Lovely Liliane – Images of Lili Damita

26 Apr

A Thread for Images of Lili

An Ad for the Casino de Paris, Where She Replaced the Legendary Mistinguette


Shades of Sherwood?


Ex-Femme Du Captaine Blood” – Gone Flapper Perhaps? – With a Great One of Errol & Sean, Also


A Pop Moderne Interpretation


— Tim


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  1. rswilltell

    April 27, 2015 at 1:20 pm

    Tim; I have had the pleasure of seeing some of Lili Damita’s films. She was a stunning, sensuous beauty. In photos taken of her in private life, she is even more strikingly attractive. I wonder how she looked in her later years. Did she age well? I know that when a couple of confidence men went to see her late in life with false news of Sean Flynn, Lili sized them up and tossed them out. She reused to let them take a photo of her. Ralph Schiller

    • Gentleman Tim

      April 28, 2015 at 10:53 am

      You’ve inspired me to watch Lili, Ralph! Thank you.

      From what I’ve learned down here in Palm Beach, Lili aged well physically, but not emotionally. She lost that megawatt smile and energy of hers that made her so radiantly attractive and alluring years earlier. … That, of course, may have started after the opening night of Captain Blood, but amplified even more so after the divorce, and, worst of all, after losing Sean. Life wears us all down ultimately, even the most privileged. Still, we’re blessed to have it.

      Here’s some early Lili:…

      • rswilltell

        April 28, 2015 at 7:39 pm

        Tim; If you can find a late photograph of Lili Damita and post it here for us, I would be very grateful. Another old movie queen retired ad died in Florida. This one was an even bigger legend, Hedy Lamarr who died in Orlando, Florida in 2000 at age 86. Hedy kept her slim figure to the end but her face was marred by too much plastic surgery. She is unrecognizable in her late photos. Ralph Schiller

        • Gentleman Tim

          April 29, 2015 at 11:19 am

          Come to think of it, Ralph, other than the one on her headstone, I don’t recall seeing any photos of Lili in her later years. Everything I’ve read and heard about her during her time in Palm Beach indicates she was very under the radar, increasingly reclusive as she aged. Many if not most of the Palm Beach elite were seasonal residents and often participated in their (still) famous charity balls, where they were frequently photographed. Not to my knowledge Lili though. I’ll have to get down to the PB Historical Society Library and see what I can find. Thank you for prompting me to do so!

          One fascinating story I came across is that Joe Kennedy hired Lili as a “nurse” to help attend to John Kennedy following his being PT 109 injuries. (Lili & Sean lived walking distance from the Kennedy compound.) If this was true, per his reputation, I suspect that old man Kennedy may have had other hopes for luscious Lili. He certainly had the bankroll to tempt the ex-Mrs. Fleen.


          • rswilltell

            April 29, 2015 at 1:00 pm

            Tim; What a fascinating story about a fascinating woman! Lili would have been between the ages of JFK and his father when she nursed the son. There is some doubt on her birthyear. The gravestone says 1908, and other sources say 1901. Lili is buried in Iowa and suffered from dementia before her passing. The two confidence men actually were wired with a recording device when they met Lili. The Lili I heard on that recording was sharp, alert, and tough as nails. Thanks Tim, Ralph

            • David DeWitt

              April 29, 2015 at 8:03 pm

              I’ve heard this recording, too. I was yelling, Leave the videocassette and player with Lili so she could watch her son on The Errol Flynn Theatre in PRIVACY! Why couldn’t they have the decency to let her do that? All they wanted was her memorabilia, I wanted to get my hands on their throats …

              • rswilltell

                April 30, 2015 at 6:38 pm

                David; I’m sure Lili had seen the Errol Flynn Theater television episode with her son Sean. She just didn’t trust these guys for good reason and wanted them out of her home. One was an attorney who could have been disbarred for making a recording without Lili’s consent or knowledge. Later I was told that Lili heard about the recording and couldn’t wait to get her hands on their throats! Ralph Schiller

