Errol on the Courts

11 Aug

Wherever he played, Errol was quite talented on the courts and popular in the clubs. Here are some photos of him at some of his favorite courts, with some of his fellow stars:

With Charlie Chaplin at the Los Angeles Tennis Club:

Charlie & Errol

With Paulette Goddard:

Paullette & Errol

With Silent Movie Star Charlie Farrell & Tennis Great Alice Marble (and I don’t know who on Errol’s left!)* at the Palm Springs Raquet Club, which Farrell and Ralph Bellamy founded:

Palm Springs

*Kay Shackleton – The Movie Gal – informed us on March 22, 2014 – that the man on Errol’s left is none less than Donald Budge! Budge may have been the greatest tennis player that ever lived.

— Tim


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  1. Tim

    August 15, 2013 at 1:05 am

    Here’s a fascinating account regarding Errol famously playing with the man often regarded (to this day even) the greatest singles player in tennis history. Imagine how daring and talented The Might Flynn was to play with Big Bill Tilden in such a widely visible and publicized Big Apple setting – with little if any preparation.…


  2. Tim

    August 15, 2013 at 6:20 am

    As recorded in the link immediately below, tennis great Frank Shields (ranked No. 1 in the U.S. 1 in 1933) regarded Errol the best player of all the movie colony:…

    In a splendid coincidence, Shield’s granddaughter, Brooke Shields, famously filmed Blue Lagoon – very near Errol’s estate in Jamaica. Brooke later married tennis great Andre Agassi. Oh, what a small world.…

    In this aerial image, part of Errol’s Navy Island property (on the extreme top left) and Blue Lagoon (the last lagoon on the right/east – where the Brooke Shields movie was filmed) can both be seen.


  3. Tim

    August 15, 2013 at 10:35 am

    As tremendous as Frank Shields was, one of his best friends, Sidney Wood, may have been even better. Wood first qualified for Wimbleton Singles and Doubles, at the incredibly young age of just 15 years-old, At 19, he won the Singles. In the book shown below, Wood (pictured with Shields on cover) also authoritatively confirms Errol’s greatness on the court – not only ranking him far and away the best movie star player on the courts, but also the only movie star ever to qualify for the U.S. Nationals, predecessor of the U.S. Open. Like with so many other things, that’s how astonishingly talented Errol was with a tennis racquet!


    • Inga

      August 15, 2013 at 4:40 pm

      It’s a shame there don’t seem to be any film recordings of EF playing tennis!

  4. Robzak

    September 22, 2013 at 7:00 pm

    This photo of Flynn was taken on Sunday, June 11, 1939 during the Summer Tennis Tournament at the Los Angeles Tennis Club. With him are WB talent scout, Solly Baiano (L), and Jack Warner (R).

    • Tim

      September 22, 2013 at 8:36 pm

      Thank you for that clarifying information, Robert! This photo was provided to me by a co-author of “100 Years of Tennis at the Hotel Del Coronado”, in which I believe it may be included. So, a correction is in order, though I’m not exactly sure how to proceed with that at this time!

      By the way, do you know who the lady is by any chance?


      • Robzak

        September 23, 2013 at 4:27 am

        I don’t know, but have always assumed she was a senior member of the club and simply a presenter.

        • Tim

          September 23, 2013 at 5:12 am

          Thanks, Robert. Much appreciate it. You really know you’re stuff!

    • Tim

      February 11, 2014 at 5:10 pm

      For the EFB record, here is that 1939 photo from the LATC:


  5. Tim

    March 3, 2014 at 5:10 pm

    Errol Excels at Tennis Video:…

    Plus, a great clip of Errol & Lovely Lil’.

    • Lollie

      April 14, 2014 at 12:16 pm

      What a fantastic video! Thanks for posting that Tim. :)

      I found this early photo of Errol too.


      • Tim

        April 15, 2014 at 8:30 am

        Thanks Lollie! Looks like Young Errol “played on grass”, as they say in the tennis raquet. …. In not too long, he was playing at some of the greatest clubs in the world, including the one pictured in UKaerial below – the legendary Los Angeles Tennis Club – home of both Hollywood stars & top-tier tennis champions. … This being a 1940 photo, Mr. Flynn could even be in there. Get.out a magnifying glass!


        Oh, there he is … shooting Tiger Lil’!


    • Gentleman Tim

      September 20, 2016 at 6:22 am

      Love-Love with Lili


  6. Gentleman Tim

    September 2, 2014 at 8:47 am

    The Amazing Story of Long Lost Legend of Joe Hunt:…


  7. Gentleman Tim

    September 8, 2014 at 3:56 pm

    The only Hollywood Star ever to qualify for what is now know as the U.S. Open!


    The background of this photo makes me believe it may have been taken on the legendary courts at the Hotel Del (Coronado). If so, these same courts and windows (about 20 years later perhaps) can be seen in the Some Like it Hot candid photo below.


    • Lollie

      September 9, 2014 at 11:18 am

      What a great photo of Errol! Such an extremely talented man. :)