Errol Flynn: The Illustrated Life Chronology book/volume by Robert Florczak is magnificent!

30 Mar

Yesterday after burning the midnight oil for three days I finished Robert Florczak’s superb and meticulous book “Errol Flynn: The Illustrated Life Chronology”, reading it from cover to cover as  it was impossible to put down.  At 320 large-size pages, with over  800 rare photographs, this is easily the finest, best written book on Flynn, that captures his heart and his very adventurous, restlessly, troubled soul, since Earl Conrad’s masterpiece “Errol Flynn: A Memoir”

For author Florczak this was a Herculean if not impossible task but he rose to the occasion.  Yes, we see Errol Flynn the screen movie star whom we loved on the big screen but also the deeply caring and adoring father to his children.   Unlucky in marriage to three of the world’s most beautiful women,  the readers  will come to admire Errol Flynn the man thanks,to this book.   Robert Florczak, who  acknowledges invaluable help from Flynn scholars Inga Klein and Josef Fegerel, has unearthed an enormous treasure of never before seen new material that will astonish the readers, including Errol Flynn’s lost (except for the first adventure) radio series “The Modern Adventures Of Casanova” and his ‘ghost’ film “Hello God”.

“Errol Flynn: The Illustrated Life Chronology” is both profound and brilliant and makes for unforgettable reading.  One thing is certain, Errol Flynn’s first wife Lili Damita was the most gorgeous star in Hollywood then and now.

— Ralph Schiller


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  1. Debbyphielix

    March 30, 2022 at 5:39 pm

    My book has still not arrived yet. At the moment I am reading it as Ebook, but that doesn’t do it justice. But what I have read so far is brilliant.

  2. Joanna

    March 31, 2022 at 6:23 pm

    Briefly, I must tell you that this is the best book written about Errol Flynn. The work that went into this is indescribable. I use it for reference while I am watching one of his films which I do everyday I have them available to me. I was amazed at how much Warner Bros tolerated with Errol but then I suppose it was about all the money he was making for them. Oh, how I wish he would be given all the credit he deserves for being not just a beautiful man, which he was in all ways but for his acting which I find the best from that era and on through until now. I rarely see a current movie and have no idea of any of the stars, today. There will never be another Errol Flynn or a generation like his. Get the book. You will not be disappointed. Joanna

    • Selene Hutchison-Zuffi

      April 1, 2022 at 12:02 pm

      Tolearated? I wouldnt say so. WB and Hal walis sure talked awfully about Errol. Used him, abused him. Were condescending. Talked down to him. Is the other way around. How much Errol had to tolerate with WB and Hal Wallis

      • Joanna

        April 2, 2022 at 3:09 pm

        I apologize to you for using the word tolerated. I have been immersed in the new book The Illustrated Life Chronologically about EF daily filming schedule and other things. It amazed me that he was ill so much, but then he had many illnesses. In the book, they talk about how they had to shoot around EF being late and having to shoot around him or dismiss the other players until he returned.

        • Ralph Schiller

          April 2, 2022 at 3:12 pm

          This book now has ten, 5-star customer reviews on Amazon. Not one bad review or even a so-so review. Ten reviews only and every single one a 5-star review.

        • Selene Hutchison-Zuffi

          April 3, 2022 at 2:53 pm

          Yes he was ill a lot. Yet he did work at times even if sick.
          Errol was the one that had to tolerate WB and Walis..of course if someone is sick you have to deal with it..they made it sound like he was making it inconvenient for them. He was a number to them nothing more. Is sickening

  3. Selene Hutchison-Zuffi

    April 3, 2022 at 2:54 pm

    Yes he was ill a lot. Yet he did work at times even if sick.
    Errol was the one that had to tolerate WB and Walis..of course if someone is sick you have to deal with it..they made it sound like he was making it inconvenient for them. He was a number to them nothing more. Is sickening

  4. Debbyphielix

    April 6, 2022 at 2:16 pm

    My book finally arrived yesterday and what a treat it is. Robert does a very good job with this book. Some great photos too. Warner tolerated a lot from Errol, but it worked the other way too. Warner could be demanding. I will write a review later if David wants to have it for the blog

    • David DeWitt

      April 23, 2022 at 5:57 am

      Yes, of course!

