Archive for the ‘Animals’ Category

Beginning with Bettongs

29 Nov

From very early on, Errol exhibited an intense interest and unique talent for entrepreneurial adventure. Inspired by his father, this often involved scientific exploration and experimentation. Cruise of the Zaca is an eminent example.

But when and where did young Errol first profitably demonstrate this profound talent and interest? Evidence indicates it was in connection to Professor Flynn’s research into the reproductive biology of Tasmanian bettings. In fact, Errol essentially states so in My Wicked, Wicked Ways:

“When school finished, I raced home to be at his side, to hurry out into the back yard, where we had cages of specimens of rare animals… Through Father’s activity I made my first venture into commerce. He bought all the kangaroo rats [bettongs] he could get hold of for Hobart University. I learned to set box traps in the hills of near-by Mount Wellington. He paid a shilling a head.”

Putting Errol’s bettongs to exceptionally good use, Professor Flynn published a landmark paper in 1930 on the reproduction of the Tasmanian bettong.

Here is a rare nocturnal photo of the hard-to-catch, truffle-hunting Tasmanian bettong in the act of night-jumping.

And here is a spectacular view from Mt. Wellingon of the hills of Hobart where pre-teen Errol trapped bettongs for his father’s pioneering research into marsupials.

— Gentleman Tim


Seventy Years Ago Safari

24 Nov

Seventy years ago – during, prior to, and following the Thanksgiving holidays of 1947 – Errol was planning a major hunting expedition.

With what other person did Errol plan this safari, and in what country was it to take place??

¤ They planned to include about thirty (30) people.

¤ It was planned to last for about two months.

¤ They planned to record, ship, and broadcast clips of the expedition.

¤ It would involve big game hunting.

¤ The safari was to begin immediately after completion of The Adventures of Don Juan.

¤ It never happened.

— Gentleman Tim


The History of Scripps

02 Sep…

“[Carl] Hubbs arrived in La Jolla in 1944, when Scripps was a ghost town because so many people had left to help with the war effort. There wasn’t a lot of money to collect or study fish.

But opportunities arose, and one of them came from an unexpected source: Actor Errol Flynn.

In 1946, Flynn notified Scripps that he planned to sail his schooner from San Diego to Acapulco and that he was willing to take a scientist with him. Hubbs quickly stepped forward and ended up collecting a great number of specimens.”…

— Gentleman Tim


A Question! Who is that Dog with Errol Flynn?

26 Jul


Going over stuff for 1943, and looking over a shoot at Mulholland with Errol and his artwork during the week of July 20th, before Errol left for Mexico. In a few of the pix Flynn is outside with a doberman pinscher.

My question: Is that Errol’s dog? … or was it Buster’s dog? … and regardless, what was the dog’s name?

Even Matzen’s book, which has a couple of pix of the dog, never mentions his name …

— David DeWitt



16 Jun

Harrison Carroll – Los Angeles Evening Herald Express – June 16, 1938

Errol Flynn’s dog, Arno, is barred off The Sisters set. Flynn has been training him as a protector and, when Bette Davis had to make a pass at Errol in a scene, the dog lunged at her, bit her leg and chased her up on a chair.…

— Gentleman Tim


Many Munns Ago

21 May
    Long ago but not far away (in a seaside hamlet known as
    Palm Beach) there dwelled a family of great size and prominence
    known as the Munns. The Munns clan was comprised of a
    “cornucopia of cousins” with last names like Astor, Biddle,
    Drexel, Pulitzer, Renssalaer, Spreckels, Vanderbilt and Wanamaker. (One of the renown Munn cousins was a nun, none other than St. Katherine Drexel.)

    The link, info and imagery below include a wealth of Munn shots
    and multiple Munn mansions.…

    One of the illustrious Munns was Countess de Munn,
    and this brief story below is one of her most Flynntastic,
    written by the legendary Lloyd Pantages.


    Lloyd Pantages – Los Angeles Examiner I Cover – May 27, 1936

    The Countess De Munn started out to Hollywood
    with a South American wildcat as a present for
    ERROL FLYNN, but while walking it on the deck
    of her yacht the kitty jumped overboard and SANK.
    So FLYNNSIE is minus a zoo at the moment.


