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Errol Flynn Turns One Hundred! The Mulholland Drive Boys…

17 Jul

                        

Must reading! …Well, done, Steve!

— David DeWitt

 

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  1. Anonymous

    July 18, 2009 at 5:10 pm

    Three cheers for Steve!

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  2. Anonymous

    December 15, 2011 at 8:36 pm

    Excellent informative “documentary”. Thanks so much, Steve!! That's more of what we all want to know… glad I finally go to read this one. Even two years later… I'm still new to this site…

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    • Sergio

      January 15, 2017 at 10:08 pm

      David I found a blog with your requesting info (see below) from the suppose new owner Craig Morris of our man Flynn’s Mulholland Farms – Did he ever respond to your Q? :

      David says:
      July 9, 2015 at 2:37 pm
      Hello, I’d nbe curious to know who is building a reolica of Mulholland Farm, or ast least where it is being built?

      If anyone has missed it here is the page, and if you scroll all the way down some reply to the original post.

      www.iamnotastalker.com…

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  3. Jack Marino

    February 9, 2018 at 9:41 am

    I’d like to set some of this record straight about who owned and purchased Mulholland Farm, which was the name of the main house that Errol Flynn built and moved in around 1942-43. Errol lost the house around 55 by Tiger Lil. She went in there and painted all the knotty pine white paint but she left his den alone. She rented the place out after she got the house for back alimony payments. Somewhere around 56 or 57 Errol went to the court and got her to let him rent his former home. Now, remember all his furniture was still there, his desk etc. It was during this time Errol took everything out of the house that he wanted and put them on the Zaca and sailed to Jamaica with all his belongs. You can see a lot of the lamps and his desk in the main house in Jamaica. When Errol died, Tiger Lilly sold the home to Stuart Hamblin and he sold the home to Ricky Nelson sometime in 82 or 83. When Ricky bought the house he sold off the lower portion of the property into 4 or 5 lots. He called it FLYNN RANCH ROAD. The round section of the Casino was lifted onto the first home on the lot. This could be the house that Craig Morris bought and assumed that was the replica of the house since the round part of the Casino was incorporated into the design of that first house.

    After Ricky Nelson died the estate on 3.5 acres of land went into Ricky Nelson family trust since the twins lived in the house after Ricky had died in the plane crash. Ricky wife put the house on the market since I hear Ricky floated a loan from the Hamblins to buy the house from them. It had to do with the sub-division.

    Years later Deirdre told me that she and Ricky were childhood friends and they would ride their horses all over that hill and Ricky would hang out at Errol’s house. Ricky was going to restore the house to its original design that he remembered. He even painted the pool black thinking that is what Errol did. Errol painted the pool black up at Appian Way home and it is still a black bottom pool to this day. The pool at Mulholland the bottom of the pool was Turquoise until Ricky had it painted a black bottom pool. Flynn had the walls in his living room and den that wasn’t knotty pine he painted turquoise. If you look at the pictures of the shelves in his den he had Turquoise tiles inlaid in the wood.

    In April of 1987 I got up into the house and I saw a lot of celebrities come and look at the house. The house was on the market for 1.6 million and it went down to 1.3 and Steve Wiess bought the house for 1 million in cash. I met Steve the day he was on the grounds and he invited me in to help him hold down the floor plans. They were huge and he was redesigning the entire house into one big brick monstrosity. I got to know him and he gave me permission to come up and take pictures anytime i wanted. In August of 87, he gutted the place and I got a lot of photos and I couldn’t believe what he was doing to the house I loved. He told me that when they tore out one of the walls in the living room an 8×10 photo of Errol fell out and it was signed August something of 1942 and that day was Steve’s birthday. He couldn’t believe it and that is all he raved about. I kept going up there and on the weekend of May 8, 1988, the house was torn down. Steve told me the City of LA was fining him over and over, I assumed he didn’t pull the right permits or didn’t pay off the inspectors so he decided to tear it down and cut his loses. He put over a million into the 3.5 acres. A new high wall, a massive sprinkler system and new sod all over the grounds.

    In April of 1989, he allowed me to shoot the opening and ending of my film FORGOTTEN HEROES on his property.

    In May of 1988, if you read the book ERROL FLYNN SLEPT HERE in the chapter DEATH OF MULHOLLAND you will read what happen to me on those three days Friday, Saturday and Sunday in May. On Monday, May 12 if my memory serves me right, that is the day I brought author Tony Thomas and my boyhood pal up to Flynn’s and as we were pulling into the driveway, out of their car comes Nora Flynn and Deirdre Flynn.

