October 7, 2021 | Kyle Climans

Scandalous Facts About Errol Flynn, The Hollywood Sleaze

Old Hollywood star Errol Flynn had a debonair façade, but it hid a disturbing dark side. After long days playing iconic heroes, Flynn spent his nights engaged in wild escapades that often left his name splashed across tabloid covers—and those were just the ones that made it to press. After his untimely death, all of Flynn’s dirty little secrets finally came out, making for an utterly jaw-dropping finish to a life filled with both tragedy and controversy.

1. He Was A Tasmanian Devil

Flynn’s rebellious streak was the most dominant part of his personality from his earliest years. Born in Tasmania to a prominent professor of biology, Flynn couldn’t have been more different from his academically-minded father. A vicious cycle consumed his childhood and teen years: Errol would get into a school based on his father’s good name, only to get expelled soon after, either for truancy, fighting, or some other form of trouble-making.

After being booted from a few schools in London, he made his way back to Australia to turn over a new leaf—or so his family thought.

Errol Flynn factsGetty Images

2. He Got In Big Trouble

In 1926, Flynn returned home to finish his education at a local school. He didn’t exactly last long. School officials expelled him for theft—but according to Flynn, the real reason was much darker. He claimed that they’d expelled him after another student had exposed his ongoing affair with a much older maid who worked at the school. And somehow, that’s not even the most scandalous part.

Errol Flynn FactsGetty Images

3. He Was A Cheater

At the time, Flynn was already engaged to Naomi Campbell-Dibbs, the daughter of a prestigious local family. It was the final straw for both their engagement and Flynn’s academic career—there’d be no following in his father’s footsteps after that. He had to find a place in the world that fit him. Hmm, what’s the best career for a young womanizer with a rebellious streak? I wonder…

Errol Flynn FactsWikimedia Commons

4. He Was Restless

Errol Flynn ended up playing daring, swashbuckling types onscreen, but it probably wasn’t much of a stretch for him, especially considering the grand adventure he got swept up in after leaving school. First, Flynn got a job at a mining company, only to be fired shortly after for theft. It was clear that this kid had no patience for making money through hard work and saving.

Today, he probably would’ve ended up as a gambler or a crypto guy—but back then, if you wanted to make a fortune overnight, you’d have to risk life and limb for it…and that’s just what Flynn did.

Errol Flynn FactsFlickr


5. He Had Adventure In His Blood

Flynn may not have had much in common with his father, but he definitely took after his mother’s side of the family—a seafaring clan of marauders, mutineers, and slave traders. After losing his job at the mining company, Flynn went the “get rich quick” route, traveling to Papua New Guinea in hopes that he’d rake in a fortune by mining gold.

However, it quickly turned into a horrifying disaster.

Errol Flynn FactsGetty Images

6. He Was Attacked

According to Flynn, on one excursion in Papua New Guinea, he and his men found themselves in the middle of a living nightmare. A local tribe ambushed them, with arrows flying at them from all sides. Flynn’s crew of hired locals fled. He ended up shooting one of his attackers and catching up with his men after. That night, he lay in fear, expecting retaliation from the tribesmen.

The next morning he was able to retreat—but his ordeal wasn’t over yet.

Errol Flynn FactsGetty Images

7. He Went On Trial For Murder

The next day, the local authorities detained Flynn and charged him with murder. He represented himself in the trial, where the judge eventually accepted his arguments about self-defense and let him off. As Flynn himself later reflected, it was the one episode of trouble in his life that didn’t involve women—and there’d be plenty of those to come.

While his escapades at the Morobe Goldfield didn’t exactly work out in his favor, his family’s adventurous legacy would bring him to his next great endeavor—and a little closer to stardom.

Errol Flynn FactsGetty Images

8. He Found A Fateful Role

Growing up, Errol Flynn and his mother believed that they were descendants of a sailor on the Bounty, the ship whose crew famously mutinied and set the captain and 18 others adrift. While this is likely not true, it must have felt like kismet when the makers of a film called In the Wake of the Bounty sought him out to play the Bounty’s master’s mate Fletcher Christian.

