In Memorium … Our Dear Trudy McVicker!

14 Nov

Our dear sweet soul Trudy McVicker has passed, aged 87 …

Friend to all of us on The Errol Flynn Blog, and a friend of Earl Conrad, and everybody who knew her, she was in attendance at Jack & Louise Marino’s Centennial Party for Errol Flynn in 2009 where we all had a chance to meet and be instantly charmed by this lovely woman who we now hold in our hearts in a new way … what a blessing she was to all of us!


TP McNulty Remembering our dear friend Trudy McVicker: Trudy once said to me that she wondered if people go to the place they loved the most, and see again the people they loved the most when they die. She hoped that was the way it works out, that when we die we all get to be in some wonderful place we dreamed of with our most cherished friends and family. Trudy is with a Tasmanian swashbuckler now, and of her many friends, I know of several late writer friends she held in high regard, and you can bet their conversations are fascinating. Nothing I post here does Trudy justice, and in fact, she told me not to do this type of thing, because she knew there would be enough of that “type of thing” from certain others, so this will be my only public statement (for now) at her request. She was one of a kind. Wherever she is, there are mysteries to unravel, incredible characters to observe, and laughter to be had. She once described to me the rainfall hitting the sidewalks as being like “shiny dimes tossed into the street.” She told me how once, years ago, she watched a traveling carnival set up in town; and how it changed from a parade of grimy, gasoline smelling machines into a multi-colored light show of spinning Ferris wheels with a calliope whistling and sputtering steam to the delight of crowds of dancing children, and how amazing and wonderful it all was. She viewed the world as a wonderful place to explore, and so she did. Of the photos I’ve posted here, you’ll see her glass menagerie on her windowsill. This was a work in progress. She loved the way the light changed as it came through the trees and then touched the glass, illuminating even more of this incredible world we live in. May the wind be at your back, dear Trudy, and may the road rise up to meet you. That tall man up the path looks familiar. Why, yes, I’ve seen that grin before. He’s a good fellow, well met, and he has some stories to tell. As they walk up the hillside together I can well imagine the laughter echoing into the golden afternoon, and then, quite slowly, we fade out. Peace.

Thanks for sharing Tom & Jan McNulty …

— David DeWitt


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  1. Gentleman Tim

    November 14, 2020 at 2:54 am

    God rest her soul. Hopefully she’s already in Heaven with Errol, going over some details of his life and telling him how very many fans and admirers he has down here.

    • David DeWitt

      November 14, 2020 at 3:20 am

      We couldn’t have a better messenger …

  2. David DeWitt

    November 14, 2020 at 3:53 pm

    Trudy McVicker: I was going to marry Errol Flynn! (PDF)…

  3. barb

    November 14, 2020 at 8:18 pm

    What terrific tributes to Trudy. I never knew or even met her, but I certainly knew of her, and she sounded like she was one-of-a-kind. To those who did know and love her, may her memory be a blessing.

  4. David DeWitt

    November 15, 2020 at 8:57 pm

    From Jack Marino:

    Today Louise and I got the news of the passing of our dear friend and the great lady Trudy McVicker. I met her back in 1980 when we moved out to California. I met her through author Tony Thomas, who took to me like a long lost son. Tony had worked with Trudy and with Rick Dodd out of England since the early 1960s on all their books on Flynn, Hollywood, and film scores.

    All of us today that knew and loved Trudy all of us called her the Grand Dame of the Errol Flynn world.

    She met Errol Flynn in a hotel lobby when she was around 15 in post-war Germany. He has flown in for some film festival and there was one of many fans that were there. She had a teenage crush on him and she wrote to me many years ago the story of her dreams of Errol Flynn.

    Trudy was a tremendous writer and storyteller we would spend hours on the phone talking to me and my wife. She would write to me about her life in Germany during the war which is incredible and the day when she was about 9 she had to go to a rally and met Adolf Hilter.

    The way she would tell the story and describe the people and the energy, I would always tell her she needed to write her memoirs. When Hitler started to speak and yell she was in the first couple of rows and she started to scream and yell. His mother was aghast thinking the Nazi party members would arrest her. They all thought that this young German girl was so overwhelmed by the presence of the Fuhrer she couldn’t control herself.

    They took her out of the hall she was in. When she got home she told her mother that she saw the devil with horns and it scared her. The way she would tell these stories of her life it was like you were with her.

