For a period of time during Hollywood’s Golden Age, Errol Flynn was one of the biggest movie stars in the entertainment industry. However, this all came crashing down for the star as a result of his hedonistic lifestyle. The actor led a life of criminal debauchery, and he passed away at a relatively early age in a drunken stupor. Join Facts Verse as we explore why Errol Flynn had the body of a 75-year-old when he died at the age of 50.
Errol Flynn’s Early Life
Errol Flynn was born in Australia during the early 20th century. The year was 1909, to be exact, and the future star’s father became a professor at the University of Tasmania when Errol was only an infant. Due to his father being a professor, Errol raised to take his education fairly seriously. In 1923, Errol sent to a boarding school in London by the name of South West London College.
Errol attended that private boarding school in London for only a few years before returning to his home country of Australia and attending a private boarding school there. That boarding school was the Shore School, located in Sydney. Sadly, this is when Errol began exhibiting some troublesome behaviors that would stay with him over the course of his entire 50-year life. Errol kicked out of the school for fighting, though he also alleged before his death that him sleeping with the daughter of the school’s laundress had influenced the institution when deciding to let him go.
Errol Gets the Acting Bug Later On
Despite the fact that Errol hadn’t had much success with his schooling, he entered into his adulthood with a good deal of confidence. He had plenty of skills and was ready to build more, and his drive during these early years is what eventually landed the young man in Hollywood. However, Errol would try his hands at many trades before deciding on acting. It has been said that, before becoming an actor, Errol wandered around his home country of Australia and made attempts at prospecting for gold, mining for copper, manning a fishing ship, and even being a sanitation engineer.
While it seems that Errol Flynn wasn’t averse to getting his hands dirty, the young man later decided that pursuing stardom might be more lucrative than digging for copper. Errol’s first appearance in a film came in 1933, when he appeared in the Australian production In the Wake of the Bounty. After dipping his toes into the entertainment industry, Errol decided to take his dreams more seriously and head out to Britain, where he had a better chance of being seen.
In Britain, Errol began performing with a theatrical company by the name of the Northampton Repertory Company. He performed in this position for six months before his dreams came true and his talents got him scouted by Warner Bros. Pictures and brought out to America to become a star.
Errol Becomes a Hollywood Movie Star
Captain Blood was Errol’s first hit at the box office, and more followed. Before long, Errol was the biggest star in Hollywood! Following the success of Captain Blood, some of Errol’s other successful features included The Charge of the Light Brigade and The Dawn Patrol, which released in 1936 and 1938, respectively. Another 1938 film, The Adventures of Robin Hood, further solidified Errol’s status as one of Hollywood’s best leading men. In 1940, he started out the new decade with a successful appearance in the film The Sea Hawk, though trouble would soon come his way.
Errol Quickly Finds Controversy
Errol Flynn entered into the 1940s as arguably the most popular actor in Hollywood, though the amount of respect he commanded from both his peers and the public would soon slowly diminish in the years leading up to his decidedly early and tragic death at the age of only 50. Much of Errol’s bad fortune would come as a result of his 1942 statutory rape charges, with two young women claiming that the star had seduced and then molested them. Though the evidence was damning, Errol ended up getting off on the charges as a result of a revelation that one of the girls had previously had an abortion. Though the abortion was completely unrelated to the matters at hand, the fact that she had ever had one suggested to the court that she had no moral character.
The charges of statutory rape haunted Errol Flynn until his death, even if he didn’t end up being found guilty. However, the statutory rape charges weren’t the only things weighing on the star’s public image. Errol had also become known for his excessive drinking and his penchant for adultery. The actor had married first wife Lili Damita in 1935, and he divorced the actress around the time of the rape charges.
If Errol had found guilty of the statutory rape charges, he could have served up to 25 years in prison. Given that the actor was going to die within two decades, perhaps this could’ve saved his life! If you’re enjoying this video so far, be sure to hit the like button to show your support! Also, subscribe to the channel if you’d like to be among the first to know when more Facts Verse videos are on their way!