Flynn accepted the role, and while the film wasn’t a success, it did open him up to an entirely new world.

Errol Flynn FactsWikimedia Commons

9. He Had A Violent Side

Flynn decided that acting was his calling, and he moved to Britain to get started. He soon began working and studying the craft at the—but just as it had at every school he attended, his time there came to a disturbing and sudden end. Just months after arriving, the Company fired him after he got into a quarrel with a female stage manager and shoved her down a set of stairs.

Yeah, gonna have to say that this guy? He was not a good one—and as we’ll see, he only got worse from here.

Errol Flynn FactsPxHere


Sign up to our newsletter.

History’s most fascinating stories and darkest secrets, delivered to your inbox daily. Making distraction rewarding since 2017.

Thank you!
Error, please try again.

10. He Walked Away Unscathed

What happens to a guy when he attacks a woman in the workplace in 1930s England? He lands on his feet, of course. After the debacle at the theater, Flynn appeared in one film for Warner Brothers’ London studio, which quickly won him an invitation to act for them in Hollywood. He made the journey overseas, and while his first few roles were forgettable, the studio was determined to make him a star. But Flynn had other things on his mind…

Errol Flynn FactsGetty Images


11. He Loved To Party

Flynn quickly ingratiated himself into the Hollywood social scene and got up to his usual carousing—until one night, in the crowd, he spotted a familiar face. It was a woman he’d met on the ship crossing over to the US who’d brutally rejected him. There’s nothing that Flynn liked more than a challenge, and he approached her. This time around, she took the bait.

Her name was Lili Damita. Flynn was still a bit player in Hollywood—but she was a star.

Errol Flynn factsGetty Images

12. They Were Tempestuous

Damita was glamorous, French, and five years older than Flynn. He had to have her. Within weeks, they announced the big news: They were rushing off to Arizona for a quickie marriage. Afterward, they settled in the Hollywood Hills—but under the surface, their fairy tale relationship was actually a horror show. They fought like cats and dogs, and many friends remarked on the bitter and contemptuous remarks they’d throw at each other in public.

It had just begun, and it was already a recipe for disaster…

Errol Flynn FactsWikimedia Commons

13. They Switched Places

After they tied the knot, Damita retired from acting. Luckily for Flynn, this just meant that he could profit from her popularity and connections. In 1935, he made his debut as a Hollywood leading man in Captain Blood, opposite a then-teenaged Olivia de Havilland. Their onscreen chemistry left audiences gasping for breath—and soon, rumors began to fly about the pair.

Errol Flynn factsCaptain Blood, Warner Bros.

14. She Was Jealous Of Him

Despite the fact that he was attached, audiences found it hard to believe that Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland weren’t a real-life couple. They let everyone speculate. After all, it didn’t bother Lili Damita, Flynn’s wife. That wasn’t a problem for her—although a different form of jealousy was. Damita was furious that she wasn’t the most famous one in the relationship anymore, and she didn’t hold back from taking it out on Flynn.

Errol Flynn factsGetty Images

15. He Was A Nightmare To Be Around

Flynn and Damita seemed like a Hollywood golden couple—but behind the scenes, they were crumbling like a cookie. The jealous Damita couldn’t stand the sight of her handsome husband, and it got so bad that Flynn moved out. Things weren’t much better on set, as Flynn’s taste of success had turned him into a prima donna, even though that bravado only existed to mask his insecurity.

Flynn was so tightly wound, he was like a grenade with the pin pulled—ready to go off at any moment.

Errol Flynn FactsFlickr, Kristine

16. He Blew Up

On the set of his next film, The Charge of the Light Brigade, Flynn finally exploded at anyone and everyone within yelling distance, but he saved the worst for studio boss Jack Warner. His tirades were filled with racial epithets and demands for more money. Sure, these outbursts were fueled by actual hatred—but also, Flynn’s fear of his semi-estranged wife.

Despite their separate residences, they still spent their time either fooling around or fighting. And when fighting, Damita was always quick to remind Flynn that if he tried to get a divorce, she’d demand generous alimony. He was stuck, and it was only going to get worse.

