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Olivia and Me! Rory Flynn…

04 Nov

I traveled to Paris in Sept., and had the great privilege of 
meeting Ms. Olivia de Haviland, who welcomed me into her beautiful  home with champagne and treats. I brought my dear friend Cooky, my brothers girlfriend, who is like my sister and who knows my family so well. We talked about my Dad. I told her stories and she told me stories. Mine were a little more personal for she was very curious as to the years I spent growing up with my Dad.

She did tell me that my father was still an enigma to her. That she had never been able to figure him out.Her presence was complete, her attention very directed, and her humor and high spirits was nothing less than an inspiration to me. How happy and welcoming she was to meet us. We had been corresponding for years and and I thought I may never get this chance, as time does fly by, and we are all so busy. She had just completed a video where she spoke about “Gone With the Wind” to commemorate the 50 years since it was made. She is very busy with her fan mail and other occasions that she is asked to attend.

I left with such a great feeling, to have been able to talk about my Dad with all the love I have for him and find it reciprocated by such a lovely woman who is full of compassion and devotion to his memory.

Cheers, Rory

— Rory Flynn


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Rory & Sean Flynn visit Tasmania for the 100th Centenary Celebrations!

24 Jul

The long journey down to Tasmania was the 3rd in seven months for me and this was the preparation that had been in the works for 1 and 1/2 years for The Errol Flynn Centenary Celebration… put together by so many people starting with e-mails from Steve and Genene from the Errol Flynn Society, always sweet and thoughtful, that I soon warmed to them and understood how devoted they were to preserving my dad’s memory…

They then asked Sonia Finlayson, a producer, to produce me, and that she did, with all her charm and professionalism she she started making things happen, getting Tasmania Perpetual Bank on board, who sponsored so many fun events for us like hand gliding and sea adventures on speed boats to wine tasting all through out the countryside. I did a commercial for them.

Then there was the brochure of Errol’s history in Tasmania that was put together by the  Hobart City Council…I am trying to scan this for this site but it is large…this brochure was launched by a big cocktail  party at the Masterpiece Gallery owned by Nevin Hurst…the brochure shows all the places my dad lived, the schools he attended, the places he played and where he learned to about the sea and how to sail, its a lovely map of Hobart.

Nevin Hurst and his wonderful wife Rose are  Errol fans and she suggested to the  Heart Foundation that they use Errol as their theme for the annual June Ball….then came the suggestion to give Errol a star outside the State Theatre, where he went to watch movies as a young lad…this was suggested by Carol Edwards and she made it happen and I provided the signature…


The Windward, a beautiful sailing ship, marked my dad’s birthday with a cruise around the harbor, with my son and his girlfriend and friends of Flynn, on a day that was perfect, sunny, crisp.


There was the American/Australian Committee that gave a wonderful party for me and my family and it seems like everyone opened their hearts and doors for us. They promoted my dad non stop through out the festival.

I want to tell everyone about the beauty of Tasmania, and all the things we accomplished in the name of Errol…

To once again highlight the Bonarong Rescue Sanctuary and all the important work they do in rescuing animals, road kill survivors, and the love and care they put into each animal….I have fallen  in love with the people there who really care about the animals, Greg has just taken over the place and please, if you can, help save the Tasmanian Devil from extinction by going on my site and helping….

The Hobart City Council has my enduring respect for allowing the star in front of the State Theatre, and for all their efforts towards celebrating their most famous native son…


The Heart Foundation for the enormous work they did for the grand finale the yearly Ball in which my father was the theme…they made a fantastic ceremony, one I will never forget, honoring my dad with film clips, a short documentary, and stage performances, including three performances by my son, Sean Flynn.



It was a perfect starry night and I was all dressed up, a full formal, perfect way to end my whirlwind trip of 12 days. I was truly treated like a queen in every way, arriving to the ball in a Limo provided by a Steve Randall, to staying at the most luxurious 5 star hotel: The Henry Jones, at the harbor. Its just fantastic and the food sensational…..and once again, a '6 degrees of separation' episode occurred when the hotel manager told me how his grandfather was the park ranger up on Wellington mountain the night my father got lost and had to stay over night on the mountain alone…he actually ran away from home, the grandfather,(park ranger) found him and dragged him back by the cuff of his ear to his worried parents…

I had to see this mountain, from to top, but it being the middle of winter it was too cloudy to catch a view, but while I was there I did have a few days of perfect crispy, clear, windless, weather…and one evening I happened to mention to the Lord Mayor of Hobart, Rob Valentine, that I would love to see the view from the top of the mountain, and he said, 'then let's go, I'll show you the city myself '(very Errol Flynn like) and I could not refuse, so we dropped what we were doing, (at a reception at the art gallery) and his driver took us to the top.