    She wrote of an elderly Jewish man that lived next door to her and he has a long white beard and long hair. She would call him Merlin the Magician. He had the best garden around his house of every flower one can think of. He would teach her the names of different flowers and how to grow them. One day when she came home from school the old man was gone. She never saw him again and could never understand why he was gone. Later she found out the Nazis came and took him to a camp. She always told me she keeps roses in her yard in memory of Merlin

    She worked for years as a researcher for many authors that wrote books on Errol Flynn. She was considered the best in her field and I got to know her sweetness through her phone calls and letters. She sent me very rare pictures of Errol Flynn from photoshoots from Warners. She gave me a couple of books from Earl Conrad that wrote three books of Errol Flynn. She always told me and Louise that I reminded her of Earl and his wife reminded her of Louise and how we both worked together to get my career off the ground as she did for Earl.

    I finally got to meet her in June of 2009 when my wife and I threw the only 100th birthday party for Errol Flynn in America and over 80 people flew out for this event that was for one day and it went to three.

    It was a great trip for her to meet new writers and Flynn fans who regarded her as an authority on the life and times of Errol Flynn. She was a very private person and I debated all day to post this but since I never got to say goodbye to a great gal I thought this would be the best way to tell her we all loved her and now we all will miss her and how she touched all of our lives.

    My good friend Tom McNulty who is a far better writer than I could ever be, wrote this today about Trudy. It was Tom and his wife Jan that convince Trudy to fly to California with them and Trudy would stay at my house for the greatest Flynn Party ever throw, the old boy would have loved it.

  5. Ralph Schiller

    November 16, 2020 at 2:49 am

    I met Trudy McVicker and got to know her. Yes she was a great scholar on Errol Flynn but knowing her, I met so many fascinating people. One was a man called Paul James whom was the number one expert on author Leslie Charteris’s many The Saint stories about Simon Templar. Over dinner he spoke of The Saint on radio, television and films! Trudy also spearheaded a campaign against the Charles Higham book, and pretended to befriend. Over dinner at a swanky downtown Chicago restaurant, Trudy told Higham to his face what she really thought of him. The ambushed Higham ran off into the night! God bless her.

  6. Gentleman Tim

    November 16, 2020 at 4:42 pm

    What wonderful tributes. Thank you so much David, Tom & Jan, Jack & Louise, (Karl) and Ralph. You were so fortunate to know her, and vice versa!

    And WOW what a life she lived! I love that write-up! She had almost as many different odd-ball jobs as Errol! He would have loved her! – for all that intelligence, imagination, tenacity … beauty and curves!!!

    Have a great time with Errol, Trudy!

  7. David DeWitt

    November 29, 2020 at 6:25 pm

    A story from Rory Flynn: Rory sent Trudy some flowers when she was very ill a few moths ago but was making an extraordinary recovery in hospital. The flower shop was going to send to her Apartment but she was in hospital so they could not be delivered so they tried the hospital but by then she was back home! So they tried again, and she got them! She was in love with them, and couldn’t stop talking about them. There were so many, she decided to take one in a little glass cup to each of her friends to add some sunshine in their day, and made those people so happy. For some reason, these yellow roses lasted and lasted and lasted and each person showed them to her still lovely and bright and it was a bright spot for everybody. And that was Trudy, a bright spot for everybody …

    Rory Flynn




    • barb

      November 30, 2020 at 2:58 am

      What a wonderful story all around! That was such a beautiful gift from Rory and such a lovely gesture from Trudy to her friends. I love that those flowers lasted so much longer than they should have. Thanks for sharing, Rory and David.

    • Gentleman Tim

      November 30, 2020 at 4:10 am

      Very nice, Rory! That had to make Trudy feel so great.

      That’s some real flower power. Like a true Flynn, those flowers would not be denied.

  8. chipndalegirl01

    December 19, 2023 at 12:14 am

    I’ve been wondering for quite some time how Trudy was doing. I’ve been dreading the day I would find her obituary. Trudy was my neighbor in Libertyville from 2007 to 2011. I loved spending time chatting with her in her kitchen, where she spoiled me with freshly baked treats. She always had a unique way of viewing the world, and I valued the wisdom she passed along. Unfortunately, we lost contact after my husband and I moved to our first house and when she moved to Zion. I will always be grateful she got to meet my first-born son; a memory I will always hold dear.