Errol Flynn FactsWikipedia


17. They Thought He Might Be On The Wrong Side

When The Charge of the Light Brigade became a blockbuster success, Jack Warner overlooked the whole “horrifically prejudiced rant” thing and gave Flynn a raise. Sigh. But, there was an unexpected—and frankly, well-deserved—side effect. With the ongoing turmoil in Europe, the incident sparked an investigation into whether or not Flynn harbored sympathies for the Third Reich.

While the investigation was ultimately inconclusive, it took years to complete and, hopefully, gave Flynn a lot of grief.

Tab Hunter factsWikimedia Commons

18. He Was Restless

Flynn had starred in two wildly successful films in a row—but his attention span was not that of a dedicated thespian. Not by a mile. Next, he wrote a semi-autographical book about his time in Papua New Guinea. Writing the tome had reminded him of the contrast between his youthful adventures and the stifling nature of his life in Hollywood.

Hoping to write about the conflicts happening there, Flynn then took off for Europe—and, of course, landed himself in hot water.

Movie Industry factsGetty Images

19. He Got Caught Up

Flynn was always thrilled to throw himself into the center of things—but much as it did in Papua New Guinea, it immediately backfired on him. Many speculated on his reasons for being there and what side he was really on. Then, Flynn found himself once again caught in the crossfire when he visited Madrid in the middle of the Spanish Civil War. Quite literally.

Local newspapers reported that Flynn had been killed outside of the university—but, fortunately for him, they got it wrong. He was, in fact, alive, although he did suffer some minor bullet wounds. Undeterred, he continued his journey around Spain before coming back to the US as a changed man.

Errol Flynn FactsGetty Images

20. He Was Incorrigible

Was he changed for the better? Oh, definitely not. More than ever, Flynn did not suffer boredom well, and his life in Hollywood devolved into a flurry of parties, booze, fistfights, substance misuse, and womanizing. As the hottest heartthrob in town, Flynn no longer had to try for attention from the ladies. Women from all walks of life threw themselves at him, and he happily indulged them.

However, like many misogynists before and after him, he kept women he “respected” at arm’s length—including his frequent co-star, Olivia de Havilland.

Errol Flynn FactsFlickr, Kristine

21. He Finally Admitted It

Flynn and de Havilland were two of the screen’s brightest stars, and every picture they made together sparkled with their chemistry. Finally, after two years, Flynn went against his usual behavior. At a glamorous coronation ball for George VI, Flynn made a stunning declaration. As they danced cheek to cheek to the dreamy song “Sweet Leilani,” he finally professed his love.

De Havilland had waited for years to hear those words from him, but her reaction was one they’d both come to regret.

Errol Flynn factsWikipedia

22. He Was Still Attached

De Havilland told Flynn that she couldn’t be with him until he was officially divorced from his wife, and they parted ways at the end of the night. Hopeful that her words had reached him, de Havilland was instead in for a crushing disappointment. Soon after, Flynn and Damita reconciled. While Flynn and de Havilland continued to star opposite each other, their romance ended there—mostly.

Errol Flynn FactsFlickr, Dennis Amith


23. She Embarrassed Him

The Adventures of Robin Hood was the most important film in the Warner Brothers' roster in 1938, and the pressure was on for studio head Jack Warner. He begged Flynn not to do anything to cause grief to Olivia de Havilland—but he was asking the wrong person. It was actually de Havilland who decided to tease her co-star, purposefully messing up their kissing scenes so they had to be re-shot over and over again. The twist?

She performed her little stunt on the day Flynn’s on-again wife Lili Damita was visiting the set. All of this while he was wearing green tights, no less!

Errol Flynn factsThe Adventures of Robin Hood, Warner Bros.

24. He Turned Them Down

When WWII broke out, an appeal was made for British ex-pats in Hollywood to return home, sign up, and fight. Many acquiesced—but not Flynn. Despite his daring demeanor and his previous exploits abroad, Flynn was too busy carousing. He cited a small line in the appeal that stated that those over 31 didn’t necessarily need to help. At the time, he was exactly 31.

