In his time he was considered heroic, athletic, amorous and carefree. In reality he was something else, an irritable drunk with brittle bones … dogged by his reputation as a lecher, according to British critic David Thomson.
So you pays your money and takes your choice. We ask the question: how much do you really know about Errol Flynn?
He was after all one Warner Brothers biggest stars in the Thirties and early Forties. And who do you think inspired the World War II-era expression, In Like Flynn?
He didn’t live long (dying at age 50 in 1959) but managed to pack 65 movie and tv credits over a 26-year career. Today, he is often remembered — with a touch of nostalgia. There’s a small plaque on the Warner’s lot commemorating the site of a stage for one of his films.
We suspect you may think you know more about Flynn than perhaps you really do. No offense. We just want to put your knowledge to the test in today’s quiz. (Answers tomorrow.) Here we go:
1) Question: You may suspect that Flynn was Irish but he was born a commonwealth country far from the North Atlantic. The country of his birth was a) Nigeria; b) Australia; c) India; or d) Tasmania.
2) Question: In his early bachelor years, Flynn hung out in Malibu with another free-spirited actor in a shared house dubbed “Cirrhosis by the Sea.” Can you identify Flynn’s housemate? a) Edward G. Robinson; b) David Niven; c) Brian Aherne; or d) Reginald Denny.
3) Question: Although Flynn was primarily an actor in adventure movies, Hollywood quietly regarded him as a surprisingly strong dramatic actor. a) True; or b) False.
4) Question: Which of Flynn’s three wives was described as a “sultry bisexual?” a) Nora Eddington; b) Patrice Wymore; c) Beverly Aadland or d) Lili Damita.
5) Question: Which classic movie actress was most closely identified with Flynn’s career? a) Rosalind Russell; b) Joan Fontaine; c) Maureen O’Hara; or d) Olivia DeHavilland.
6) Question: Following up the previous question, how did this famous actress know that Flynn was interested in a romance? a) He sent her flowers on a daily basis; b) Whispered his affections in on-camera closeups; c) Sprouted an erection in love scenes; or d) Punched out her then husband.
7) Question: Which contemporary actor portrayed Flynn onscreen in a major Hollywood film? a) Alec Baldwin; b) Jude Law; c) Mel Gibson or d) Hugh Grant.
8) Question: Which one of these classic movie actresses revised her initially negative opinion of Flynn’s acting abilities, saying he was much better than she had previously thought. a) Anna Neagle; b) Bette Davis; c) Alexis Smith or d) Brenda Marshall.
9) Question: Two famous directors were in charge of many if not most of the movies in Flynn’s feature career. Which two of the following? a) Michael Curtiz; b) Raoul Walsh; c) John Ford; or d) Gordon Douglas.
10) Question: What off screen antics spawned the famous In Like Flynn line of World War II? a) The actor’s early Forties rape trial; b) His repeated dressing room liaisons with leading ladies; c) Flynn’s preference for prostitutes; or d) His overt preference for very young lovers.