Dear fellow Flynn fans,
I am not quite sure where Jim Fleming, who was a topic on this blog recently: www.theerrolflynnblog.com…, fits in the stuntmen, stand-ins and stooges categories. Probably in all of the above.
In the studio he stood in for Flynn and was another of his (self proclaimed?) best friends.
Originally hired together with his first wife as house caretakers by Lili Damita, he stayed on solely with Errol after their divorce.
As Major Domus for 15 years at Mullhollands Farm, he did not only answer the phone, but also the questions of the press when needed. And according to Buster Wiles in his biography he did away with Flynn`s wine bottles. But only the full ones and to the extent of whole boxes.
Fitting in rather nicely with the Flynntourage, he was able to pull a stunt superbly. His most infamous act happened on the night of our Hollywood hero`s 32nd birthday
Some war time remark had caused the Swede Gosta to term Fleming a “German”. Were there traces of Dr. Erben`s pro Berlin sentiments still lingering in the air? Did Suicide Freddie recall his Winter Olymic feats and impressions of 1936 when he performed in front of the Fuehrer? “Mister McEvoy, a hail is no ahoi…” Maybe something similar triggered the rowdy row.
Anyways, the Scandinavian butler was no match for the Scavenger valet, who in other accounts opened a bottle on the loaned barkeeper of Barbara Hutton in this lights out bout .
To add insult to injury, Errol once more squared off with Barb as a legal adviser to her ex- husband in the early Fifties: www.theerrolflynnblog.com…
Meanwhile hawk like figure Jim Fleming had married the widow of Flynn`s painter pal, John Decker.
For forever waiting in the wings, I think we should put him in the category of “Errol Flynn`s shadows”.