The backlash was immediate. It became a turning point in his long, close friendship with actor David Niven, who had decided to serve. However, years later, he would get a second chance…

Errol Flynn FactsWikimedia Commons

25. He Made The Jump

Flynn spent years in Hollywood before applying for citizenship—and when he did decide to try, it was for a truly unusual reason. There were limits on the size of boat that a foreigner could own, and his beloved boat Sirocco was too big. It was either give up the boat or become a citizen, so he chose the latter. The timing coincided with the US joining WWII, so Flynn had another chance to enlist.

This time, it was out of his hands. He was rejected—but that didn’t come without its fair share of controversy.

Errol Flynn FactsWikimedia Commons

26. He Was Hiding Something

When Flynn went in for his medical exam, the doctors couldn’t ignore the myriad problems that riddled his body. There was recurrent malaria from his time in Papua New Guinea, a heart murmur, latent tuberculosis, and, if you can believe it, a variety of venereal diseases. The papers began to question why he wasn’t serving, but there was no way to fight back against their allegations that he was a draft dodger, lest he admit his weaknesses.

He was, as a leading man, supposed to be the picture of virility. Admitting otherwise would destroy his carefully constructed image—so Flynn had to sit back as they slandered him.

Errol Flynn FactsFlickr

27. He Became A Father

At this point, Flynn and Lili Damita had spent five years as on-again, off-again estranged spouses—but in 1940, she made a shocking revelation. She was pregnant, and he was the father. His reaction was…interesting. He decided to take off to Brazil for a while. When Damita went to the hospital to give birth, Flynn decided to take the Sirocco for a short trip.

To say he did not embrace fatherhood would be an understatement.

Errol Flynn FactsGetty Images

28. She Left Him

If having a baby had been Damita’s last-ditch attempt at saving the marriage it…did not work. At all. Finally, after seven years more apart than together, the pair got a divorce in 1942. Flynn retreated to a newly built home he dubbed the "Mulholland House" with his bruised ego. Sure, he was a philanderer extraordinaire, but Flynn never handled rejection well.

That’s not all that he reacted poorly to, either.

Errol Flynn FactsGetty Images

29. He Lost His Best Friend

As we have seen and as we’ll continue to see, Errol Flynn was not a good man. However, he had his occasional moment. Flynn may not have treated those around them with care, but he was utterly devoted to his dog Arno. When Arno disappeared from the Sirocco one day, Flynn was devastated. The dog’s remains eventually washed ashore, and he was too bereft to identify them, although he did collect them.

When a vicious gossip columnist claimed that he’d left his beloved dog’s remains on the sand to rot, Flynn saw red. He tracked the man down and confronted him—and what happened next went down in infamy.

Errol Flynn FactsGetty Images

30. He Stood Up For Himself

Flynn slapped the man, saying he didn’t deserve a closed fist. In retaliation, the man’s wife stabbed Flynn in the ear with an oyster fork. The ensuing scene was one for the history books, and the man eventually sued Flynn for assault. While the case settled, the damage was done. Attacking the press was unheard of in Hollywood, and Flynn had broken that taboo. They would not be treating his next transgression as kindly, that was for sure.

Errol Flynn FactsGetty Images

31. He Faced A Disturbing Allegation

In 1942, Errol Flynn’s most serious scandal yet broke out—and the details were absolutely chilling. Not one but two 17-year-old girls accused him of statutory rape. When the authorities detained him for the first case, he’d been a little too talkative, saying he’d hardly touched her. As you can imagine, these words came back to haunt him. The second accusation was even more damning, as the victim had appeared as an extra on one of his films. He was in big trouble, and he knew it.

Errol Flynn FactsFlickr

32. He Didn’t Hold Back

Draft dodger. Philanderer. Heartless thug. The press had thrown a lot of names at Errol Flynn, but now they added the most disturbing one to the roster: Rapist. To defend Flynn, Jack Warner hired the most vicious lawyer he could find. Jerry Giesler was a shark, and when he examined Flynn’s accusers on the stand, he smelled blood.

