A Knock-Down Drag-Out Affair

13 May

May 13, 1939
Jimmy Starr
Evening Herald Examiner

The fisticuffs between Errol Flynn and Aiden Roark some time ago crowded the European crisis off the front page for one edition.


Quotes and Summaries of Headlines from Around the World

No pink tea was this latest battle, eyewitnesses said. No fists this time swished through the air past their intended target. This one, ring-siders aver, was a knock-down, drag-our affair.

An eyewitness to the brawl between Errol Flynn and Aiden Roark says that Roark called Flynn a North Ireland so-and-so

All afternoon, Roark had been passing sly remarks about Flynn’s heritage and acting.

Late in the day, when fifty or more film celebrities gathered to prepare for dinner, Roark continued his heckling of Flynn. He didn’t think much of Flynn’s Thespian ability, and less of North Ireland, and gave voice to these dislikes several times, punctuating his feelings by grabbing Flynn’s collar.

An eyewitness to the brawl between Errol Flynn and Aiden Roark says that Roark also called Flynn a North Ireland so-and-so.

Flynn was a valiant defender of Northern Island, against the celebrated polo-player (and executive assistant to Darryl Zanuck) from South Ireland.

The star of Robin Hood objected and, according to elite ring-siders, told Roark to “shut up.” When he didn’t, Flynn let him have it.

Roark went down. He staggered to his feet and went down again under Flynn’s crashing right fist, a beautifully timed right hook.

Bud Ernst, Hollywood radio man and friend of Flynn, grabbed the actor and Bruce Cabot seized Roark. At this point, one of Roark’s socialite, polo playing friends rushed forward and struck Flynn a hard blow on the mouth

With a roar of rage, Flynn shook loose, knocked down his second antagonist and turned to meet Roark, who had shaken free. The actor then again landed a looping right hand on Roark’s jaw and Roark topped over – for good this time.

Flynn was the victor by a knockout.

Roark was unconscious for 20 minutes.

The hostess, Mrs. Jock Whitney, then dined with Flynn, Ernst, and Cabot, at a Beverly Hills nightclub.

This is the first time that Flynn has hit the Hollywood headlines with a fight, although he, and Lili Damita, were mixed up in a fracas in Havana.

A philosophic attitude of Warner Bros. was due to two things: (1) Their he-man star won by a knockout. (2) The story broke a few hours before the preview of Flynn’s war picture, The Dawn Patrol.

Reticent to discuss the incident, Flynn said: “I’m sorry it happened; it’s just one of those unfortunate affairs. But some of the remarks were too pointed, and I had to defend myself.”

Pat DiCicco *, Claudette Colbert, Leslie Howard, Aiden Roark and Mrs. Leslie Howard

Pasquale ‘Pat’ DiCicco was a Lucky Luciano-connected mobster, murderer and man about town.

— Tim


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