    It was a week or so later that Tony invited me to a book fair where Bill Donati’s book MY DAYS WITH ERROL FLYNN was being presented and I sat at the table with Tony, I sat next to Nora, across the table was Deirdre, Rory, Bill Donati, Buster Wiles, his son Donald. That is when I asked both Deirdre and Rory to work on my film FORGOTTEN HEROES which I was going to shoot in 8 months. Deirdre ending up working for me on my film.

    Robert Matzen and Mike Mazone did a great job of tracking down all the owners of Mulholland Farm. I have family photos of Errol at his desk when he came back from India and on his decked carved into the wood was MULHOLLAND FARM 1935 that is when he bought his first acre of land from that former boy scout property and I believe he got the money as an advance from Jack Warner off his contract. He didn’t get all the ten acres until after he got his huge raise from LIGHT BRIGADE. What amazed me is that he told no one about buying this land not even Tiger Lilly. I found out later that the home on Appian Way Errol and Lilly names are both on the deed. When he divorced Tiger Lilly that is when he started to build the main house he called MULHOLLAND FARM.

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    • Don Jan

      February 9, 2018 at 2:01 pm

      Amazing story!

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    • David DeWitt

      February 9, 2018 at 6:10 pm

      Jack, I do not know anybody who could have provided these facts and history as well as you just did! The Matzen book is priceless and your contribution to it is fundamental to understanding the tale of Mulholland Farm. Thanks so much!

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  4. Gentleman Tim

    February 10, 2018 at 6:13 am

    Spectacular, Jack! Thanks so much.

    Superb and important film, Jack!

    youtu.be/BperrWOFbeM…

    multjs.jpg

    P.S. I love it. You not only got Flynn’s Fabulous Farm into Forgotten Heroes, but also not-so-forgotten Fab Four! (As can be seen in the YouTube video linked above.)

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  5. Jack Marino

    February 10, 2018 at 8:58 am

    Thank you all for your kind words. A lot of my post is from memory which is a little tough to remember specific dates. I have a lot of this stuff written down in my Flynn Collection.

    The photo of Tony Thomas, me and Steve Florentine who I met in high school in 1969. Steve was the guy who told me about Errol Flynn and gave his copy of the “BIBLE” Tony’s book THE FILMS OF ERROL FLYNN. From that moment on I was hooked and when he finished MY WICKED WICKED WAY that was what pushed me over the edge.

    It took me years and year to get Steve out here on a plane to come to LA to see Flynn’s house. That year I had been going up to the house and hanging around it, I brought all my film pals and other Flynn people up to the house to hang out.

    When Steve decided to come to LA it was the exactly that fateful Sunday morning. I picked him up at the Burbank Airport and he threw his bags into the back seat and said to me, “Let’s go to the Flynn’s. That is what all of my Boston pals called Mulholland, “THE FLYNNS”.

    You have to remember I was obsessed with buying the house when my film career took off. I wanted to make that house mine and restore it, modernize it and make it a showplace for all future Flynn fans I would later meet.

    When I took my wife Louise up there she fell in love with the place and said ‘she could live up there forever’ I wanted her to spend the night with me in Errol’s bedroom, just the two of us. The problem was she was 8 and a half months pregnant with our son. She said NO WAY I’ll be so nervous, I’ll have the baby in the house.

    I always believe if she wasn’t pregnant she would have done it for me. I tried to get a few other guys to spend the night up there since I heard the house was haunted and wanted a few witnesses in case something happen. IT wasn’t meant to be.

    So that morning after 25 years of talking with Steve who’s nickname was FLO we finally were going to have our dream of walking in Errol Flynn’s home. When I drove up Mulholland I looked across the canyon as i had a million times before and the house wasn’t there. I thought the sun was playing tricks on me and as I went to the front of the house it was GONE! Of all days and for this to happen, the day FLO comes to LA just to see the FLYNN’S and it’s gone.

    I couldn’t believe it I was just up there on Sat and it was standing. They had taken out the big huge window that Sat and I left and came home. They must have bulldozed the building Sat and finished up on Sunday morning.

    Flo couldn’t believe it. All that was left was the wooden platforms and the two chimneys. I took a slew of pictures of Flo all over the place. We both went to my place in Burbank and that is when I called Tony Thomas and told him. He was very upset and he couldn’t talk. I told him that Flo was out here and was a huge fan of his books. I asked if this week we could stop by and see him.