Errol Flynn FactsGetty Images

33. He Got Off

During the trial, Giesler knocked each accuser’s character, implied that the whole thing was a shakedown, and revealed personal details about them which made them look bad in front of the jury. Finally, it came down to the jury. After a day and a bit of deliberation, they came back with a verdict: Not guilty. Flynn was overjoyed. Whatever backlash he suffered was overshadowed by the rabid fans who’d rushed to defend him.

And from that moment on, he always made sure that any girl he talked to was over 18. Gee, what a mensch.

Errol Flynn FactsWikimedia Commons

34. He Was Worn Down

At first, Flynn threw himself back into his old life of partying and one-night stands with near-complete abandon—but few knew that he was hiding a scary secret. The doctors who’d given him a medical discharge from service had warned him that with his health problems and lifestyle, he had only a few years left. Instead of changing anything, he took it as a dare.

If Flynn was only going to live for a few years, well, he was going to fill them with twice as much fun. But the effects of this…accelerated plan began to wear on him even harder. Finally, he ended up in the hospital—but there, he got a surprise.

Errol Flynn FactsWikimedia Commons

35. He Was Off The Hook

Doctors diagnosed Flynn with tuberculosis, and that wasn’t all they told him. After examining him, they informed him that the other doctors he’d seen had been way too serious in their evaluation of him. If he took care of himself, his life span could easily be lengthened. Flynn left the hospital with a new lease on life. Did it turn him into a teetotaling health nut? Absolutely not.

He took a short break, of course, before falling back into old habits. All kinds of old habits, in fact.

Errol Flynn FactsGetty Images

36. He Learned…Zero Lessons

Flynn’s friends and co-workers talked about how distraught he was during the trial and how he could barely drag himself to set each day. Whether or not that was true, one thing is for sure: It didn’t stop him from taking a shine to the girl who worked at the cigar stand at the courthouse. Yes, even in the middle of his worst ordeal, he couldn’t keep his eye from wandering.

With his name cleared, he was free to inquire about her status…and age, of course. Nora Eddington may have been 15 years younger than Flynn, but hey—at least she was 18, right? Yikes.

Errol Flynn FactsWikipedia

37. He Fell Hard For Her

Flynn chased Nora Eddington for months on end—but in the young clerk, he’d met his match. When she wasn’t rejecting him, she was challenging him. Eddington was engaged when they met, and a practicing Catholic. They were friends first, and then she worked for him, but she rebuffed his advances. Finally, she got rid of her fiancé and ended up in bed with him.

Perhaps naïve in the ways of the world, Eddington immediately got pregnant. Once again, a dilemma faced Flynn.

Errol Flynn FactsWikimedia Commons

38. He Wanted To Give It A Try

At first, he encouraged her to get an abortion, which she said no to on religious grounds. She insisted that he marry her, even if just for the duration of the pregnancy. His reaction was unexpected. He did want to marry her—but for real. However, because of his career and the circumstances surrounding his recent trial, he wanted to keep it a secret. Easier said than done...

Errol Flynn FactsGetty Images

39. He Abandoned Her

Errol Flynn and Nora Eddington tied the knot in Acapulco in 1943. However, a happily ever after it was not. After the ceremony, Flynn left for NYC, leaving a pregnant Eddington alone in Mexico. He didn’t return for six months, arriving just hours before she gave birth. Even just being in the same building as the birth was more than he could handle, and by the time his daughter Deirdre was born, he had one foot out of the door.

Errol Flynn FactsGetty Images

40. They Were Exposed

Flynn hadn’t exactly been chaste during his months in New York, but that was nothing compared to what he did after reuniting with Eddington. While she was in the hospital, he went to a bar, where he ran into one of her friends. Within hours, he was in bed with her. On top of that, when the hospital leaked the details of Eddington and Flynn’s marriage and newborn to the press, it created a disturbing ripple effect.