                • David DeWitt

                  May 1, 2015 at 1:48 am

                  Oh, she had seen the episode? (Interesting, my reply is matching your original italic text!) Then why did she invite them to her house? They claimed to have info about her missing son? Scumbags, to say the least …

                  • rswilltell

                    May 1, 2015 at 12:58 pm

                    David; They told Lily they had some news on Sean and naturally like any mother hoping beyond hope, invited them over. When she found out that the news was simply an old TV episode, she started showing them the egress. Yes, they were scumbags. Ralph Schiller

            • Gentleman Tim

              May 12, 2015 at 3:20 am

              Hi Ralph. Been searching hi and lo for photos of Lili in PB. No luck on any new ones, but have come across a few things here and there. Here’s the big news though: Lili WAS a nurse! – just as I had heard on the street.

              … I doubt I’ll ever find in print that Lili nursed JFK, but I’d be surprised if Joe Sr. did NOT try to hire Nurse Damita. She was right down the block and one never knows when they’d be in need mouth to mouth resuscitation.


              Here would have been Nurse Damita’s place of employment, a short walk or limo ride from her place on Sea Breeze.


              • Sergio

                April 3, 2016 at 4:51 pm

                GT – This a nice pic of the Kennedy’s compound. I used to drive by a lot of those mansions up there PB a few years back. If I remember correctly wasn’t Kennedy’s place a pinkish color and right across from the actual beach?
                Not sure why I remember this, maybe because of the “Pink”…
                I once went up in that area and got some furniture from Jerry Lewis – he was giving it away, as he was redoing his house. Got some pretty cool stuff to say the least.

                Ah well, back to Lili – Do you have any pics of her estate? curious as to how well she was living since it was being paid by Errol’s income/alimony – which if I remember was a pretty sum, and in this she held from marriage for a long time, in fact after his death in ’59. (married 1962)..
                She was a though broad to say the least and vindictive too! Not only was the Flynn money good, but also getting that last smack down, a piercing thorn in Errol’s side ’till his death – I believe she raveled in it – to see him squirm especailly when he had financial problems…….

                • Gentleman Tim

                  April 3, 2016 at 5:11 pm

                  Yup. Lili was one vindictive lulu, even after she keft Lala-Land for Palm Beach. With Sean, she lived on Seabreeze. Later, she lived on Woodbridge, back to back with Mar-a-Lago, living on Loomis’s Eskimo Pie dough. Her and Trump would have made some neighbors!!


                  Had no idea Jerry Lewis lived on PB. I imagine he and/or Dino must’ve have met Flynn somehere along the line. Very cool you got some of his furniture!

          • Gentleman Tim

            April 3, 2016 at 3:34 pm

            Some evidence of Lili having studied some nursing during the War. Here she is with Myrna Loy, Ann Sothern, and Red Cross worker, I believe. This, of course, is not proof she worked for Joe or John, but it does appear to confirm that she may have had some nursing skills during the timeframe local folklore has it she worked at the Kennedy Compound on Palm Beach as a nurse.


  2. zacal

    April 28, 2015 at 4:19 pm

    What a beauty.

    • Gentleman Tim

      April 29, 2015 at 11:29 am

      Oui, oui, Monsieur Zacal.

      … and she could handle Errol’s lingua franca, too – as confirmed in this clip with Super Duper Gary Cooper:…

  3. Paula

    May 1, 2015 at 6:08 pm

    Just wanted to give a heads up, sort of far out but TCM has scheduled one of Lili Damita’s films on Friday, May 22 at 6:15 a.m. A tad early but still… I confess I’ve never seen any of her work.

  4. shangheinz

    May 6, 2015 at 11:27 am


    Lili arguably was Errol`s most beautiful wife. A true diva of her day and a very persued woman in her…

  5. Gentleman Tim

    May 14, 2015 at 4:25 am

    “Dazzling, Brooding Beauty” 1932

    Hollywood Can’t Figure Lili Out… (with photo to side)

    Two Hands Free for the Prince, 1931…

  6. Gentleman Tim

    May 14, 2015 at 4:32 am

    “Lily” the Blonde, 1930…

    Lili the Happiest Person in the World…