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76 Years Ago Today

29 May

JOHN BARRYMORE SHUFFLED OFF HIS MORTAL COIL – MAY 29, 1942

A GREAT PROFILE OF THE GREAT PROFILE www.tcm.com…

A COCK AND BULL STORY?

According to Raoul Walsh’s autobiography:

“(Raoul Walsh) snatched actor John Barrymore’s barely cold body from the (Pierce Brothers) funeral home and seated it on Errol Flynn’s sofa. ”Errol came in (from an intense session at the Cock and Bull), let out a piercing scream, and ran out of the house.” From behind an oleander bush, Flynn yelled at Walsh, ”Get him out of the house, you crazy Irish bastard, before I have a heart attack!””

Walsh repeated the story in the 1973 documentary “The Men Who Made the Movies”.

Errol has an essentially equivalent account in My Wicked, Wicked Ways.

The Pierce Brothers Mortuary
(Photo taken at the wake of Thelma Todd)

The (original) Cock and Bull on the Sunset Strip:

Is this story true? Or, is it just cock and bull? …. Plus, was it an inspiration for Weekend at Bernie’s?

— Gentleman Tim

 

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Tim, This is my take in this story told by Raoul Walsh. For years I believe this story in all the books that I read about Errol Flynn. It was until I sat down with Buster Wiles and he said it was all bullshit made up by Raoul Walsh. They were all up at Flynn’s having dinner and drinks and as the night went on they all became drunk and they were toasting for their best buddy Jack Barrymore who had died that night. Buster said it was Raoul that came up with this idea to go and get Jack’s… Read more »

Jack, you are “THE LINK” to the witnessing of many first hand accounts… thank you, once again, for sharing a ONE OF A KIND remembrance. And thanks to Tim for that EXCELLENT thumbnail on JB’s life from TCM! Some other “remembrances”: Flynns’s last PRINT interview (published post passing) was in Life Magazine in which he repeated the story. The absolute BEST (reading) “version” is in Raoul’s autobio: Each Man In His Time. TV movie, WC Fields and Me, repeated the story as well. Truth be told~ Gene Fowler said it NEVER happened and stating that he and his son held… Read more »