Errol Flynn FactsGetty Images

41. She Wasn’t The Only One

There was no doubt in Flynn’s mind that Eddington’s baby was his. However, the news of his new wife and child set off a chain reaction across the US, with multiple women coming forward and claiming they’d also had love children with the actor. Somehow, the story got even more twisted from there. While he settled with one of the claimants, the other eventually showed up at his home with a gun before being escorted away by the authorities.

Errol Flynn FactsGetty Images

42. She Had Demands

After months apart—and plenty of speculation about divorce by the tabloids—Eddington showed up on Flynn’s doorstep with the baby. At first, he refused to change anything about his lifestyle to accommodate them, but she had an ultimatum with two conditions: They’d live together at the Mulholland House, and he could do whatever he wanted, as long as he didn’t humiliate her.

He agreed, and their unconventional relationship took flight—but the troubles didn’t end there.

Errol Flynn FactsFlickr, Kristine

43. He Had A Problem

What had begun as a youthful dabble in opium, had, for Errol Flynn, turned into full-blown drug addiction. While under the influence he would often attack Eddington, once biting her arm so hard it had to be put in a cast. The next morning, he would remember nothing. Then, his binges and hangovers began bleeding into his life on set—and they took a seriously twisted turn.

Errol Flynn FactsGetty Images

44. He Couldn’t Stop Himself

Directors and studio bosses knew that they had a problem on their hands, and they tried their best to pry Flynn away from the bottle—but that just made him more creative. During a bad hangover on set one day, his co-star brought him cup after cup of black coffee, but he only deteriorated more. She didn’t know that he’d previously gotten the production assistants to lace the pots of coffee with brandy.

On another film that was being shot on location, he was banned from drinking on set, so he injected oranges with booze. Yup, he was a determined alcoholic, that’s for sure.

Errol Flynn FactsPixabay

45. He Was A Nightmare

As such, his reputation preceded him at Hollywood parties. He was once even kicked out of a lavish party at Hearst Castle for his drinking. Another time, his old flame Olivia de Havilland’s new partner, director John Huston, quizzed Flynn about not serving in WWII. When Flynn’s response included an allusion to his “relationship” with de Havilland, the two men wound up in a fistfight that ended with both in the hospital.

Anjelica Huston FactsGetty Images

46. She Cheated On Him

It wasn’t easy being married to Errol Flynn, and no one knew that better than Nora Eddington. But while he was out there bedding extras and women he met in bars, she was hiding a racy secret of her own. Eddington had fallen for a singer named Richard Haymes. He was married too, but they took the plunge and both left their spouses for each other.

The freedom was exhilarating—but, as we know, Flynn never handled rejection very well.

Errol Flynn FactsWikimedia Commons

47. He Rebounded…

To soothe his wounded ego, Flynn threw himself into his career, into the bottle, and into a new engagement, this time with a 19-year-old Romanian princess named Irene Chika. For months, they spent every moment together, and the gossip columnists eagerly awaited the announcement of their wedding date. Well, they—and Irene—were in for a big surprise.

Errol Flynn FactsGetty Images

48. …And Rebounded From His Rebound

Instead, Errol Flynn made an announcement that knocked the press off of their feet. He was engaged to his latest co-star, a 21-year-old ingenue named Patrice Wymore. They planned a lavish dual ceremony wedding in Monaco and Nice, to be attended by hundreds of glam guests, and mobbed by even more fans. As they entered their reception that night in Monaco, Flynn was ready to start a new life—but he was in for a disturbing surprise of his own.

Errol Flynn FactsWikimedia Commons

49. He Got A Terrible Wedding Present

When Flynn arrived at the reception, a stranger approached him with a document in his hand. It was a writ. He handed it to Flynn and announced that he would be charged with rape…all at his own wedding reception. At first, he thought it was a practical joke—but he was so, so wrong. The accuser was a 17-year-old girl named Denise Duvivier, and Flynn claimed he couldn’t remember anyone by that name.

He broke the news to his new bride, and the pair fled to Nice on their boat, the Zaca—but the nightmare didn’t end there.