Errol Flynn Was Too Unhealthy to Serve in World War II
By the time America entered into World War II, the public wasn’t very fond of Errol Flynn. The actor had been one of the biggest stars in the world only years prior, but his debaucherous lifestyle had turned off the majority of his audience. The actor thought that he could potentially win back some of the public’s respects by serving in the war, but his years of alcohol abuse made it so that he deemed physically unfit to do so. Errol subsequently fell into a deep depression and went on to increase his debaucherous behavior over the course of the ensuing years of the war.
While Errol Flynn had wanted to serve his country, he ended up becoming the ire of America as his increased debaucherous behavior made it look like he was making a mockery of the American lifestyle during one of the country’s most trying times. By the start of the 1950s, Errol Flynn was no longer a big draw at the box office. His 1951 feature Adventures of Captain Fabian was deemed a financial failure, and so was the subsequent Maru Maru in 1952. After a little over a decade, Errol had fallen from grace.
Errol Flynn’s Health Takes a Turn
As Errol Flynn publicly fell from grace, his physical and mental health also began to decline considerably. During the production of the aforementioned films, he said to be having some trouble with his short-term memory. In the wake of his failures towards the beginning of the 1950s, Errol travelled out to Europe to make what he hoped would be a triumphant return with The Master of Ballantrae. Sadly, when the film released in 1953, it’s not met with anywhere near the level of acclaim that Errol had been hoping for.
With The Master of Ballantrae not proving the return to form that he had hoped, Errol began brainstorming a new starring vehicle that he would produce himself. That film would be a new cinematic rendition of the story of William Tell, with Errol starring in the lead role. Sadly, though parts of the project filmed, it never finished. To make matters worse, Errol ended up blowing the entirety of his remaining fortune on the film’s failed production. More downtrodden than ever before, Errol Flynn sunk deeper into his alcoholism.
Over the course of the later 1950s, Errol Flynn was a fat, drunken slob spending the majority of his time cruising on his yacht, with that yacht being one of the few remaining signs of the fallen star’s former glory. Also around this time, he won some decidedly incidental critical acclaim playing the similarly drunken character of Mike Campbell in the 1957 film adaptation of The Sun Also Rises. One can imagine that it didn’t take much effort for the star to play the role, and it didn’t prove a major comeback for him.
Errol Flynn’s Personal Life
Errol Flynn married three times over the course of his life. In addition to his aforementioned first wife Lili Damita, Errol wed two subsequent wives before his 1959 death. Errol’s second wife was a clerk working in the snack bar of the courthouse during the star’s rape trial. Her name Nora Eddington, and they married from 1943 to 1949. Errol and Nora had two daughters, and Errol also had a son with first wife Lili years previously. Errol married third wife Patricia Wymore in 1950, and he remained with the actress until his death. Over the course of their nearly decade-long marriage, Errol and Patricia had one daughter.
Errol Drank Two Liters of Vodka a Day Before His Death
The very final film that Errol Flynn appeared in was a low-budget feature by the name of Cuban Rebel Girls. Despite being married to the aforementioned Patricia Wymore, Errol alleged to have romantically involved with his 17-year-old costar in the film. Which a young actress by the name of Beverly Aadland. In fact, it rumored that Errol had romanced the actress at the age of only 15, when he found her running around the lot of Warner Bros. Pictures.
Errol Flynn died of a heart attack in 1959. Though he was only 50 years old at the time, the autopsy reported that he had the health of a 75-year-old. In the years leading up to his death, the fallen star drunk around two liters of vodka a day.
Although Errol Flynn was once one of the biggest movie stars in the world, he fell from grace around a decade into his career and died a drunken shell of his former self. Now it’s time to hear from you: did you know that Errol Flynn was reported to have drunk two liters of vodka a day in the years leading up to his death, and that the 50-year-old star reportedly had the body of a 75-year-old when he died? As always, like this video to show your support, and subscribe and hit the notification bell if you’d like to be among the first to know when more Facts Verse videos are on their way!