    — Gentleman Tim



14 Dec


Depicted here: An Arno Wannabe, perhaps auditioning for a long-overdue Arno biopic.…


circa March 1939

Not fame, not fans, not his newest part are
nearly so much of a problem as one determined
Schnauser who nearly landed his master in jail.

■ When Mr. Errol Flynn adopted Arno
into his heart and home, he little knew
how much trouble he was borrowing!

One day his life was serene. He was
master of his own soul, captain of his own
ship, boss of his own household. There
were no strings on Mr. Flynn’s friendships,
his goings-and-comings, his general behavior.
Life, for him, was singularly free
of complications, He was the living,
breathing example of what people meant
when they spoke of a “free soul”.

Then Arno turned up and since then
life hasn’t been the same for Errol.

Errol may be the great Hollywood star,
the man who pays the income tax, the
guy whom the girls mob. But it’s Arno
who is the real boss of the Flynn menages.
He expects, and receives, a certain deference
from the servants, the milkman, the
bread man, the Fuller Brush man. If
anyone rings the doorbell, Arno is right
there to pass inspection on the visitor.
He may, and then again he may not, permit entrance.

A time or two Errol has been forced to
sneak important visitors through the side
door. Subterfuge galls Mr. Flynn, but he
is forced to admire Arno’s uncompromising
stand where his personal opinions are
concerned. After all, Errol himself does
his own thinking — and why deny Arno the
same right.

When Mr. Flynn first came to Hollywood his adventures
in the far-flung corners of the earth were given considerable
publicity. That venturesome quality is like the measles —
awfully easy to catch. With it goes a keen sense of justice —
of right and wrong. Of what’s fair play and what isn’t!

Arno is not the only one in the house who has determined ideas
about nearly everything!

Once, when Errol went on location,
Arno was sent on a visit to the home of Flynn’s closest friend.
A cocker-spaniel happened to be the lord of this green pasture.
Arno resented the indignity of sharing attention with a long-haired,
floppy-eared comrade, by going on a hunger strike.

He bayed at the moon and made faces at the sun, and
absolutely refused to have any truck with the ambulating,
friendly cocker. All day long Arno sat in injured solitude,
not even nosing the ground sirloin which was especially prepared
for him. (Errol is kinda choosy about his food, too).

Again and again Arno asked himself — “What have I done to deserve
this? I have been loyal. I haven’t had more than one fight a day for a
week. I haven’t chased the neighborhood cats. I have been most careful
to use the proper comfort station, but here I am banished from the sight
of the only person I care two hoots about! Is that fair?”

The hosts began to get a bit worried when Arno’s hunger strike extended
to two days. They opened the door to the wire enclosure, and made clucking
noises to coax him out. Silly creatures, Arno thought to himself, as if he
couldn’t break prison with his own brawn and brain if there had been a chance
of finding Errol. He wasn’t dependent on a door for an exit.

On the Dodge City set rehearsing with Flynn, Arno,
the gourmet, toys with his evening steak.

Arno, the sportsman, in
hot pursuit of goldfish.

Arno, the prodigal, begs
forgiveness at dinnertime

Arno might be a Houdini, for all the problem
that chains and ropes present to him. Not long ago,
when he was on vacation with Errol in Florida, they
stopped at a very snooty inn. The haughty clerk gave
Arno the fish-eye and announced that no dogs were allowed
in the rooms. It was finally agreed that Arno would be
tied up in the basement.

Arno, however, had other ideas. By what legerdemain he
slipped the chain from his collar, and found his way,
as true as a string, to his master’s room is still a mystery
for Sherlock Holmes. Exactly five times he was returned to his
own quarters, and securely fastened. He was acquiescent and placid
while the humans scolded. But the moment he was left alone, off would
come the rope, and Arno would trot up the six flights and scratch at
Errol’s door for admission.

The management finally admitted defeat. The Governor of Illinois
didn’t have his dog in his suite; a duke from England, a minor
King from Europe, and an important ambassador did not have their
dogs in their suites. But Arno, the problem child, took matters
into his own paws, cut red tape with his teeth and spent what was
left of the night in his accustomed sleeping place — at the foot of Errol’s bed.

With Arno for an example, it’s no wonder that Mr. Flynn’s quality
of perserverance is becoming a matter of comment. (Note how long
and devotedly he worked at archery to become expert for his part in Robin Hood.)

