Errol Leslie Thomson Flynn (June 20, 1909 – October 14, 1959) was an Australian actor.
Flynn was known for his romantic swashbuckler roles in Hollywood films and his playboy lifestyle. He became a naturalized American citizen in 1942.
Flynn was an overnight sensation in his first starring role soon after arriving in Hollywood, Captain Blood (1935). Quickly typecast as a swashbuckler, he followed it with a succession of films over the next six years that re-invented the sophistication of the action-adventure genre, most of them under the direction of Michael Curtiz, viz., The Charge of the Light Brigade (1936),The Prince and the Pauper (1937), The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) – his first film in Technicolor and what would become his synonymous role, The Dawn Patrol (1938) (in his closest onscreen performance with his friend David Niven), Dodge City (1939), The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex (1939) and The Sea Hawk (1940).
Working throughout his career with a cross-section of Hollywood’s best fight arrangers, Flynn became noted for his fast-paced sword fights as seen in The Adventures of Robin Hood, The Sea Hawk and Captain Blood. He also showed an acting range beyond purely action-adventure roles, both at light contemporary social comedy via performances in The Perfect Specimen (1937) and Four’s a Crowd (1938), and melodrama in The Sisters (1938).
Flynn co-starred with Olivia de Havilland a total of eight times, and together they made the most successful on-screen romantic partnership in Hollywood in the late 1930s-early ’40s in Captain Blood (1935), The Charge of the Light Brigade (1936), The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938), Four’s a Crowd (1938), Dodge City (1939), The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex (1939), Santa Fe Trail (1940), and They Died with Their Boots On (1941). While Flynn acknowledged his personal attraction to de Havilland, assertions by film historians that they were privately romantically involved during the filming of Robin Hood have been refuted by de Havilland. In an interview for Turner Classic Movies she said that their relationship was platonic, primarily because Flynn was already married to Lili Damita.