The Daily Mirror

Los Angeles history

Paul V. Coates – Confidential File, Oct. 15, 1959

Oct. 15, 1959, Paul Coates
Paul is still on vacation …

Oct. 15, 1959, Abby
Oct. 15, 1959: A respectable neighbor is a peeping Tom … And a high school girl has a crush on her science teacher!

Errol Flynn Dies in Canada

Oct. 15, 1959, Errol Flynn Dies

Oct. 15, 1959: The Mirror isn’t quite so dainty about calling Beverly Aadland a “protege.” 

Aug. 19, 1979, Beverly Aadland

Aug. 19, 1979: Beverly Aadland writes to The Times and says she's living in the Antelope Valley.

A Kinder, Simpler Time Dept.: Your Movies

Oct. 15, 1942, Movies  

Oct. 15, 1942: “The Major and the Minor” is opening. The reproduction in the World War II papers can be really terrible, especially in the first year or two of the war. 

Errol Flynn Dies!

Errol Flynn, Robin Hood  

Olivia de Havilland and Errol Flynn in “The Adventures of Robin Hood.”

Oct. 15, 1959, Errol Flynn Dies!

Oct. 15, 1959: Errol Flynn collapses and dies in a Vancouver apartment where he had stopped for a drink. Mrs. George Caldough, who was accompanying the star and Beverly Aadland, his 17-year-old "protege," says: "He died laughing."

Oct. 15, 1959, Errol Flynn

"Errol Flynn lived high and hard from the moment he was old enough to walk until
the time he died. He could never step aside from a fight or a cause nor could he turn his back on a pretty woman...

Oct. 15, 1959, Errol Flynn
...At the flick of an eyebrow he would charge into court to sue and on his way out was just as often brought back as the target of a suit."


Revisiting a tragic rogue

* In a documentary and a lineup of his films, Turner Classic Movies presents the life and work of Errol Flynn.

April 05, 2005

By Susan King, Times Staff Writer

Michae Curtiz, Erro Flynn, 1939 Errol Flynn, the swashbuckling actor who came to fame in the 1930s, seemed to have everything going for him. "He had a face and a charm and ability," says his widow, Patrice Wymore Flynn. "He was just made for the camera."

But there was a self-destructive side too. Flynn was a womanizer who stood trial in 1942 for statutory rape, for which he was ultimately acquitted. He drank, shot morphine and began finding it difficult to remember lines. He was felled at age 50 by a heart attack.

"He was his own worst enemy, in many ways," said film historian Rudy Behlmer, co-writer of "The Films of Errol Flynn." "He thumbed his nose at convention, and he probably felt he could have it all. He wanted to try everything and I am sure he did. I think he thought he had the strength to stop."

"The Adventures of Errol Flynn," a new documentary airing at 5 and 8:30 tonight on Turner Classic Movies, examines the life and career of this paradoxical, charismatic man who was born in Tasmania in 1909.

In addition to interviews with Wymore, daughter Deirdre Flynn and frequent costar Olivia de Havilland, the documentary is filled with delicious clips from his movies, including the swashbucklers "Captain Blood," "The Adventures of Robin Hood," "The Sea Hawk" and "Adventures of Don Juan," as well as "The Dawn Patrol," "Gentleman Jim," "Objective, Burma!" and "That Forsyte Woman."

TCM is airing several of these films in conjunction with the documentary. And on April 19, Warner Home Video will release several Flynn films on DVD, including "Sea Hawk" and "Captain Blood."

Wymore, who met Flynn when they co-starred in 1950's "Rocky Mountain," said her husband's career was unfortunately "overshadowed by the public's playboy image. He felt he was never taken seriously as an actor, I don't think. So I think it's nice to know that he is being recognized as a talent. Nobody has been able to do what he did."

The Flynn she knew wasn't a madcap partygoer. "He loved to have people at the house," she said. "To get him to go to a big soiree was not easy."

But Wymore couldn't save him from himself after a series of misfortunes in the early 1950s.

First, Flynn was dropped from Warner Bros. in 1953.

Then he sank money into an ill-fated film version of "William Tell" that was never completed due to insufficient funds. A lawsuit filed by a former friend, actor Bruce Cabot, due to the film's demise, wiped him out.

"He just lost his way," said Wymore. "It was all too much all at once. His whole world was crumbling around him."

