Marital Disagreement

08 May

Notwithstanding the outstanding expert opinions previously posted on the EFB, there appears to be some remaining conflict perhaps as to whether or not Lily (with a ‘y’ in ’25) ever actually married Michael Curtiz (also with a ‘y’ somewhere in one of his multiple hard-for-me to spell Hungarian handles – Mihaly Kertesz, perhaps?). I believe the current weight of authoritative conclusion is that there was no such marriage, and possibly not even a romantic or sexual entanglement, though a player like Curtiz must have certainly longed for one of some type. Still, the historical record on the blog contains and references dissenting opinions on this question, as in the link immediately below, for instance.

So, in order to update and clarify this matter of matrimony “once and for all” (until further evidence is unearthed):

(1) Is there any one out there who can prove Lily & Mihaly were NOT married, as so many (perhaps regurgitated) reports claim they were.

(2) When was this first reported – in the 20’s?, 30’s?, … 80’s? And by whom? Where?

(3) Is there any evidence of any kind that Flynn and Curtiz were at odds over Miss Dynamita, or that she used her history with Curtiz to annoy Fleen?…

Though not in the particular link above, I note that shangheinz has done outstanding research on this, also. Hopefully, he will weigh in on these questions in his always amazingly-informative and ever-entertaining way, even more especially so with there potentially being some Austrian aspects to this.

Here’s Diva Damita in the Film That Got Goldwyn to Give Her a Gig in Hollywood – Das Spielzeug von Paris , directed by Mihaly Kertesz, aka Michael Courtese.




— Tim


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  1. twinarchers

    May 8, 2015 at 11:21 pm

    I figured that this was the reason choked Curtiz. It would be a great way to get at him and easy. I can think of many guy type things to say that would drive him mad.

    • shangheinz

      May 9, 2015 at 3:36 pm


      Twains, I think the one and only reason for Errol choking Curtiz, would be an attempt to make him take Lili back. Then again like I stated in the posts below, I never bought in that urban jungle legend of a supposed short lived Curmita- marriage.

      • wagram

        May 29, 2015 at 7:13 pm

        I read Curtiz had someone remove the tip of Errol’s sword in one of his pictures without Errol’s knowledge. He was furious when he found out. This could have been Errol’s reason for choking Curtiz.

        • Gentleman Tim

          May 30, 2015 at 12:36 am

          You might well be right, wagram. Here’s one version of that story:



          • wagram

            May 31, 2015 at 8:07 pm

            Thank you Gentleman Tim, for the additional information! Olivia, in Errol’s “The Adventures of Errol Flynn,” comments about how “lethal” Errol’s choking Curtiz was. She did not know what was said, but they had struggled. That was the last time Errol worked with Curtiz.

  2. shangheinz

    May 9, 2015 at 3:07 pm


    MC was a ladies` man alright. But 1925 the year in which the supposed marriage between the maestro and the diva should have taken place, was an especially busy one for Curtiz. Sascha Studios had moved from Vienna to Berlin. Three films with Damita in the lead were filmed in rapid sucession. Furthermore this year markes the birth of Curtiz`second son, Michael II., fruit of his tenderloins with actress Franzi Vondrak, who had appeared in “Sodom and Gomorrah”. See:…

  3. shangheinz

    May 9, 2015 at 3:26 pm


    While Curtiz was between marriages at the time of a supposed marriage, Lil`Dame found herself entangled in a love triangle. Having secured top billing in three films from producer- lover, Count Alexander “Sascha” Kolowrat, the transition was made to two other noble men. Prinz Louis Ferdinand, grandchild of the German Kaiser, who even proposed to her. However he had second thoughts, later on and withdrew, when he got wind that his distant Cousin, the Duke of Kent, was seeing much of Lili too:…

  4. Maria

    May 9, 2015 at 3:31 pm

    You should read the memoir written by Curtiz’s adopted son- John Meredyth Lucas a renowned person himself. I have not read it myself but I am sure it would be interesting!

    • shangheinz

      May 9, 2015 at 3:46 pm

      This or any other book on the master direcor of horsemanship:…

    • Gentleman Tim

      May 10, 2015 at 1:08 pm

      Thanks so much, Maria. Never knew about that book, which I’ve now (since your post) perused for all it’s references to Lili and Fleen. Except for index filmography references, and one rather interesting passing remark implying Lili was quite alluring and able to get what she wanted, Lucas omits any discussion about Lili. He has quite a few very interesting anecdotes about Errol though, which I had never read before. Inside stuff, from his being “Mike’s” stepson.

      btw, “Mike’s” stepdaughter-in-law, Joan Winfield, was a notable Australian entertainer who had bit parts in four of Errol’s films – Gentleman Jim, Escape Me Never, The Adventures of Don Juan, and Thank your Lucky Stars.

  5. Gentleman Tim

    May 10, 2015 at 12:48 pm

    Bravo, shanghighness, for your always regally fun and informative posts. You’ve certainly put unsupported Lilliputian claims of a “Curmita” marriage to the test. Looks like Mikaly missed the boat with Lily. Fortunately and unfortunately for “Earl Flint” (as Curtiz called him), the Baron-to-be did not.



  6. David DeWitt

    May 11, 2015 at 3:34 pm

    Mailbag brings us this from Robb Callahan who was close to Pat for more than 20 years:

    Hi David, I saw your post about Michael Curtiz and Lily.  Here’s what I can tell you … many years ago during a conversation with Pat she mentioned that Curtiz and Lily were married.  That was the first I ever had heard about that.  This was years before it appeared in any books.  As far as the relationship between Errol and Curtiz, according to Pat they simple hated each other.  Pat didn’t feel that Curtiz had any jealousy issue about Errol being married to Lily.  It came down to Errol didn’t like the way Curtiz treated people, himself included.  Hope this helps




    • David DeWitt

      May 26, 2015 at 7:01 pm

      Thanks, Delvan!

    • Gentleman Tim

      May 26, 2015 at 10:39 pm

      Thanks for that correction also, Delvan. What’s the background of Lorraine Dora? I saw mention of her at the Hollywood Turf Club with Errol in Tom McNulty’s book, but nothing else that I can recall. Looks remarkably like Lili to me. Certainly a beautiful woman, one I’ll have to add to the list of Errol’s most beautiful girlfriends, I believe.

      P.S. Errol’s going to have to pop that cork before getting any wine into Miss Dora’s glass.

      Off to the races with Miss Dora:…