Which swashbuckling Australian actor died in a West End apartment?
Errol Flynn’s film roles typecast him as the charmingly romantic swashbuckler in films like Robin Hood and Captain Blood. But it was his off-screen lifestyle of hard drinking, lady wrangling, and drug use that eventually laid him low.
In October 1959, Errol Flynn was in Vancouver to lease his yacht to local businessman George Caldough. When his business was completed on October 14, the actor headed back to the airport when he was suddenly overcome with pain. Caldough spun the car around and headed straight to the 1310 Burnaby Street West End home of his friend, Dr. Grant Gould, who gave the famous ladies man a shot of morphine and propped him up on the couch. Of course, having a venerable swashbuckler sprawled across your sofa would be a difficult secret to keep for anyone. Before long several dozen of Dr. Gould’s nearest and dearest had swung by and a raging party had started. Feeling right at home, Flynn is said to have regaled the crowd with tales of his exploits with Fidel Castro and the leading ladies of Hollywood. But before the night was through he begged a quick reprieve citing a sudden need to lie down. The actor excused himself to the bedroom for a quick nap. He crawled into the Doctor’s bed and was found dead minutes later.