Sunday, June 20, 2010

In Memoriam: Errol Flynn

Hard-drinking, hard-loving Tasmanian Errol Flynn was a handsome devil, as the record shows...

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketBorn on this day in 1909 he led a seemingly charmed life: he made trashy movies*, dodged rape charges**, and died both young and fast, and damn it if he didn't enjoy himself doing it! Nearly fifty years after his death his place in the pantheon as one of the pre-eminent action stars of Hollywood's Golden Age is secure.  To see him in action check out Captain Blood (1935), The Charge of the Light Brigade (1936), The Prince and the Pauper (1937), Robin Hood (1938), or The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex (1939) from the early part of his career - before he became a parody of himself, in other words.

Of particular interest to us here at the Pop Culture Institute, there is a Vancouver angle to the life of Errol Flynn, or perhaps I should say the death; Flynn died here, in 1959, in an apartment near the corner of Burnaby and Jervis that I used to walk past on my way to work - or at least, on those rare days when I felt up to it - for two years.

*And, to be fair, some not too bad ones either...
**Brought against him by Betty Hansen and Peggy Satterlee in November 1942...  An organization named the American Boys' Club for the Defense of Errol Flynn (ABCDEF) was formed to defend him; among the group's members were such sterling citizens as 17-year-old future bigoted windbag William F. Buckley, Jr.
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