Errol Flynn’s TV Appearances over the Years!

18 Nov

“I wonder if anybody has seen this and furthermore knows of equally little known TV appearances of our Hollywood hero. Blog away dates, titles, co-stars and most of all… memories!” — shanghenz

Karl Holmberg cites the following:

Errol Flynn TV/ Documentaries


Here’s at least some of the non-dramatic stuff that has appeared on TV over the years:

“The Colgate Comedy Hour”

In the early 1950’s, NBC welcomed Bud and Lou to their new hour long live variety show, as guest hosts. Abbott & Costello boosted the show’s ratings as they performed their staple of routines, including the still popular and in demand, “Who’s On First.”

“The Colgate Comedy Hour” 1/13/52 with Errol Flynn, Bruce Cabot, Rhonda Feming, George Raft

“The Name’s the Same”

An American game show broadcast by the ABC television network from December 5, 1951 to October 7, 1955. The show’s premise was similar to What’s My Line?, but the panelists here had to guess the name of the person, which also described something (e.g. “A. Lap”, “A. Table”, “Ruby Lips”, etc). Other contestants had the same names as well-known personalities of the past and present, such as Thomas Jefferson, Napoleon Bonaparte, Arturo Toscanini and Clark Gable. In a few cases, actors and other celebrities were brought out at the end of the guessing round to surprise the contestants who were their namesakes.54

“The Name’s the Same” Robert Q Lewis, Host, 8/20/1952: The first player is Errol Flynn. Panelists Jane Alexander, Abe Burrows and Bill Cullen.

NOTE: I ran into this crediting early on  in my research but  later, could not find Flynn anywhere in the celebrity credits of the various “historic logs” on the show. Therefore,  the actor Errol Flynn DID NOT appear on this program, but a young Master Errol Flynn did (…}

“Toast of the Town”

Ed Sullivan’s show was straight out of old vaudeville; brief acts of every description, from slapstick comedy to operatic arias. At least once, he showed a film, the only known film of Anna Pavlova (doing her Swan Dance). The Muppets’ first TV appearance was on Ed Sullivan. Stiff and expressionless, with a peculiar voice and a talent for mispronunciation, Sullivan was at least as recognizable as Cronkite to early 60’s viewers. Panel show.

“Toast of the Town” playing “Himself” (episode # 5.36) May 11, 1952

“Toast of the Town” playing “Himself” (episode # 5.37) May 18, 1952

“Toast of the Town” playing “Himself” (episode # 5.39) June 1, 1952

“The Martha Raye Show”, June 7, 1955, with Errol Flynn] / NBC.

Regulars: Martha Raye, Rocky Graziano, Carl Hoff and His Orchestra, The Danny Daniels Dancers. Comedy/variety.

“The Martha Raye Show”, January 3, 1956, with Errol Flynn] / NBC.

Regulars: Martha Raye, Rocky Graziano, Carl Hoff and his orchestra, the Danny Daniels Dancers. Comedy/variety

“The Steve Allen Show”, January 6, 1957, NBC.

Steve Allen, Louis Nye, Don Knotts, Tom Poston, Dayton Allen. Announcer: Gene Rayburn.

Music director, Skitch Henderson.

Guests: Errol Flynn, Guy Mitchell, Polly Bergen, Alan Young.

“The Big Surprise”, February 5, 1957, NBC.

Mike Wallace: Host

Announcer: Jack Clark, Easy Question Girl: Sue Oakland, Hard Question Girl: Mary Gardner

Celebrity Guest: Errol Flynn

Answers $30,000 question 2/5/57

This show was intended as NBC’s answer to CBS’s enormously popular “$64,000 Question.” When it boosted the maximum prize, it became known as “The $100,000 Big Surprise.”

In this NBC primetime game show, contestants who were judged “worthy” because of good deeds or hardship answered a series of questions, worth progressively more from $1 to $100,000. If the contestant missed one of the first four questions, he or she was out of the game. Later, if they missed a question, someone else could answer a different question, in an early version of a “lifeline.” If that person answered correctly, they received ten percent of the winnings. The questions were unique in that they had to do with an individual contestant’s friends, family, hobbies or hometown.

The ‘easy question’ girl and the ‘hard question’ girl brought out the questions. If the contestant missed an easy question he or she would lose all the money; if a hard question was missed, he or she only lost half.

Later, after a format change brought newsman Mike Wallace on as host (in his TV game show debut), contestants answered encyclopedia-like questions in different categories.

Note: Flynn apparently made only this one appearance; subsequent TV listings and related news report nothing further. IT WOULD HAVE BEEN NEWS whether he’d won or lost!

“What’s My Line?”, May 26 1957, CBS.

Moderator: John Daly. Mystery guests: Sammy Davis, Jr. Guest panelist: Errol Flynn.  Panel show.

“Toast of the Town Panel Show” playing “Himself” (archive footage) (episode # 10.48) [August 25 1957]

“What’s My Line?”, December 1 1957, CBS.

Panel show. Moderator: John Daly. Mystery guest: Errol Flynn.