Errol Flynn FactsGetty Images

50. He Knew Something Wasn’t Right

Instead of a honeymoon, Flynn and Wymore were moored in Nice for just a few days before a back injury left Flynn incapacitated for nearly a month. Finally, when he was back on his feet, he returned to Monaco to face the charge. When he heard the case in court, his accuser mentioned a button he’d used to lock the door behind her during the alleged attack.

Flynn claimed that no such button existed, and invited the magistrate to the boat to check. When he looked and found no button, he had no choice but the drop the case, and Flynn finally was able to sail away from it all with his new bride.

Errol Flynn FactsGetty Images

51. He Was Broke

As if those types of problems with the law weren't enough, Flynn’s career was floundering and he constantly worried about having enough cash to support himself, his new bride, and the two ex-wives to whom he was still providing alimony. Warner Brothers had ended their 18-year contract with him. Throughout the 50s, Flynn appeared in films here and there, but it wasn’t enough to support his lifestyle—especially since, by then, he was essentially estranged from Wymore and back on the prowl.

Unfortunately, these ongoing financial problems would ultimately lead him towards a dark end.

Errol Flynn FactsPicryl

52. He Knew What Was Coming

A brief Hollywood comeback was not enough to keep the debt collectors at bay for long—not to mention the IRS. He decided to bring his boat the Zaca up to Vancouver to potentially lease it to someone, lest he lose it to the taxmen. It wasn’t the only thing he was saying goodbye to, either. Flynn knew his health was worse than ever, and made sure to spend time with his ex-wife Nora and their daughters before leaving on the trip.

It would be the last time they’d see him.

Errol Flynn FactsGetty Images

53. He Slipped Away

While in Vancouver, Flynn asked the couple he was visiting to see a doctor, complaining of pain. The doctor gave him some medication and a leg massage and told him to rest—but when he checked on Flynn again, the doctor made a devastating discovery. Flynn was unresponsive. He rushed him to the hospital, but it was too late.

Errol Flynn FactsGetty Images

54. He Was In Terrible Shape

When hospital staff performed an autopsy, they found that he’d suffered a heart attack, which had been caused by Flynn’s already poor health. The condition of his liver was so poor from years of drinking and addiction that if the heart attack hadn’t taken his life, cirrhosis would have within a year. Errol Flynn’s life had been defined by high-flying adventure, wild partying, and most of all, scandal—but some of the worst scandals only came out after his passing.

Errol Flynn FactsWikimedia Commons

55. He Claimed He Was A Spy

In 1980, author Charles Higham published a book titled Errol Flynn: The Untold Story—and it contained a number of shocking allegations. Chief among them was the claim that Flynn had acted as a German spy during WWII. On top of that were claims of affairs with other men. Flynn’s friends and family were outraged and even tried to sue the author. Higham stood his ground, but did admit that while he’d heard his stories from reliable sources, he’d never seen actual proof.

He wasn’t the only one to make disturbing accusations against Flynn.

Errol Flynn FactsPicryl

56. It Wasn’t Out Of The Question…

In 1983, L. Ron Hubbard’s son came forward with his own tale of meeting Errol Flynn. He claimed that his father and Flynn were extremely close friends who brought in illicit substances together and engaged in bedroom acts with underage girls—but hey, at least he never joined Scientology, right? Speaking of underage girls…

Errol Flynn FactsWikimedia Commons

57. His Last Fling Was Underage

Errol Flynn may have been estranged from his third wife at the time of his passing—but that doesn’t mean he was alone. His last partner was 100 times more scandalous than those that came before her. When Flynn met Beverly Aadland, she was 15 years old. Flouting the trouble that he’d previously experienced, he made few overtures to hide their affair, except to travel with her mother, Florence, who not only encouraged the whole thing, but also wrote a book about it.

Errol Flynn FactsGetty Images

58. Their Relationship Was Creepy

Later, Beverly herself revealed some of the many disturbing aspects of their relationship. According to her, their first encounter was non-consensual, but after that, she fell in love with him. However, their love was built on a constant sense of play and outdoing one another, and these jokes often had a dark side. They would get into enormous fake fights in nightclubs where Flynn would pretend to hit her, and she would pretend to get a nosebleed. Sounds...fun?

