Errol Flynn, who would have turned 100 next year, is known as a swashbuckling classic movie actor of films such as The Adventures of Robin Hood and Captain Blood. Seven decades after those movies premiered, he is still remembered for both his acting and rakish good looks.
Flynn was known for his rowdy, behind-the scenes pastimes as well as his adventures on the silver screen. (After all, his autobiography is called “My Wicked, Wicked Ways.”) But the image of Flynn as a father and family man is the motivation behind “The Baron of Mulholland: A Daughter Remembers Errol Flynn,” a selection of photos and writings by his daughter – and Pender County resident – Rory Flynn, who is signing copies of the book at noon Saturday at Old Books on Front St. in downtown Wilmington (North Carolina).
“Errol Flynn and ‘family man’ aren’t usually used together,” Rory Flynn said. “But that’s how I remember him.”
The Baron was a popular nickname for Errol Flynn. And Rory recalls that life with him in Mulholland was “very ‘Mommie Dearest’ without the bad stuff.”
She remembers lavish parties, for both adults and his children, fencing matches between her dad and Gary Cooper and him recreating an Australian ranch at his California home.
Her book combines family photos with hand-written letters to showcase Errol Flynn’s life and that of his family. She self-published the 160 pages as a kind of scrapbook; it includes pictures given to her by her grandparents and the love letters written by Flynn to her mother, Nora Eddington.
Although Rory Flynn spoke with publishers, she said they wanted something different than what she had in mind. “I kept hearing from his fans that they wanted something like this, something personal,” she said. “I didn’t want to exploit my father, but offer something more to the fans than what was already available.”
The book also devotes several pages to Flynn’s son (Rory’s brother), Sean Flynn, a photojournalist captured and killed in Cambodia during the Vietnam War.
After years working as a model, Rory Flynn also became a photographer and has worked in that capacity on films such as “The Return of the Living Dead” and “Invaders from Mars.”
“I call myself the Ed Wood of still photography,” she said. “It seems I’m always working on these low-budget horror movies.”
Flynn’s family is still very much connected to Hollywood and the film business. Her husband, Gideon Amir, is a film producer. Son Sean Flynn is a singer/songwriter and star of the teen sensation Zoey 101 on Nickelodeon.
Although Flynn’s family has made their home in California for 21 years, they recently purchased nine acres in the Burgaw area.
“I looked on a map and knew I wanted to go straight across to the other side of the country from L.A.,” she said. She thought the mild North Carolina weather and Wilmington’s connection to the movie industry would be a good fit for the family – and hopes the book signing will be a way to meet people in her new hometown.
It might be a while before Flynn can really settle in, though. Since the book came out in 2007, she’s been on book tours and is planning several trips to her father’s native Australia as they prepare to celebrate his 100th birthday next year.
“My dad still has so many fans,” she said. “He is an icon, and he’s really been imbedded in Western culture.”