Portrait of a Eroll Flynn in Fencing Uniform
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Errol Flynn was born in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, w his father, Theodore Thomson Flynn was a lecturer (1909), and professor (1911) of biology at the University of Tasmania (UTAS). Errol was taken to Sydney, New South Wales, as a child w he attended Sydney Church of England Grammar School (Shore School), from which he was expelled for fighting and, allegedly, having sex with a school laundress . He was also expelled from the next schools he attended. At 20 he moved to New Guinea, w he bought a tobacco plantation, a business which failed. A copper mining venture in the hills near the Laloki Valley behind the present national capital, Port Moresby, also failed.
In the early 1930s, Flynn left for Britain and, in 1933, got an acting job with Northampton Repertory Company, w he worked for seven months.
According to Gerry Connelly's book Errol Flynn in Northampton, he also performed at the 1934 Malvern Festival as well as in Glasgow and London's West End.
In 1933, he starred in the Australian film In the Wake of the Bounty directed by Charles Chauvel, and in 1934 appeared in Murder at Monte Carlo, produced at the Warner Bros. Teddington Studios, U.K.. This latter film is now considered a lost film. During the filming of Murder at Monte Carlo, Flynn was discovered by a Warner Brothers executive, signed to a contract, and shipped to America as a contract actor. In 1942, Flynn became a naturalized citizen of the United States.
Flynn became an overnight sensation with his first starring role in Captain Blood (1935). He became typecast as a swashbuckler and made a host of such films, including The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938), The Dawn Patrol (1938) with his close friend David Niven, Dodge City (1939), The Sea Hawk (1940), and Adventures of Don Juan (1948).
Flynn played opposite Olivia de Havilland in eight films, including Captain Blood, The Charge of the Light Brigade (1936), The Adventures of Robin Hood, Dodge City, Santa Fe Trail (1940), and They Died with Their Boots On (1941). While Flynn acknowledged his attraction to her, film historian Rudy Behlmer's assertions that they were romantically involved during the filming of Robin Hood (see the Special Edition of Robin Hood on DVD, 2003), have been disputed by de Havilland. Their relationship was, she said in an interview for Turner Classic Movies, platonic, mostly because Flynn was already married to Lili Damita. The Adventures of Robin Hood was Flynn's first in Technicolor.
During the shooting of The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex (1939), Flynn and co-star Bette Davis had some legendary off-screen fights, with Davis striking him harder than necessary while filming a scene. Their relationship was always strained, but Warner Brothers teamed them up twice. Their off-screen relationship was later reconciled. A contract was even presented to lend them out as Rhett Butler and Scarlett O'Hara in Gone with the Wind but the teaming failed to materialize.
Flynn was a member of Hollywood's cricket club along with David Niven. His suave, debonair, and devil-may-care attitude towards both ladies and life has been immortalized in the English language by author Benjamin S. Johnson as "Errolesque" in his treatise on the subject, An Errolesque Philosophy on Life.
After America entered World War II Flynn was often criticised for his failure to enlist while continuing to play war heroes in films. Flynn in fact had actually attempted to join every arm of the services but been rejected for health reasons. The studios' failure to counter the criticism was due to a desire to hide the state of Flynn's health. Not only did Flynn have an enlarged heart, which had already resulted in several heart attacks, but he also suffered from tuberculosis, a painful back (for which he self-medicated with morphine and later, with heroin), and suffered from recurrent bouts of the malaria which he had contracted in New Guinea.
By the 1950s, Flynn had become a parody of himself. Heavy alcohol and drug abuse left him prematurely aged and bloated, but he won acclaim as a drunken ne'er-do-well in The Sun Also Rises (1957), and as his idol John Barrymore in Too Much Too Soon (1958). His autobiography, My Wicked, Wicked Ways, was published just months after his death and contains humorous anecdotes about Hollywood. Flynn wanted to call the book In Like Me, but the publisher refused. In 1984, CBS produced a television mini-series based on Flynn's autobiography, starring Duncan Regehr as Flynn.
Also in the 1950s, Flynn tried his hand as a novelist, penning the adventure novel Showdown, which was published in 1952.
As Capt. Nelson in Objective, Burma!Flynn was famous for his drinking, womanizing, and brawling. His freewheeling, hedonistic lifestyle caught up with him in November 1942 when teenagers Betty Hansen and Peggy Satterlee accused him of statutory rape. A group was organised to support Flynn, named the American Boys' Club for the Defence of Errol Flynn (ABCDEF); its members included William F. Buckley, Jr.. The trial took place in January and February, 1943, and Flynn was cleared of the charges. The incident, however, served to increase his reputation as a ladies' man, which led to the popular belief that the term "in like Flynn" was based on Flynn's romantic exploits, but that may not be the case.
Although kept well hidden from the public so as not to tarnish his clean-cut on-screen persona, it was an open secret in Hollywood that Flynn had a voracious sexual appetite. He had countless affairs, flings, and trysts with numerous women.
Flynn was married three times: to actress Lili Damita (who was five years his senior) from 1935 until 1942 (one son, Sean Flynn, born 1941); to Nora Eddington from 1943 until 1948 (two daughters, Deirdre born 1945 and Rory born 1947); and to actress Patrice Wymore from 1950 until his death (one daughter, former model Arnella Roma, 1953-1998). In Hollywood he tended to refer to himself as Irish rather than Australian (his father Theodore Thomson Flynn had been a biologist and a professor at the Queen's University of Belfast in Northern Ireland during the latter part of his career). Flynn lived with Wymore in Port Antonio, Jamaica in the 1950s. He was largely responsible for developing tourism to this area, and for a while owned the Titchfield Hotel which was decorated by the artist Olga Lehmann. He also popularised trips down rivers on bamboo rafts.
In the late 1950s, Flynn met the 15-year-old Beverly Aadland at the Hollywood Professional School, whom he courted during his last few years, and cast in his final film, Cuban Rebel Girls (1959). According to Aadland, he planned to marry her and move to their new house in Jamaica, but during a trip together to Vancouver, British Columbia, he died of a heart attack.
His only son, Sean, an actor and later a noted war correspondent, disappeared in Cambodia in 1970 during the Vietnam War while working as a freelance photojournalist for Time magazine; he was presumed killed in mid-1971 by the Khmer Rouge. Although offically declared dead in 1984, his remains have never been discovered. Sean's life was recounted in Inherited Risk by Jeffrey Meyers (Simon & Schuster). Flynn's daughter Rory, has one son, Sean Rio Flynn, named after her brother. Young Flynn is an actor. Sean Rio Flynn Rory Flynn has written a book about her father called The Baron of Mulholland.
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- Fine Art
- Type / Pattern
- Oil on Canvas.
- English School
- 20th Century
- Width: 30 inches
- Height: 36 inches
- Depth: 0 inch
- Weight: 0 pound
- Overall good condition