  5. thomas scalzo

    April 6, 2022 at 9:50 pm

    Warner and Flynn had a love hate relationship. Warner was about making money. Flynn made them a lot of money, but at times he also took advantage of his position. He was responsible for making Adventures of Don Juan go way over budget due to his drinking. That is why his wasn’t really given another big budget film after that. He also did the same with Silver River to the point that Raul Walsh had enough, and they remained friends , but never worked together again. Long and short Flynn made them a lot of money, but once you start to slip at the box office ,at any studio they start to cut budgets.It happened to all the big stars at one time or another. The studio moguls were all ruthless that way,

    • shangheinz

      April 7, 2022 at 6:49 am

      So true Tomasso. Flynn was Warner‘s cash bull. Under the harsh guidance of his erstwhile mentor Michael Curtiz he thrived. Blood, Charge & Robin Hood were and are Hollywood‘s finest films. But Casablanca Curt was a disciplinarian and Errol, forever insecure in his acting abilities, flung himself into debauchery to give his hero image an edge, as well as his life a kick. This fueled his various ailments and didn’t enhance his performance. Soon he would handpick his directors and settle for mediocrity. PS: How is your book coming along?

      • thomas scalzo

        April 7, 2022 at 6:50 pm


        Think you got it correct that many of his extra activities contributed to many of his ailments or exacerbated them.
        The book is coming along fine. I am up to 1945, What had started out as a photographic time line of his life in photos; has turned into a larger project due to some additional information i have. I do have a 45 minuted interview with Damita on cassette from Nov 1983. I just want to use photos that have never surfaced, and I think I can put together at least four to five hundred. Many color. I do have some rare childhood photos from baby pictures to around 15 years old. About 30 total. Most interesting are photos of him in England around age 14, and a rare shot of him in South Africa in a Rickshaw pulled by a native…age 12 or 13., Keep in touch. Best Tom

        • shangheinz

          April 8, 2022 at 9:38 am

          Great news Tom! Another Flynn publication!! It is fair to say, Errol‘s fans are of the most loyal, talented and investigative kind. It shows here at David‘s milestone blog on a daily basis and year after year on the book market. Keep us posted!

          • David DeWitt

            April 23, 2022 at 5:59 am

            Very kind, sir …

        • Selene Hutchison-Zuffi

          April 14, 2022 at 6:55 pm

          It wasnt due to drinking. That was ome day. He was sick for like a month. Malaria, heart. No. Most of his ailment were not due to drinking. But we will never agree. Lets stop shaming him for drinking or using morphine. They all did and many lived to 90. He was sick before starting drinking or drugs

          • shangheinz

            April 15, 2022 at 8:44 am

            I agree. He was suffering from cirrhosis by the sea, not of the liver!

            • Selene Hutchison-Zuffi

              April 16, 2022 at 12:39 pm

              Lol he wasnt. Have you read the autopsy???
              Also you obviously seem to forget that malaria causes liver damages.
              But keep believing what you want.

            • Selene Hutchison-Zuffi

              April 16, 2022 at 12:48 pm

              My mother had cirrhosis..didnt drink. She had hepatitis and developed it. So lets stop blaming alcohol when other diseases can develop it as well.


    April 18, 2022 at 8:11 pm

    Hi Ho Sports:
    Have been looking through my copy and boy does it have a lot of information.
    One thing I did find interesting is that Florczak references the letters Sean wrote to his mother which the press picked up on and then said it was proof that there was a rift between father and son.
    What I found interesting is then we are shown a letter from Sean to his father where he asks for advice and money. The letter is regarding a girl Sean liked, but Lili did not. Errol’s response was to send the money that Sean requested letting Sean know that even though he was strapped for money, he is still willing to help Sean out; going so far as to provide whatever advice and money Sean needed. What ever one might think of Errol, he did his best to be a good father to his children.

    BTW Does anyone why he referred to his eldest daughter as “Sam”?–A. R.

    (P.S. along with this book Amazon was also selling a book about the making of “…Robin Hood” which was also very interesting with a lot of information.–A. R.)

  7. Jack Marino

    April 23, 2022 at 3:56 am

    Some of the comments on this site and this thread are off the charts. This is why there is so much misinformation on Errol Flynn out there because people on here have their own fantasies of Errol.

    Errol was a roustabout a vagabond in the South Pacific, he had no trade and no skill except his charm and looks. That got him far. He was a young man in Hobart and would go to movies and watch Jack Barrymore and Lilly Damita as well as a lot of movie stars of the silent era. He would watch newsreels of what was going on in America as well as the rest of the world. He told his boyhood pal Hunter-Kerr that he was going to marry Lilli Damita. Errol was determined to make his way to England since all his friends told him he should be an actor. All the girls wherever he went were all over him and he never had to chase girls. He made his way to Paris and in those days there were movie magazines all over the world with interviews with all the stars. He knew where Lilly was and what club in Paris she was known to hang out in.

    Both Lilly said in an interview that it was love at first sight and Errol was her first marriage. Errol wrote to his father and told him it was love at first sight. In the end, he said she killed that love. Like he had nothing to do with it.

