Mail Bag! My Wicked, Wicked Ways TV Movie Question!

15 Oct

In the Mail Bag today:

Dear Flynn Blog,

I just finished watching the aforementioned TV movie on DECADES. Very enjoyable. I’m trying to find out who Billy Welch, the stunt man who died after he fell off a horse in the TV movie, was based on. Couldn’t find any info for him online so I’m guessing that wasn’t the stunt Man’s real name.

Delmo Walters, Jr.

Thanks, Delmo!

— David DeWitt


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    October 16, 2017 at 1:26 am

    I believe the stuntman was Jack Budlong who died on the set of “They Died with Their Boots On”!–A. R.

    • Gentleman Tim

      October 16, 2017 at 10:53 am


      One of the many pairings of Australian Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland in their romantic swashbuckler films cost a stuntman, and a friend of Flynn’s, his life in the early days of the 1940s.

      Horseman Jack Budlong, who was not a trained stuntman but a polo-playing friend of Flynn’s, decided, in a key battle scene, to brandish a real sword rather than a wooden prop like the professional stuntmen.

      As he rode alongside Flynn, his horse was spooked and reared and Budlong tossed the sabre away before the horse threw him off.

      Unfortunately, the sword landed with the blade facing upward. Budlong landed on it, impaling himself.

      He was taken to the hospital where he died a few days later of peritonitis, an inflammation of the abdominal wall”.…

  2. Jack Marino

    October 16, 2017 at 2:21 am

    Billy Welch was suppose to be Buster Wiles. Buster told me that they change his name and they had to kill him off or he could have sued the production. So they merged Buster Wiles and Jack Budlong into one person.

    I was there the night they were filming the Captain Blood premier at the Chinese Theater. I had gotten out of work and was driving down Hollywood blvd and I see this huge tapestry of Errol Flynn. I said WOW ! I parked my car got out and I was standing behind the camera when Flynn/Duncan was coming up the red carpet. I got to meet Lee Purcell she was playing Olivia. Little did I know, I met Lee years later and we became fast friends and she was on my radio show in 2012. I thought Duncan did a pretty good job playing Flynn who is one impossible role to do.

    • Gentleman Tim

      October 16, 2017 at 10:36 am

      WOW, Jack!!! That is Awesome!!!

      Here’s a very good interview of Duncan Regehr regarding MWWW, with an also good clip from the movie, featuring Errol’s first meeting with Jackass Warner . Can you post your interview of Lee Purcell?…

      Here’s Lee, Duncan and Barbara posing as Olivia, Errol and Lili as you saw them back in their Wicked, Wicked Days:


      • timerider

        October 16, 2017 at 3:43 pm

        This photo tells a story of good casting I think. I must watch the movie again! Lee is very close even to the eyes and forhead, however I could identify Livvie if it was only her eyes. Barbara is a good match for Lilly and Duncan has the look but not that special flare.

    • Gentleman Tim

      October 16, 2017 at 11:05 am

      Here’s Buster, standing by his friend Errol, with Raoul Walsh as well:…

      And here’s Errol throwing his good friend through a window!


    • timerider

      October 16, 2017 at 3:39 pm

      Jack yer a walkin encyclopedia…LOL! I ‘m so glad you’re with us and add so much info into the blog! You’re an unforgettable character and I’m glad I met you online around 2002 when I asked you for the photo of Errol on the mast, (the Stackpole shot) And you filled me in on the location, time etc etc.

  3. David DeWitt

    October 16, 2017 at 2:59 am

    Thanks, A.R. and Jack! What a great story, Jack! A wonderful memory and experience …

  4. Ada Klock

    October 16, 2017 at 9:35 pm

    L.A. Times of August 7, 1941