As a general rule, Arno is snobbish and haughty with other canines.
They are so much dust beneath his feet, and recently that attitude and
Anger rose in Arno’s breast. He would show these people
how a gentleman and a scholar can solve a problem.

That night he set to work with fury in his heart. The locked
door was a challenge. For hours on end, he dug deep beneath
the wall. And long before the birds began their daily vocal
lesson, Arno had a beautiful escape tunnel completed. There
it was for all to see. And when his hostess came to look at him
and to greet him cheerily, he was sitting belligerently in the
exact center of the pen, with his eyes on the tunnel, as if to
say— “I m staying here of my own free will. If I had wanted
leaving, I could have done a little digging long before this.”

Neither Errol nor Arno hold with conventional restrictions
or rules. One of these days Errol will dump his Fame in the
waste-basket, pick himself up and go off to places unknown,
to follow his fancy and his inclinations. To Errol even a
great career isn’t worth the spiritual imprisonment it imposes.
That will suit Arno right down to the ground. He doesn’t much favor routine either.

— Gentleman Tim


An Eighty Years Ago Quiz

18 Sep

In September of 1936. it was reported that, during his days in New Guinea, Errol had hunted and sold snakes for a widely-heralded herpetologist.

Who was this famous man?


1) He was a preeminent pioneer in his field.

2) He was also a celebrated author and public speaker.

3) He had a very close association with The Bronx Zoo.

4) Here are two photos of him, one in his early expedition era, the second taken approximately at the time Errol was reportedly capturing snakes for him:



— Gentleman Tim


Flynn was “Fleeing” in ’37

07 Aug

from “HOLLYWOOD”, January 1937

“News Scoop for January”

“Why Errol Flynn is Fleeing Hollywood”

In Charge of the Light Brigade Errol Flynn plays another dashing, adventurous role. Finished with this and two other pictures, Flynn is deserting Hollywood. Read why in this article!

To Some Mortal souls on this earth the call of the South Sea islands is greater
than any other thing in the world. To them the Song of the Islands is more than
a beautiful tune, a romantic interlude. It is a call to adventure in unknown places, an urge to move restless feet toward the mystery of antiquity, a willingness to dare uncharted reefs for the beckoning things beyond.

Errol Flynn is one of these souls, forever restless, forever in the pursuit of
adventure. For him there is no glamour in the present, not even in glamorous
Hollywood. The restless, haunting look you see in his eyes is not from clever
acting. The Errol Flynn of the screen is Errol himself, a man of the far horizons
who refuses to linger long in one place. And lately he has heard the call of distant lands.

Errol was just completing work on Another Dawn for Warner Brothers when
we talked with him about the mysteries of Tahiti, and other islands so remote that they remain nameless to this day.

“I guess the South Seas would lure most anyone,” he told us, pacing up and down the sound stage floor as the cameraman worked for new shooting angles. “I don’t think I’m much different from anyone else. We’d all go down there if we could. I guess the only difference is that I am going just as soon as I wind up this picture.”

And there the difference is, as plain a fact as you could ask for. The lure of big
money as a dashing movie star, the adulation of fans all over the world, the peacefulness of serene security — these things mean nothing at all to Errol Flynn.

You doubt that?

Then consider the facts. Errol has been in pictures only a brief year. He was
discovered” while the studio was testing for the lead in Captain Blood. It needed a dashing young man full of the spirit of adventure. Fate gave Errol that particular screen test, and overnight he became one of Warner’s most triumphant personalities.

Years of adventure in the South Seas made Errol Flynn a husky, stalwart adventurer. He’ll stack up nicely with Atlas anytime!

The studio knew its man all too well. It deciphered that faraway look in Flynn’s
eyes and sent out an order that might well have read like this:

“Attention all producers: we have a marvelous hit in Errol Flynn. But he is
a natural born adventurer who is hard to hold in one spot. Maybe we can keep him
inside Hollywood for a year, but not much longer. Do things fast with him.”

Of course they didn’t send out that exact order. But it is a fact that Errol, in that brief year, completed not only his first picture, but leads in the following master-pieces: Charge of the Light Brigade, An- other Dawn and Green Light.

All of these pictures are top notch productions. Most stars would consider it good fortune to do only one of these in a year. With the exception of Green Light, all of the films are costume pictures. And in Green Light Errol plays the role of a doctor who flees misfortune, battles spotted fever amid the backwoods roughness of Montana. So you see he is fundamentally the adventurous type of man in all three films.