In 1957, Flynn caused a scandal when he left Wymore and ran off with 15-year-old actress-showgirl Beverly Aadland, whom he described as his "protegee."

Wymore says that before his death in 1959, she and Flynn were making plans to reconcile.

In the documentary, Deirdre says she caught her father one day with a syringe of morphine. "But you have to understand, I never saw him drunk though he drank all the time. I never saw him stoned, even though I knew what he was doing. I knew it wasn't right and I knew it wasn't good, but I thought he had been doing it a long time, I guess he can handle it."

She was 3 when her father divorced her mother, Nora Eddington. She says he remained close to her and her sister Rory. "Every time he was in town, we were with him," she recalled. "He was strict but fun-loving. He taught me to ride my pony when I was very young and years later he went horseback riding with me."

Her father, she says, would always lobby studio chief Jack Warner for more serious fare. "When he first started out in theater in England, he had his mind set on being a serious actor," she said. "But Jack Warner kept him in tights. I think that bothered him and he started to walk through his films."

But he certainly didn't walk through 1949's "That Forsyte Woman."

Warner loaned him to MGM for the Technicolor adaptation of John Galsworthy's novel, in which he beautifully underplays the role of a repressed British aristocrat obsessed with his wife (Greer Garson) but unable to express his love.

"He went against type," said his daughter. "It was his favorite picture. And I love that picture too."

Los Angeles Times file photo: Michael Curtiz and Errol Flynn, "The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex."

Oct. 15, 1959, Fire
Air tankers are used to fight the La Canada fire, including B-25s, PBYs and helicopters.

A Postscript on the Black Sox

Aug. 13, 1969, Black Sox  
Aug. 13-14, 1969, catching up with the Black Sox.

Aug. 13, 1969, Black Sox

Aug. 14, 1969, Black Sox

Aug. 14, 1969, an interview with Gandil.

Aug. 14, 1969, Black Sox

"Chick Gandil was as tough as they come. He was 31 years old and stood 6 feet, 2 inches tall; a broad, powerful 197 pounds. This was his 14th year in baseball. He had started at the age of 17 after running away from home in St. Paul. He had hopped a freight bound for Amarillo, Texas, where he'd heard he could get a job playing semipro baseball.

"Later, he caught on with an outlaw team in Cananea Mexico, just across the Arizona border. Cananea was a wide-open mining town ... Gandil not only played ball he became a heavyweight fighter, taking in $150 a fight, far more than he had ever seen before. In the off-season, he worked as a boilermaker in the local copper mines."

""I never confessed," Gandil said. "And five of the eight who were accused of throwing the series didn't. My hits won two of the games. If I'd been trying to throw the series would I have tried to win the games?"

Magnetic Healer Lures Away Husband

Oct. 15, 1909, Magnetic Healer 

Oct. 15, 1909: A wife sues her husband for divorce, charging that he was drawn away by a “magnetic healer.”

Matt Weinstock, Oct. 14, 1959

 Oct. 14, 1959, Comics

Red Wine Man

Matt Weinstock     This is wine week and while I am not knocking the old fashioned (with plain water, without the fruit salad) or minimizing the fiery Martini (I'm crazy about big green olives, with pimiento) or even bourbon and water (never soda), I find myself in a mood to say nice things about vino.

    At home I usually drink a dry cocktail sherry before dinner and red wine with dinner.  I know it's the thing to drink white wine with fish or fowl but I prefer red wine with everything.  I also like my wine in unstemmed glasses but I won't fight about it.

    I prefer California wines to all others and it's no use trying to confuse me with all that silly vintage business.

    I'VE ATTENDED numerous "tastings" but I make a bad wine judge.  After the first sip I can't tell a cabernet sauvignon from a pinot noir or even from a gamay.  Furthermore, I don't care.  All vino is fino.

    I have  before me a batch of mimeographed press releases about Wine Week but I'm not going to read them.  I might discover I wear the wrong necktie or something while enjoying my drink.

    And by the way, I wish to quarrel mildly with the trend toward serving wine "on the rocks." It's heresy.  Did the gods dilute their ambrosia?  Sherry chilled in the bottle, yes.  Over ice, huh uh.