    Monday morning, Tony called me and asked if I would take him to Errol’s home since he never had been to the house in all the years he lived in LA. Flo got to meet Tony Thomas at his home, Tony showed us both all his books and all these audio tapes of all his recorded interviews of all the celebrities that he knew in his career. Then we went to Errol’s home. To meet Tony, that was a great moment for Flo and Tony treated him as if he knew him for years. That is how Tony was when you met him for the first time. He always treated me like a son the rest of his life.

    When we got there that is when we meet Nora Flynn and Deirdre Flynn for the first time. It was Deirdre that took the photo of the three of us standing by Errol’s main fireplace that has the brass around the opening.

    I have a picture of Nora and Tony but the fireplace and Nora asked me never to publish it and I haven’t. She had been crying because of the home she came to as a bride was gone. She was heartbroken and she had just heard about the house gone that morning when one of her friends drove by and called her to tell her. That is when she just arrived as we got there.

    You have to realize, here is FLO from Everett MA, a big FLYNN fan, he gets to meet Tony Thomas, then Nora and Deirdre Flynn all in the same day!

    After they left I took more pictures of Tony up at the house and he asked me to take him to Errol’s grave which he had never gone there So, drove Tony and Steve to Errol Flynn’s Grave I have the only photo of Tony kneeling alone by the headstone, I left him his privacy and took one shot and later gave it to Tony.

    We went out for lunch later that day at the Smoke House another of Errol’s haunts. It was a great day for FLO even though the house was gone.

    A few days after Flo went back to Boston I called Steve Weiss up and asked him if I could have the brass around the fireplace. He knew I was going up there that day since I had asked him earlier to take more pictures. I should have just went up there with a screwdriver and pulled the brass off the chimney. I thought it was better to ask him and get his permission. He told he was going to keep it and put it in his new home he was building in the canyon in Laurel area.

    He never gave it to me and after I had asked both chimneys were torn down and I assume the brass ended up in the landfill. I don’t know. I asked him about the knotty pine from the den and said he had saved it and I offered him to buy all the wood, so one day I would put it in the home that I would eventually buy. He never came through on anything he said he would give me or sell to me.

    Years later, another friend of mine Greg Maradei who is a real estate broker and a huge Flynn guy, I told him the story and he said, I’ll call him up and see if he had the floor plans. Well, Greg uses his charm, got Steve’s trust.

    He went to Steve’s home and Steve gave him the floor plans and he went to a printer in the valley and made a few copies for himself, for me and I had promised, Mike Mazzone, 15 years earlier that if I ever get a copy of the blueprints or floor plans I would send Mike a copy.

    That copy is in the book ERROL FLYNN SLEPT HERE so all the Flynn fans can see the layout of the house we all LOVE! It was my goal to buy Mulholland and turn it into one hell of a Hollywood home for all of us to enjoy.

    It would have been awesome to have Errol Flynn’s 100th birthday party up at Mulholland if all my ducks had fallen into place. We still had a great time at my home in Burbank that Steve Latshaw so eloquently writes in his article that is posted in this thread.

    When I finally bought the home that I am in now, the moment I walked into the living room, I started to laugh since it is a small version of Errol’s living room. It took me some time but I created as best as I could of how Errol had his furniture and I recreated the same look and feel. I even had Errol’s long table made by a couple of Amish furniture makers that I met through a Facebook friend of mine up in Pennsylvania.

    I want to thank Gentlemen Tim for posting the photo of us that Sunday in May of 88

    Errol's Livingroom

    Jack's Livingroom

    Bookcase Added
    After the bookcase was added in the same area as Flynn’s

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    • Gentleman Tim

      February 13, 2018 at 8:50 am

      Thank you, Jack! This is so tremendous getting this inside info from you. And so great you got to go with Flo & Tony up to “The Flynns”! What a day for all three of you, topped off by meeting Nora and Deirdre!l, too! Then Forest Lawn and Smokehouse. Awesome.

      camara-pix-054.jpg

      Mulholland-Casino.jpg

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  6. shangheinz

    February 11, 2018 at 5:26 pm

    mulholland-plans.jpg

    Sockless Jack, many thanks for sharing these anecdotes with us here. It gives us a close eye look at Errol´s estate through a timeless telescope. You know Mulholland Farm could have easily have looked like a ranch like Jack Warner`s or a Hazienda for that matter…?

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    • Gentleman Tim

      February 13, 2018 at 7:48 am

      Fascinating photo, laskyheinz. Warners really got a charge out of that fort, though it’s still in its pre-empty horses stage, which lasted about as long as Errol’s Hollywood pipe phase, which lasted only about another dawn.

      Is that not the great Anton Grot?

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      lbportrait.jpg

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