“The Steve Allen Show”, December 1 1957, NBC.

Comedy/variety. The Steve Allen Show (1956-1961). Steve Allen, Louis Nye, Don Knotts, Tom Poston, Dayton Allen. Announcer: Gene Rayburn. Music director, Skitch Henderson.

Guests: Martha Raye, Errol Flynn, Jimmy Dean, Jennie Smith, Don Adams, Army-Navy football team members.

“The Arthur Murray Party”, October 27, 1958, ABC.

Ballroom dancing, plus comedy, songs and dance contests on one of the few programs to air over all four major commercial networks. ABC premiered it on July 20, 1950 and it closed on NBC on September 6, 1960. It varied between a half-hour and one hour in length.

…. Himself – Guest aka “Arthur Murray Party Time” 
… aka “The Arthur Murray Show”

Jack Paar Show, 1/6/59 French singer Genevieve and American television show host Jack Paar (1918 – 2004) listen as Australian-born American actor Errol Flynn (1909 – 1959) talks about a bird during a segment of ‘The Jack Paar Show,’ New York, New York, 1959. And at one point Flynn is wearing the Cuban flag

Note:  I have found neither an officiall date for this show nor any record of its having survived. There does exist some photos of the appearance and there was an item in the newspaper of 1/7/59 in which the headline reads “Actor Accuses Batista Forces” and that it was said the previous night, so likely it was during the Paar Show appearance as where else might he have been to have been quoted? In IMDB it is stated that not until 1/12/59 was the first Paar show videotaped… hence no surviving record?

“Front Page Challenge”: Jan. 13, 1959. Host: Fred Davis, Panellists: Pierre Berton, Toby Robins, Gordon Sinclair. Guest(s): Errol Flynn, Scott Young Errol Flynn became a guest on Front Page Challenge after producer Jim Guthro read in a newspaper that Flynn had been in Cuba during the revolution. When Guthro tracked him down in New York, Flynn agreed to appear on the show — if the CBC paid for his “secretary” (who was, in fact, his mistress) to fly to Toronto with him.

“The Red Skelton Show”, September 29 1959, CBS.

Comedy/variety. Red Skelton, Errol Flynn, Scott Engel, Beverly Aadland. Director, Seymour Berns.

Originally broadcast on CBS, two weeks before Errol Flynn’s death at age 50.


In a sketch, Skelton portrays hobo Freddie the Freeloader and Flynn his friend, “The Duke.” After a group of beatniks (which includes Flynn’s teenage girlfriend Beverly Aadland) mistakes Freddie’s shack for a coffee bar, Freddie is informed by a policeman that all bums have been ordered by the city council to leave town by sundown. Freddie and the Duke decide that the only way they will be able to stay in town is to open their own beatnik coffee bar. Singer Scott Engel (who later went on to fame as Scott Walker of the Walker Brothers) sings “Paper Doll.”

“Hollywood and the Stars:

The Swashbucklers”, 1964. Fairbanks Sr. and Flynn, featured stories, with minor coverage of others. Joseph Cotton narrator. 25 minutes.

Hollywood Goes to War, 1964  Everyone from Astaire to Wayne (and of course…) . Joseph Cotton narrator. 25 minutes.

“The Hollywood Greats: Errol Flynn”, 1978. Barry Norman narrator. 50 minutes.

“HBO: The Legend of Errol Flynn”, 1979. Robert Vaughn narrator. 23 minutes.

“Errol Flynn: Portrait Of A Swashbuckler”, 1983. Christopher Lee narrator. 50 minutes.

“Australians”, 1988, Episode 12, “Errol Flynn”, Drama, 13 minutes.

“A&E Biography: Robin Hood – Outlaw of the Forest”,1995, (TV) …. Himself

“Secret Lives: Errol Flynn”, 1996 (Channel 4 of England), 50 minutes.

Warner Bros. 75th Anniversary: No Guts, No Glory (1998) (TV) (uncredited)

“It’s Only Talk: The Real Story of America’s Talk Shows”, 1999, excerpt from the Steve Allen Show with Errol and Steve Fencing (January 6 1957)

“Informal, El” playing “El Burlador Caliente” (archive footage) April 21 2001

Raoul Walsh and Errol Flynn, 2002, Documentary Short, French TV.

“A & E’s Hollywood Home Movies”, 2004. Brief snippets of Flynn: EF smoking/ talking with shirt off on Zaca in color (2 seconds); EF playing tennis in color (4 seconds); and Bogart, Kay Francis (?), and Flynn in gathering at private home, outside, pan shot,  b & w (5 seconds).

“The Adventures of Errol Flynn”, 2005, Documentary (V & TV)

Tasmanian Devil: The Fast and Furious Life of Errol Flynn, 2007, TV Movie documentary

Cuban Story, The Truth About Fidel Castro Revolution, 1959/2010, Documentary. 50 minutes

Cameraman: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff, 2010, Documentary, 86 minutes


Tip O’ the Hat, to Karl!

— David DeWitt


Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

  1. Gentleman Tim

    November 18, 2015 at 3:26 am

    That’s Awesome, Karl!!! Thanks!!!

