When Errol got to Hollywood he became an immediate success and zoomed right to the top, all in one stunning leap. He was everything men and women believed a real man should be: handsome, daring, bold, witty, and romantic. And his fans immediately saw that this was not just an act; Errol was the real deal, and they could not get enough of him. Errol was not a master at his craft like Humphrey Bogart, and in fact he admitted to his fellow actors on several occasions that he knew nothing about acting and wanted to keep it that way. But he had what many professional actors only dreamed about, an electrifying screen presence. Whereas his peers spent their entire careers attempting to steal scenes and prevent being upstaged by others, when Errol walked on a set all the other actors receded into insignificance and all attention was automatically riveted on him. His mere presence on the screen was enough to upstage all his fellow actors.
Half way though the filming of a movie it was typical of Errol to refuse to continue unless he got a new contract and if he didn’t, he was prepared to walk away from it all at a moment’s notice. Errol would curse out his directors, particularly Michael Curtz, on the set in such foul language that his frequent co-star, Olivia de Havilland, would run to her dressing room in fright, with tears streaming from her eyes and covering her ears with her hands. Errol’s verbal exchanges became so heated with Jack Warner that on one occasion Errol told his secretary that he was coming right over to settle the matter with his fists. Warner, of course, had the good sense to run off just before Errol arrived, knowing that if he stayed there was every chance that he would have gotten the beating of his life at Errol’s hands.
There will never be another actor like Errol Flynn. He strode across the movie screen like the colossus he was and between Captain Blood (1935) and They Died With Their Boots On (1941) he made the screen’s greatest adventure movies of all time, all of which have become classics. In both his personal life and movie career Errol burned the candle at both ends, because, like the boy-wonder Irving Thalberg, he knew that he would die young. However, unlike Thalberg, who took the greatest of care to preserve his short life, Errol lit his afterburner and lived a life most others could only fantasize about. So read on and live the dream remembered that was Errol Flynn, for there will never be another like him.