    Errol was a contract player for Warners thanks to Lilly’s influence in England and later back in Burbank. He was an EMPLOYEE of Warner Bros studio whose business was to make stars and make them famous and rich.

    Jack Warner was a 19th century think to him all his actors were ‘bums’. His brother Albert calls all of them bums including his own brothers. You have to learn where the brothers warner came from.

    Errol was an actor and most actors are ungrateful and have low self-esteem. Jack Warner took Errol Flynn a total unknown and made him a superstar overnight. No other actor in the history of Hollywood has ever done this.

    Errol had a love-hate going on with Warners, he knew Warners was making tens of millions off his films and he was making tens of thousands. What Errol and lots of actors just don’t get is that the studio is the one taking the risk and all the actor has to do is show up, hit his mark, and know his lines. If his films make profits he gets bigger and better contracts to support their lifestyle. Errol made lots of bad business decisions in his life that set him on the road that he ended his life on.

    Jack Warner’s attitude was you were making nothing before and now I’m paying you 3,000 per week during the depression when the Average Annual Salary: was $1,500 .

    Jack made them all rich and most of them were ungrateful, including our boy, He would take stuff from the wardrobe and prop dept. He would cost the studio money by being drunk, not knowing his lines. Warners TOLERATED Errol’s behavior

    Errol resented Warners making millions off him and he was going to cost them money., They would fight and tolerate him until he started losing money at the box office. He caused Don Juan to go way over budget and that was the last big film Warner put him in.

    Warner, on the other hand, could have been a lot smarter in business towards Errol and given him 25% of the net gross profits and Errol would have been on his best behavior. You had two stubborn guys trying to prove to each other who was the boss. Guess what Jack L Warner was the boss and he even proved it to his own brothers.

    From 1935 until the rape trial Errol was a social drinker and he smoke 4 packs a day. After the rape trial, his drinking consisted of a quart of vodka a day for the next 25 years. He also drank whiskey and other hard booze. When you get up for breakfast and have a 10oz glass of straight vodka you are an alcoholic, PERIOD

    He also tried every narcotic and got hooked on morphine for his back pain from riding horses and doing a lot of his own stunts.

    To say that he didn’t die of cirrhosis of the liver you have to be in a fantasy land. Errol was a raving alcoholic and yet he was a working alcoholic because of his constitution. He lasted until he was 50 anyone of us that drank like him would have died by 30.

    He drank with men that were like Olympians like Barrymore. Flynn had heart problems and malaria which cause problems in a few of his films. Also, had his nightly drinking, and partying up a storm, he hardly slept. You keep this up for 25 years it catches up with you.

    In the end, he was a drunk and a working drunk and his last three films made by the studios proved the did his job and the audience loved those films.

    In the end, his heart gave out, they suspect he gave himself a shot of morphine since his back was sore, he went to lie down on the floor to ease his back pain and he had the heart attack that took his life.

    The autopsy stated his liver was just about gone and most of the major organs were all disease, it wasn’t
    malaria or any of his other illnesses that cause his death.

    It was cirrhosis of the liver and emphysema with his 4 to 5 pack a day habit. Emphysema was the underlining cause of all these male stars who all died in the late 50s to early 60s they were all chain smokers.

    Errol Flynn was a physical wreck when he died. So people can’t deal with the truth, with Errol you have to take the good with the bad. That is what makes him a whole fascinating human being. That is why we spend our time on these blogs talking about a man that has been dead for over 60 years.

    Deirdre Flynn, once told me many times, ‘you all need to get a life’, dealing with a lot of these misrepresentations, and total BS on all these Flynn these blogs I’m beginning to realize that she was right.

    Higham has done tremendous damage to Errol Flynn’s legacy. Now there are people on these blogs making stuff up that never happen and passing it off as truth.

    The damage continues…

    • Debbyphielix

      April 23, 2022 at 1:06 pm

      Good comment. I totally agree with you. There is a lot of BS on the internet about Errol. I have a site dedicated to him, but I will never write BS about him. I won’t tolerate it. He was a fascinating man with his good and bad sides. I am sure he was a handfull to JW, but he could be a charmer also. I agree with you on the drinking and smoking. It was “normal” in these days to smoke and drink a lot. Reading RF’s book raised some questions for me, and I am looking forward to see if I can solve these mysteries.

      • Selene Hutchison-Zuffi

        May 1, 2022 at 8:33 pm

        Lile what mysteries? I might be able to answer

  8. Debbyphielix

    April 23, 2022 at 12:51 pm

    This book is a treat for Flynn fans. Robert Florczak did a lot of research for this book and it shows. From start to finish this is a great read. 