It  took about 45 minutes to get to the top, it’s 4000 some feet, and it was snowing lightly at the top but he insisted we walk out to the end of the viewing platform… I couldn't even see 2 feet in front of me, much less a viewing station… it was pitch black and I am starting to wonder what kind of man I had gotten in the car with for he said, 'come on, its cold but just a quick jaunt down the ramp and watch the steps, yes, those are steps'…. etc.  but it was breath-taking and worth the cold and wind and snow, for the city was just sparkling and I could see it all… there were no clouds, the harbor reflected like glass the starry sky, and all the lights on the hills , above the city, where it seems all the houses were built to be perched overlooking the harbor, looking south to Antarctica, sparkling and blinking like stars…..

This looked to me like the last paradise, not yet ruined by tourism and still very few people, half a million on the whole island, and all I could think was how to keep it that way…..Rob said, 'enough, let's head back' and we chased a few very large hopping animals down the mountain…wallaby's and other critters, all because I said I thought I would never see one in the wild, and off we went looking, just another amazing evening in Hobart….Rob also unveiled the star, Hobart's walk of fame, with  me…..

My son became a swordsman in one day, for he was asked to perform during a fencing exhibition at the mall…little did anyone know that he might not make a fool of himself having never held a sword before….well what do you think….?

From the first day I arrived there was excitement in the air. I met so many people, new friends, that all had some connection to my dad, like a neighbor or a great aunt who taught my dad second grade, to relatives of other farmers in New Guinea who met my dad as a young lad….his life came alive for me as I stayed in Hobart, his childhood. I also felt the pain my dad may have felt when he left Hobart…his non success at school, not living up to his parents expectations, not knowing what his life would be like, moving on to adventures that would lead him to the life that we know him by……… I saw my dad there, forming up to be the person that would come to Hollywood…the young man with his own worries as to how he will survive, my dad was Australian through and through and I now see now how he became the man he did…I saw the houses he lived in, the schools he went to, the boarding house his parents took him to when they were too busy for him and one of these schools had just a canvass covering for a roof as these boys slept and I realized how tough that made him, how independent he became surviving by his wits…….and the great thing that happened was my son  saw it too…..he got to know his grandfather over those 2 weeks, not from his acting career but who he really was…my dad  was alone after the age of 10… life was tough and life was hard in the 20’s in Tasmania… but young Errol did survive, all thanks to the skills he developed in Tas…

But its seems as if everyone in Hobart contributed to this festival , even though my dad never got to return to Hobart it felt as though all was forgiven. Why didn’t he return? 

My feeling is that he would have, had he lived a little longer….that he would have taken his family down there, and he would have felt like a winner on his return… that he would have been overwhelmed and welcomed with his return to Tassie… its not easy to get there, it takes days it seems, and in the ‘40’s the plane flight must have been a weeks  journey… but we made the trip for him…

I brought him home, I brought his grandson, I brought his memorabilia to the museum, all the memorabilia that I owned, where they are honoring him with his own section in the Museum, the same museum my grandfather, Theo, was the curator of for 6 years, and who has his own discoveries there… the findings that he spent his life collecting, being the head of Biology at the University in Tasmania…

I am so proud of my son who never faltered in 2 weeks of events that had us doing interviews everyday, of promoting and speaking with such insight and intelligence, the efforts he made getting to know his grandfather, by reading “My Wicked, Wicked Ways” on the plane journey over, to being so open and charming and thoughtful when it came to Errol and what we were trying to achieve, which was to bring Errol home. Sean was always on call and ready to perform.

The roots of my family are deeply embedded in Tasmania, with Theo and also Marelle Young, my grandmother, who is believed to be a direct descendant of mid-shipman Edward Young of the Bounty….so we have the Youngs, and the Flynns from the area…so bringing my dad home was a no brainer, for his appreciation in Hollywood is nil,  but is loved and treated as one of their own in  Tasmania and I can’t wait to go back…I am hoping they will have a small festival every year in Hobart to remember my dad on his birthday and I will be there, cheers, Rory

More photos in Rory's Tasmanian Gallery

— Rory Flynn


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