Oct. 14, 1959, Liz Taylor     WHILE IN Needles recently a man named Van asked the landlady of the motor court where he was staying where the phone was.  She directed him, then asked if he had any nickels.  "It's a dime, isn't it?" he asked.  "Well, we used to use dimes," she said, "but we found out the Indians around here use nickels so we do too."  Van tried one and got his party okay.
   One way or another, those redskins are going to get even with the palefaces.


If someone says some day
he'll bury us,
Let's think before we get


    THE controversy over the incredible Watts Towers, 1765 E 107th St., has made them a must for sight-seers, and apparently all sorts of legends are springing up about them.

    Sunday, as Mary Jane Maier stood nearby, she saw an old gentleman point out the house number, 1765, engraved by Simon Rodilla on one of the surrounding walls, and heard him remark to his wife, "That's the year he started building these towers."

    Yep, before the Revolutionary War.


    AS LONG AS we're reaching back in history, Masamori Kojima on Monday intercepted this appraisal of the Christopher Columbus story by a 5th grader named Stan in the Los Feliz area:  "He went to Spain and got King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella.  They weren't sure because there is a war going on and it would cost too much money so he waited six years and then the King and Queen said it is OK to go and so the , King and Queen gives him $100,000.00."


    ONLY IN L.A. -- A woman patient phoned her doctor but he was out so she said to his nurse, "I have a pain in my ear.  Can I take the same medication he's giving me for my stomach?"


    AT RANDOM -- The way E.F. Reed sees it, only one final bold step remains for the deodorant people, currently locked in combat for dominance in TV commercials -- a salve that simply removes the arm . . . Oops, the chairman of a committee was ticketed for doing 75 in a 45 en route to a safety meeting . . . No truth in the rumor Roz wears her Dodger cap around the house . . . For the western cliche file let us add the scene in which the marshal merely wings the revenge minded youth in a shootdown and the youth says bitterly, "Why didn't you kill me when you had the chance?"  Also the variation in which the marshal wounds him seriously, then says, "Don't try to talk, Sam" . . . While in Las Vegas recently Frank Barron overheard a dejected looking tourist remark to a friend, "I had more fun in Winnemucca."

Paul V. Coates – Confidential File, Oct. 14, 1959

Oct. 14, 1959, Paul Coates 
Paul is on vacation …
Oct. 14, 1959, Dear Abby
Oct. 14, 1959: Dear Abby, should I tell my neighbor that there are weevils in her flour?

Fire Closes in on Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Oct. 14, 1959, Mirror Cover  
Oct. 14, 1959: The Mirror brings out an extra on the La Canada fire, which is within a mile and a half of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The story says the fire moved half a mile in five minutes … And Charles Van Doren is subpoenaed to testify before a House subcommittee about rigged quiz shows. 

A Kinder, Simpler Time Dept.: Your Movies

Oct. 14, 1941, Maltese Falcon  

Oct. 14, 1941: “The Maltese Falcon” is a surprise hit in New York. It’s interesting to see that not much was expected in the third remake of the film, which has now eclipsed the two previous incarnations. I’ll have to track down the Bette Davis-Warren William version, which is apparently “Satan Met a Lady.”  I saw the 1931 Ricardo Cortez version years ago in Seattle and I was amazed that anyone could make such a dull, tedious and forgettable movie from such a great novel. This was many years ago and I might feel differently now, but I recall it being a real dog of a movie. 

Forest Service Worker Admits Setting Fatal Fire

This is how we did fire maps 50 years ago. The map is hard to read, but compare it with the one we did for the Station fire.

View Los Angeles fires: Mount Wilson, Altadena, Pasadena, Acton, Agua Dulce, Sierra Madre in a larger map

Oct. 14, 1959: The Times brings out an extra on the forest fire.




June 24, 1960, William Douglas Grater is sentenced in the fire.

Oct. 14, 1959: A fire that started along Angeles Crest Highway near Dark Canyon threatens homes in what is now the La Canada Flintridge area. William Douglas Grater Jr., a 20-year-old Forest Service employee, confessed to setting the fire, which killed two Zuni Indian firefighters and burned 14,000 acres. He was sentenced to a year in jail and seven years’ probation.

Nuestro Pueblo -- Pasadena

June 17, 1938, Nuestro Pueblo  
June 17, 1938: The original run of Nuestro Pueblo is over, but I’m posting the ones I missed the first time around. For this installment, Joe Seewerker and Charles Owens visited Pasadena.