Errol Flynn at the White House

27 Mar

While searching the Franklin D. Roosevelt online library, I happened to remember that EF had been photographed with FDR. I also recalled that he wrote a letter to Eleanor Roosevelt on behalf of his friend Dr Erben who was trying to emigrate to the US.  I searched the FDR website and found an entry in the President’s calendar indicating that EF had dinner at the White House on January 29th, 1939, and attended a play (Outward Bound) afterwards. The list includes the other guests as well. The link to the calendar entry is:…

I’ve attached screen capture for reference.EF at White House Calendar Entry


— Jerry Canaday


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  1. Gentleman Tim

    March 28, 2015 at 12:32 am

    This is GREAT Jerry! THANKS!!


    Interestingly, a couple of Errol’s leading ladies, Eleanor Parker and FDR’s future daughter-in-law, Faye Emerson, starred in a WWII film version of Outward Bound entitled “Between Two Worlds”.

    (btw, as can be seen in the mis-transcribed original notes below, the “O. Price” in the guest listing is actually Vincent Price, who was in this Otto Preminger-directed play.)


  2. Gentleman Tim

    March 28, 2015 at 10:07 am

    Just incredible, only twenty-nine years old and five or so years out of desperate times in jungles of New Guinea and he’s the star guest of the President of the United States. Astonishing!

    This White House Dinner & night at the theater was on the eve of FDR’s B-Day, I believe – making it an even more extraordinary invitation. … Very interesting pairing with FDR’s very close friend, the iconoclastic historian/writer, Hendrik van Loon, too! I wonder how he and Errol got on?!

    Here’s Errol at another Presidential event only a few days earlier. Flynn was amazing. (P.S. Looks to me like Eleanor had a crush on Errol!)



  3. twinarchers

    March 28, 2015 at 12:19 pm

    Thanks for this post. Never saw the photo of him getting off the train before. I would love to know more about the visit too and how it went. I will always wonder why FDR could not have let Flynn in the Armed services in some position that his health would not be a problem. All he would have to do is tell somebody to let him in. He could have done anything.

    • Gentleman Tim

      March 28, 2015 at 3:51 pm

      What an excellent point/question, twinarchers. Though he did do so much for the war effort – from raising funds to inspiring GIs to keeping up the public’s morale – Flynn would have definitely loved to be in on the “action”. I wonder if Warner sabotaged his efforts to join up.

      Here are a couple of more from the President’s Birthday Horse Show at Ft. Myer Calvary Post in Arlington, Virginia. Btw, I believe George Patton was Commander of the Calvary at Fort Myer at the time of this event, and was therefore very possibly in attendance – maybe even a participant. Can you imagine George Patton and Errol Flynn meeting!?



      • Maria

        March 28, 2015 at 10:16 pm

        A great read -thanks for posting. I have copied the link to the article written by Mrs. Roosevelt (My Day) I found awhile back with respect to Errol’s visit to Fort Meyers:…

        • Maria

          March 28, 2015 at 10:18 pm

          My apologies: Fort Myer

      • twinarchers

        March 29, 2015 at 4:16 pm

        I have thought that Warner’s may have wanted their number one money maker to keep making them money. Otherwise that’s 4 years of zero from him.

  4. Maria

    March 28, 2015 at 10:59 pm

    I found a copy of a letter dated 1946 from Errol addressed to Gen Patton’s son in the following book:

    Growing Up Patton: Reflections on Heroes, History, and Family Wisdom
    By Benjamin Patton, Jennifer Scruby…

    I have never seen the letter before – and the book itself sounds interesting.
    I could not copy it but if anyone else can maybe they could include it in a post.

    • Gentleman Tim

      March 29, 2015 at 1:46 am

      great finds above, Maria! Thank you! … I’d love to see the letter Errol was responding to. Have you seen that? … Errol and Patton dated Doris Duke, so there’s some history there, too, perhaps. I believe Patton also may have had a fling with Marlene Dietrich, something Errol might have known.…