health issues a secret to protect his screen image. He never served and was criticized for this. As the years passed, Flynn's manly image diminished. He became an alcoholic, gained weight, and had a seedy appearance. Flynn wrote his autobiography My Wicked, Wicked Ways in 1959. He died of a heart attack at age 50. His last words were reportedly, "I've had a hell of a lot of fun and I've enjoyed every minute of it".

Marriages and children[change | edit source]

Flynn was married three times: first to actress Lili Damita from 1935 until 1942 (one son, Sean Flynn, 1941ndash;70?); to Nora Eddington from 1943 until 1949 (two daughters, Deirdre born 1945 and Rory born 1947); and to actress Patrice Wymore from 1950 until his death (one daughter, Arnella Roma, 1953–1998).

Lifestyle[change | edit source]

Flynn had a reputation for womanizing and freewheeling fun. His hedonistic lifestyle caught up with him in 1942 when two under-age girls, Betty Hansen and Peggy Satterlee, accused him of statutory rape.[5] The two girls said that the event occurred at the Bel Air home of Flynn's friend Frederick McEvoy.[6] A group was organized to support Flynn. It was called the American Boys' Club for the Defense of Errol Flynn (ABCDEF). Its members included William F. Buckley, Jr.[7] The trial took place in January and February 1943. Flynn was cleared of the charges.

References[change | edit source]

  1. Flynn always calls her Marelle in his autobiography.
  2. Flynn, My Wicked, Wicked Ways, p.33.
  3. "Errol Flynn: Filmography". IMDb. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001224/. Retrieved January 17, 2013.
  4. "Olivia de Havilland: Filmography". IMDb. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000014/. Retrieved January 17, 2013.
  5. "Statutory Rape Charges". MSNBC. 1 March 2005. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6929318/page/2/. Retrieved 14 February 2010.
  6. Flynn's Host Sued For Divorce. The Advertiser. 28 October 1942. Retrieved 26 October 2011.
  7. Valenti, Peter. Errol Flynn: A Bio-Bibliography.

Other websites[change | edit source]