    It reads like a diary and goes into details about the disputes between Errol and Jack Warner, his boss and the statutory rape trial that almost destroyed Errol and his carreer. We see the many sites of Errol Flynn. The adventurer, daredevil, devoted father, loving husband, his despair and many more facets of the man behind the star.

    We follow Errol’s life from his birth till his untimly death. Inbetween we see him running a copra plantation in New Guinea, taking his first steps in acting, marrying three times, being sick many times while filming, become a dad four times and live a life of adventure.

    What makes this book so special for me are the many beautiful photo’s, many of them never published before. Also the letters he wrote to his wives. Errol’s rise happened overnight, his downfall was swift. He got up and made a comeback in his late 40s. This is a must read for fans and people who want to see how the filmstudios made and broke their stars. For me one of the best books about Errol Flynn.

  9. thomas scalzo

    April 25, 2022 at 7:30 pm

    Jack, you are right. Flynn’s liver problems are from his drinking . True he had Malaria Tuberculosis, and an enlarged heart , but when you drink a qt, or a qt and a half of vodka a day you are destroying you liver
    Malaria would weaken your immune system, but the booze is what finished his liver.

    Flynn and Warner had a love/hate relationship
    and needed each other. Flynn was making millions
    for Warner’s, but Flynn was also the highest paid
    actor on the payroll.. Warner was notoriously cheap,but
    Flynn was still getting a huge salary. He was spending money and it caught up with him.. a boat, new house, lavish lifestyle, and eventually alimony. Then he made many bad business decisions. ie settled for a very bad divorce settlement with Lili, breaking his contract with Warner’s that would have given him a steady paycheck until 1960; with the option of doing 2 outside pictures a year at a major studio.

    Then the William Tell fiasco. He should of had them put up their money the same time he did. Letting someone take care of your money Al Blum…business 101

    Sam Marx said Flynn was always doing something not in his best interest., Giving Flynn a percentage in the 30’s and
    40’s would have been a dangerous precedent. Every other major star at Warner’s would of started to demand the same deal. It would of created a nightmare for the studios. Today with freelance actors its a different story. Because of much of this disinformation this muddies the water of the true Flynn. Higham’s and Brett’s books had done great damage to the reputation of a man who was reckless, but at the same time had many good qualities that have been overlooked in many of these books. He was two sides of the same coin. Nobody seems to have been able to figure him out….his parents, wives, friends male and female or his children. As Earl Conrad said hie was an enigma wrapped up in a riddle, and to try to figure out what was on his mind, at any given time is talking liberties to put it mildly.

  10. Ralph Schiller

    May 19, 2022 at 2:16 pm

    This volume just sold out it’s first printing in hardcover and is going into a second printing.

    • Ralph Schiller

      May 24, 2022 at 3:26 pm

      This book now has sixteen, 5-star customer reviews on Amazon, and not one bad one. Not even a so-so review, all sixteen are 5-star reviews. This has to be a record!

  11. Inga

    June 8, 2022 at 11:24 am

    This book is an amazing piece of work, born from years of thorough research. And I’m not speaking of “browsing magazine archives”, but “real” research – going places, talking to people, studying files and the WB film archives.
    The result is probably the best Flynn book ever with many to date unpublished photographs and documents. It reads like a diary, you can follow Flynn’s footsteps almost from day to day. You can see how one day, he was working on set, while the next day, he was partying. You get an insight into the studio system from the countless memos that are printed. You get to understand Flynn’s character much better.

    • shangheinz

      July 31, 2022 at 11:27 am

      This is not a book, but a study on Errol Flynn. It was all and more I was hoping for seven years ago, when a publishing date first seemed near first:…
      It is a painstakingly frank biographical picture book of one of the greatest stars ever seen on the silver screen. A legend-Yes! A role-model-No! More of a choir boy on a chain gang. But a true Flynn fan is fine with that. Robert cuts no corners when exposing Errol`s initial struggles and shortcomings starting out in the (wo)man-eating movie business. It is all too much too soon. The neglected child shines through every step of the way on his (pampered) path to glory. Caught between the aseptic intellect of his professor father and the artistic hedonism of an absent mother, vows to “make it”. Marries a movie star. Befriends a bamboozler. Makes millions of a Warner Brother. Divorces a diva. Stands trial. Loses a fortune. One wants to cry out: “Don`t fly too high Icarus”, if only to witness our Hollywood hero and villain make that emergency landing time and time again on self-clipped wings. There is no success without failure and in every good comedy, there is tragedy. In that regard the EF chronology is the total package.

  12. Maria

    January 3, 2023 at 11:15 pm

    Just received my copy today! oh the guilty pleasure of reading this….