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The Mostly True Story and “Adventuring Career” of Errol Flynn

29 Mar

March 30, 1938

Sidney Skolsky

TINTYPES
Hollywood Citizen News

(All Photos Added)

Errol Flynn is an actor who always tries to act his role, that of a handsome man dashing around in search of adventure. He was that kind of actor before he ever looked at a camera, and he would be that kind of an actor had he never got into the movies.

He is a skilled boxer. He was England’s representative in the 1928 Olympic Games at Amsterdam.

He has an ugly scar on his ankle, the result of being hit by a poisoned arrow by natives in the bush country of New Guinea.

He went to Spain to take a look at the fighting and he wrote an adventure book, “Beam Ends,” which was banned in Germany because it contained too much levity.

The movies aided him with his “adventuring career.” An English film company produced Mutiny on the Bounty, and cast him as Fletcher Christian. The company went to Tahiti for the location shots, and after the picture was finished, he stayed on. He bought a boat and hired a crew and went into the pearl fishing business.

Then he got restless and went prospecting for gold in New Guinea. With the money he made, he bought a schooner and went into the inter-island freight service. Then he just kept on adventuring around. Why, he just kept on, sounding like a scenario.

He even had an adventure while on the boat on his way to Hollywood. He met Lili Damita.

He danced with her, thought she was lovely, enjoyed himself, and didn’t think about it until after they kept seeing each other in Hollywood. Then, in his customary dashing style, he boarded a plane with Lili, flew to Yuma, and married her.

He calls her Damita. She calls him Flynn.

He was born June 20, 1909, in the north of Ireland. He went to school at the Lycee Louis Grand, in Paris, and at St. Paul’s in London. He claims he is a direct descendant of Fletcher Christian, who led the mutiny on the Bounty.

He is 6 feet 2 inches tall, weighs 180 pounds, has brown hair, and is an excellent cook.

On the set he wanders about and seem to behaving a good time. He appears to enjoy his work, as if it were another adventure for him. He reads his script over at home, and then tries to learn a scene the night before he is to play it. He will often rehearse a love scene on the set, reading over the dialogue with the script girl.

He often takes his dog, Arno, on the set with him. He’ll park the dog in his portable dressing room, and the dog knows enough about picture making not to bark. It is the only dog allowed to enter the Warner commissary.

His pet aversion is to be hurried by people. He also hates alarm clocks. A valet wakes him every morning.

Recently, his valet quit him to become a picture actor. He didn’t see the valet again until one day on the set of Four’s a Crowd. He was playing the role of Flynn’s valet.

He likes to write. Besides several books he has written a play, “White Rajah,” which the Warners are supposed to make into a movie. He also wrote articles for a fan magazine. He reads newspaper editorials earnestly, and then writes “letters to the editor,” giving his views on various subjects. He sings to himself as he writes.


He resides in a modest house in Beverly Hills. There is one room in the house, his den, which even his wife can’t enter without his permission.

His favorite outdoor diversion is sailing. He is now getting ready to cruise on his new yacht, Sirocco. He also swims, rides, and plays tennis. He is considered one of the best tennis players in the movie colony.

Sleep annoys him. He doesen’t believe in more than six hours sleep, and likes to get up while he’s still tired. He believes that sleep should be taken sparingly and that indulging in it is like indulging in any other vice, such as drinking or smoking. When he sleeps a great deal he feels sluggardly all day. He resents the idea of devoting too much time to sleep.

When he does sleep, he sleeps with the windows open, and without a pillow, which he believes ruins one’s posture. He sleeps in an old-fashioned, four-poster bed. He always sleeps alone. Damita sleeps in another room.

He doesn’t own a pair of pajamas or a nightgown. He sleeps in the raw. Occasionally, he dreams. And the dream is usually about some thrilling, bold adventure, modeled after a scenario.

— Gentleman Tim

 

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