Errol Flynn was born on June 20, 1909 in Hobart, Tasmania. Shortly after his birth, his family moved to Sydney, Australia.
Errol was quite a troublemaker as a youth and was expelled from two different schools. Afterwards, he moved to Papau New Guinea and bought a tobacco plantation. Unfortunately, the business venture failed and he decided to pursue other directions.
He began auditioning for Australian films, eventually being cast in 1933's "The Wake of the Bounty". That same year he left for England, where he worked as a stage actor with the Northampton Repertory Company. During one of his plays, he was noticed by an executive from Warner Brothers Studios and he signed a contract with them.
After moving to Hollywood, Flynn took the starring role in Captain Blood. He had to fight very hard to get the role since the studio was scared of casting a nobody as the lead actor, but managed to secure the position. The film was released in 1935 and became a massive hit. In the film, Flynn becomes a pirate captain after being sold into slavery by the Spanish.
That same year, he met his first wife, actress Lili Damita. They were married that year and had one son, Sean. Sean later became a war correspondent during the Vietnam War, but disappeared in Cambodia.
In 1936, he starred in "The Charge of the Light Brigade" with Olivia de Havilland. The film was based on an actual historical event that occurred during the Crimean War. In the battle, the Light Brigade of the British Army led a charge against Russian forces and suffered massive losses.
In 1938, Flynn produced his most famous film "The Adventures of Robin Hood". In the film he played the well known character of Robin Hood, a bandit who resisted the rule of Prince John in the absence of Richard the Lionheart. Although James Cagney was the original choice for the role, he left the project and Flynn was able to take his place.
In 1939, Flynn starred in "Dodge City", a classic western. Flynn played the lead character, Wade Hatton, who becomes the sheriff of Dodge City to put down the lawlessness. That year, he also starred in "The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex" with Bette Davis. The co-stars did not get along very well and frequently argued off set.
The next year featured Flynn playing the lead role in another swashbuckling film, "The Seahawk". In the film, Flynn plays an English privateer who is hired by Queen Elizabeth to seize the Spanish money train in Central America. The movie was a smash hit and further established Flynn as a popular actor.
By this time, Errol Flynn was well known as a ladies man on the Hollywood scene. He would frequently be seen with different women and throw wild parties. His womanizing nature led to the creation of the slang term "In Like Flynn".
In 1942, Flynn was accused of statutory rape by two teenage girls, Betty Hansen and Peggy Satterlee. A group of fans formed to defend him, naming themselves the American Boys Club for the Defense of Errol Flynn. The trial started in January of 1943, but Flynn was cleared of all charges.
In 1957, he starred in the film "The Sun Also Rises" as a drunken criminal. He also began working on his autobiography, which was entitled "My Wicked, Wicked Ways". He died of a heart attack on October 14, 1959 and was buried with six bottles of hard liquor as a homage to his rough lifestyle.