Captain Blood made such a hit that they ran it many months longer than usual.
Charge of the Light Brigade’s release was held up for that reason. Last month we previewed the latter picture. It will make your masculine or feminine heart pound. Adventure is here in copious quantities, and romance too. It is another tremendous Errol Flynn hit. Soon you will be raving about the picture, and it seems destined for as long a run as Captain Blood.

That means only one thing: it will be many months before both Another Dawn
and Green Light are released to the theaters, and it is during these months that Errol will venture into the South Seas to get some of that restlessness out of his system.

Something to Think About

Warner Brothers might well worry about this trip. Why? Because, Errol Flynn being what he is, might decide never to return to Hollywood and motion picture fame. Just like that — with a cool snap of his fingers. But he will come
back. Warners are sure of that. They gave him a good reason for returning from the land of beyond.


Several months ago Errol joined Fawcett Writer William Ulman, Jr. in writing
a story on some of the actor’s personal adventures before he became a star. The
title of that picture is The White Rajah. The idea came about during a lazy week- end in Palm Springs when Ulman was visiting Flynn, gathering material for a series of stories for Movie Classic.

Out there in the desert the two reminisced together. Errol talked about a picture he would like to do, a picture full of the nostalgia of the South Seas, of thrilling incidents from his own life.

“Why don’t we get together and turn that story into a scenario?” Ulman asked
Errol after several hours discussion.

It was a deal. They worked it out, and sold the opus to Warners for a princely
sum. And that’s why the studio is sure that Flynn will come back!

Flynn ‘s itinerary is the kind you love to speculate about. He will take the last
scheduled steamer run to Tahiti and em- bark from there. (After this trip all regular ships will dispense with making Tahiti a port of call, there not being enough business to make it worth while.)

What he will do in Tahiti is still as much a mystery to Errol as to anyone else how he will leave Tahiti for other islands is a matter for fate and time to decide.

But by and by a tramp steamer, a fishing schooner, or some wandering ship will drop anchor off the dreamy shores of Tahiti, and Flynn will find his time to move has come.

While restlessness is perhaps a prime factor in luring Errol away, he has a
couple of real objectives in his Odyssey. Among the countless islands of the South Seas mandated to Japan is one particular lump of land that catches his fancy. He calls it The Lost Island, although of course it technically is nothing of the sort.

On this strange Lost Island, Japan is said to have secret fortifications. And
Nippon is usually extremely reluctant to allow visitors within the sacred precincts. Nevertheless, the intrepid Flynn will visit that island shortly, with the official permission of high Japanese dignitaries. And all because Errol, in one of his previous adventures, developed a close friendship
with a son of one of these influential officials.

A Lost World

What Errol wants to see is not any secret military outpost, but to delve into the
mysteries of a lost civilization which once flourished on the isle. Here, under the perpetual shade of dense palm groves, are the ruins of another era, said to rival even the mystical Mayan ruins of Central America.

That spells adventure to Errol. He is taking with him a 16 mm. camera with a
supply of natural color film. When he returns he hopes to have adequate proof
of another Yesterday in human existence.

From the Lost Island the actor will swing down to the East Indies, a familiar
sight to him, for it was here that he had some of his most exciting adventures
before he climbed the heights of Hollywood.

This country is the background of his White Rajah story. So somewhere along
the line he will pick up a professional cameraman likewise afflicted with wanderlust, and film familiar scenes as a basis for the actual production. Didn’t we tell you there was a good reason for Errol to come back to Hollywood?

Yes, Errol will come back, even if it wouldn’t surprise anyone that he didn’t.

He will make White Rajah and perhaps by then he will be willing to settle down for awhile. One cannot make any accurate predictions regarding his future. Errol is forever independent. And he loves the region “down under,” where he had his first mad adventures with life.


Here’s Errol Flynn in a scene from Green Light, due for spring release. The
faithful dog is an important character in the film adaptation of Lloyd C. Douglas’s
famous book.

Green Light

— Gentleman Tim


Live from the Magic City Casino

23 Jul

Known in the dog days of Errol as the West Flagler Kennel Club .






April 1, 1938 — Errol Flynn Cup Race

Autographed Race Program found by Maria! Thank you, Maria!

Don’t Go Greyhounds!!



— Gentleman Tim