    In with Flynn (during the first 27 seconds) on the Steve Allen Show, December ’57.…

  2. shangheinz

    November 18, 2015 at 5:05 pm

    I tip my homburg to Karl, too for this indebt info on EF TV. Let me add that on the Arthur Murray Show he appeared together with “Stupid Cupid” Connie Francis, a household femme also in Austria and Germany. More on the show in…

    • Maria

      November 18, 2015 at 5:25 pm…

      Errol Flynn on Front Page Challenge

      • Gentleman Tim

        November 18, 2015 at 5:41 pm

        Thank you for that Front Page news, Maria! Love Flynnie’s English accent, though his ranking of Castro’s place and greatness in history has proven inaccurate. Like so many abusive dictators, he was created and fueled by hate for the one before him. In (In)Fidel’s case, this was sadistic Batista.


    • Gentleman Tim

      November 18, 2015 at 6:03 pm

      Danke, cupidheinz. Didn’t know about Connie’s Austrian femme fame. I do see her and briefly say hi some springs, when she attends music shows at a very popular Pompano Beach Tiki Bar where singer and musician friends of mine perform regularly – the Lighthouse Cove Resort. I’ll her she got a hallo from Austria, if you wish.

      Though I never met her previous to meeting her at the Cove, my college roommate lived right next door to her, at her childhood home in New Jersey. So I heard some inside stuff about the family. Her pistol-packin’ Dad might have likely taken a shot at Errol, had he ever made a move at Concetta. (Though I doubt Connie was his type.)…


      • shangheinz

        November 19, 2015 at 10:18 am


        Well Daddy Derringer chased Bobby Derin away, even though he and Francis C. were like two love pigeons on a stool. Did he mistake him for a jailbird, because he sang for the Jaybirds?
        Anyways Connman Tim, please give my regards to Connie, tell her she still is big in Austria and ask her about her memories of that TV night with our Hollywood hero.

  3. Gentleman Tim

    November 18, 2015 at 5:11 pm

    Here’s some supplemental info to add regarding the Errol Flynn Theater:……

    And, serving a duel purpose, here’s a dark intro by Errol:…

    • Don Jan

      November 18, 2015 at 7:41 pm

      OK, Errol is left in the dark…but still extremely enlightening!

  4. David DeWitt

    November 24, 2015 at 2:16 pm

    Ada Klock adds via the Mail Bag:

    The Big Surprise – was broadcast on Mondays in 1957. Errol appeared on the Jan. 28th episode when he won $20,000. Then he appeared the next week on Feb. 4th when he boosted his winnings to $30,000. Finally he was on the Feb. 11th show when he turned down the opportunity to go for $100,000.

    April 4, 1956-Screen Directors Playhouse – NBC-TV in California. Episode S1-22. Filmed at Hal Roach Studios in Culver City, California in black and white with a variety of guest directors. An original drama series sponsored by Eastman Kodak. A 30 minute program shown at 8:00 p.m. PST on Wednesday evenings. The Sword of Villon stars Errol Flynn as Francois Villon with Pamela Duncan and Hillary Brook under the direction of George Waggner. Synopsis: French adventurer Villon learns of a plot to assassinate the King and gathers his followers to stop the plot and save the King’s life.

    June 6, 1957- Playhouse 90 – CBS-TV in Hollywood. Broadcast from Television City in Los Angeles, Calif. This weekly 90 minute drama anthology program was filmed in black and white and sponsored by Bristol-Meyers and Marlboro cigarettes. The show aired at 9:30 p.m. EST on Thursday evenings with live performances, and every 4th week presented a filmed episode. This one was pre-recorded. Without Incident was Season 1, episode 36 starring Errol Flynn, Ann Sheridan and Julie London which was filmed on location in Tucson, Arizona in early March, 1957. Flynn plays a Captain of a U.S. Cavalry unit in 1870 on a rescue mission in dangerous Indian territory.

    Nov. 9, 1959 Goodyear Theatre aka Award Theatre – NBC-TV in New York. This 30 minute dramatic show was filmed in black and white and sponsored by the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company. It was broadcast at 9:30 p.m. EST on Monday evenings. The Golden Shanty was Season 3, Episode 9 starring Errol Flynn. Patricia Barry and Peter Hansen co-starred and Arthur Hiller directed this story of Flynn as a traveling confidence man in the old west. The show, which was Errol’s last dramatic performance, was pre-recorded in early September of this year.

    The Jack Paar show was on Jan. 8, 1959, since there is a lot of coverage of him arriving at Idlewild Airport on that same day. Also a number of his Errol Flynn Theatre epsisodes from England were aired at various times and dates on US TV in 1957.

    Jan. 13, 1959-Front Page Challenge – CBC–TV in Toronto, Canada. This 30 minute CBC- TV panel-game show was filmed in black and white. It was broadcast at 7:30 Canada p.m. EST on Tuesday evenings. He was questioned and answered about Castro and the Revolution.

    Hope this info helps your chronology.

    Thanks, Ada!