After Flynn was gone, Beverly found some scandals of her own. Not long after, she got into a fight with a man while the two were alone in her room, and he ended up getting shot and dying. Yikes.

Errol Flynn FactsWikimedia Commons

59. He Was A Voyeur

During his financial battles, the court had forced Flynn to give his beloved Mulholland House to his ex-wife, Lili Damita—and that house held just as many dark secrets as its former owner. Few people knew, but it was set up to be a voyeur’s dream home. Peep-holes and two-way mirrors were set up to allow Flynn to spy on his female guests.

He also set up microphones to overhear private conversations throughout his house. Why hasn’t there been a horror movie made about this guy?

Errol Flynn FactsGetty Images

60. His Son Disappeared

Errol Flynn had four (legitimate) children over the course of three marriages, and it was his eldest, son Sean, who inherited his father’s sense of adventure. Unfortunately, this legacy had devastating consequences. Sean took up a career as a photojournalist, covering foreign conflicts as his father once had. Sean and a colleague were traveling in Cambodia in 1970 when they were stopped by the Viet Cong at a checkpoint. They were never seen again.

Seab Flynn’s mother, Lili Damita, spent more than a decade searching for her son, and in 1984, she had him legally declared dead. Despite efforts, his remains have never been recovered.

Errol Flynn FactsFlickr

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

More from Factinate

Featured Article

My mom never told me how her best friend passed. Years later, I was using her phone when I made an utterly chilling discovery.

Dark Family Secrets

Dark Family Secrets Exposed

Nothing stays hidden forever—and these dark family secrets are proof that when the truth comes out, it can range from devastating to utterly chilling.
April 8, 2020 Samantha Henman

Featured Article

Madame de Pompadour was the alluring chief mistress of King Louis XV, but few people know her dark history—or the chilling secret shared by her and Louis.

Madame de Pompadour Facts

Entrancing Facts About Madame de Pompadour, France's Most Powerful Mistress

Madame de Pompadour was the alluring chief mistress of King Louis XV, but few people know her dark history—or the chilling secret shared by her and Louis.
December 7, 2018 Kyle Climans

More from Factinate

Featured Article

I tried to get my ex-wife served with divorce papers. I knew that she was going to take it badly, but I had no idea about the insane lengths she would go to just to get revenge and mess with my life.

These People Got Genius Revenges

When someone really pushes our buttons, we'd like to think that we'd hold our head high and turn the other cheek, but revenge is so, so sweet.
April 22, 2020 Scott Mazza

Featured Article

Catherine of Aragon is now infamous as King Henry VIII’s rejected queen—but few people know her even darker history.

Catherine of Aragon Facts

Tragic Facts About Catherine of Aragon, Henry VIII’s First Wife

Catherine of Aragon is now infamous as King Henry VIII’s rejected queen—but very few people know her even darker history.
June 7, 2018 Christine Tran

Dear reader,

Want to tell us to write facts on a topic? We’re always looking for your input! Please reach out to us to let us know what you’re interested in reading. Your suggestions can be as general or specific as you like, from “Life” to “Compact Cars and Trucks” to “A Subspecies of Capybara Called Hydrochoerus Isthmius.” We’ll get our writers on it because we want to create articles on the topics you’re interested in. Please submit feedback to contribute@factinate.com. Thanks for your time!

Do you question the accuracy of a fact you just read? At Factinate, we’re dedicated to getting things right. Our credibility is the turbo-charged engine of our success. We want our readers to trust us. Our editors are instructed to fact check thoroughly, including finding at least three references for each fact. However, despite our best efforts, we sometimes miss the mark. When we do, we depend on our loyal, helpful readers to point out how we can do better. Please let us know if a fact we’ve published is inaccurate (or even if you just suspect it’s inaccurate) by reaching out to us at contribute@factinate.com. Thanks for your help!

Warmest regards,

The Factinate team

Want to learn something new every day?

Join thousands of others and start your morning with our Fact Of The Day newsletter.

Thank you!

Error, please try again.