Tag Archives: Errol Flynn

Classic Hollywood #99 – Orson Welles Performs Magic

Orson The Magnificent Performs For Servicemen During World War II

ORson Welles performs as Orson the Magnificent August 9 1943 photo APIt’s tough in Hollywood when everything you do is compared to your biggest success. And it makes it even tougher when your first movie is considered among the best movies ever made. Citizen Kane (1941) starring, produced, co-written and directed by Orson Welles remains Welles’ penultimate achievement. He was just 25-years-old. Continue reading

Olivia de Havilland Dies At 104, The End Of An Era- Beginning Of A Book?

Olivia de Havilland Dies – Last of the Great Movie Stars

Olivia de Havilland 1943 photo: Ernest Bacharach

A couple of weeks ago Turner Classic Movies was showing Captain Blood. The 1935 Michael Curtiz directed adventure film stars Errol Flynn, Basil Rathbone, Donald Meek, Lionel Atwill, Guy Kibbee and a 19-year-old making her fourth film – Olivia de Havilland. Except for Flynn and de Havilland, the names are mostly forgotten except to the hardiest of film fans. Continue reading

Classic Hollywood #90 – Errol Flynn & Mrs. Roosevelt

Errol Flynn Receives A Trophy From Eleanor Roosevelt – 1939

1939 Errol Flynn Eleanor Roosevelt

The event held on  January 25, 1939 in Fort Myer, VA was a benefit fighting infantile paralysis. Errol Flynn (above) rides Badger, a horse belonging to John Roosevelt, son of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

So what did Flynn do to earn the trophy? Being a movie star entitles one to receive accolades and awards even if they’re meaningless. Mrs. Roosevelt presents Flynn a silver cup for participating in the event.

As part a two day show, for the President’s birthday program, monies went to the National Foundation of Infantile Paralysis. The previous year, comedian Eddie Cantor incorporated the name this organization is commonly known as today – The March of Dimes. Continue reading

Olivia de Havilland Hollywood’s Greatest Living Movie Star Is 100-Years-Old Today

Olivia de Havilland – The Last Great Star of The Golden Age of Hollywood Turns 100 Today

Olivia De Havilland February 1939 photo: George Hurrell

Olivia De Havilland February 1939 photo: George Hurrell

When you think about the Golden Age of Hollywood during the 1930s you realize practically everyone from that era of fabulous film-making is dead.

Except one great star – the two time Oscar winning actress, Olivia de Havilland who turns 100 on July 1, 2016.

Olivia de Havilland is the last link to a Hollywood that has vanished. When Olivia de Havilland began her film career in 1935 it was a time when movie studios cultivated, built up and groomed actors and taught them the elements of acting, song and dance. The studios then placed actors in several films a year to build their popularity with extensive publicity behind them.

The downside was that the studios also controlled the lives of the stars, and many of them did not appreciate the meddling into their private lives. Many movie stars resented the way they were treated by the studios and the non-stop work schedule. But a lot of the movies the stars made are considered classics today and the stars the studios created became legendary.

Olivia de Havilland has starred with all the past film greats. To name them all would be an extensive list, but here are a few: Errol Flynn in many movies; Clark Gable, Leslie Howard and Vivien Leigh in Gone With The Wind; Frederic March; Claude Rains; James Cagney; Rita Hayworth; Charles Boyer; Bette Davis; Frank Sinatra and dozens of other stars – every one of them are now all gone.

Olivia de Havilland on her 90th BirthdayOlivia de Havilland wrote a short memoir in 1962, Every French Man Has One (Random House).  She has said she was working on writing a real autobiography for several years now. I just hope it does get completed and sees the light of day. She has so much to say and there is a lot she has never revealed, including the reasons behind her famous feud with her sister Joan Fontaine and the details of her relationship with Errol Flynn which apparently was platonic.

I know there is a time Olivia de Havilland will no longer be with us and that makes me very sad. But it makes me happy to know that Olivia de Havilland is according to all reports in very good health and loving her life in France where she resides.

Presented below is a short gallery of Olivia de Haviiland in vintage photographs many of which have not been seen since they were originally released. I’ve read Continue reading

Classic Hollywood #12 – Lili Damita

Lili Damita in Fighting Caravans 1931

The beautiful Liliane Marie Madeleine Carré also known as Lili Damita poses for Eugene Robert Richee, one of Hollywood’s great glamor photographers.

Lili was in the process of filming Fighting Caravans, a Western based upon a Zane Grey book, co-starring Gary Cooper.

Born in France in either 1901 or  1904 (sources are unclear), Lili was briefly married to director Michael Curtiz (Casablaca,  The Adventures of Robin Hood, Mildred Pierce, etc. ) from 1925-1926.

Lili announced her engagement on May 1, 1929 to the Crown Prince of Germany, Louis Ferdinand, who was only 21 at the time. They would be married, Lili declared “when he makes a success.” The marriage never took place.

Lili is best known today not for her movies, but for her marriage in 1935 to a then virtually unknown Errol Flynn. Lili was several years older than Errol and their marriage would be complicated, contentious and filled with wild love-making and even wilder fights. As Lili said in a 1939 interview:

“Being married to Flynn is exactly like living on top of a volcano. I like that. A volcano which does erupt. Constantly – yes, but daily! We are always just arriving or just leaving. Flynn and I. As the term is generally understood, Flynn is not a ‘good husband’ at all. But he is an exciting person to live with. And that makes him, for me, a very good husband. Because I like to live dangerously, unpeacefully.”

While Lili’s movie carrer ended in 1937, Errol’s career skyrocketed and the hedonistic Flynn was indulging just too much for Lili’s taste. After many separations and reconciliations, Lili sued for divorce on November 7, 1941.

Their only child, Sean Flynn born May 31, 1941, tried acting, became a photographer, and was captured in Cambodia in 1970 by communist guerillas. Lili spent the remaining years of her life having investigators search for her missing son. He was never seen again.

Lili married Eskimo Pie executive Allen R. Loomis in 1962. That marriage ended in divorce in 1983.

Lili Damita died in Palm Beach, FL on March 21, 1994 from complications of Alzheimers.