Legendary Tasmanian swashbuckler Errol Flynn died a dissolute drunk at the age of 50, but he squeezed rather a lot into that half-century — not least, in the amorous adventures department.
This was a man who openly admitted that he was viewed as “a phallic symbol… All over the world I was, as a name and personality, equated with sex.” For good reason, too. He often played a great lover on film, and in keeping with his remark “I catch myself acting out my life like it’s a goddamn script,” Flynn was a prolific ‘swordsman’ in real life, cutting a swathe through the era’s beauties (often paying scant regard to the age of the young — very, very young — ladies in question, leading to time in court) and conducting boozy cocaine-fuelled orgies aboard his yacht and at his Malibu home, dubbed “Cirrhosis-by-the-Sea”.
Here we collect Flynn’s 10 most notable quotes on love, sex, relationships and the female of the species. Follow at your peril, aspiring Errols.
10. ONE IS THE LONELIEST NUMBER “The Christian concept of monogamy is to me nothing more than a travesty of human nature. It doesn’t work, never will.”
9. A BARREL OF FUN “I like my whisky old and my women young.”
8. REPUTATION MANAGEMENT “The public has always expected me to be a playboy, and a decent chap never lets his public down.”
7. WEDDING JITTERS “Women won’t let me stay single and I won’t let me stay married.”
6. ALL THE FEELS “It is a mistake to think you can’t be hurt if you don’t care.”
Errol Flynn: in the mood for love.
5. ART AND COMMERCE “I enter a whorehouse with the same interest as I do the British museum or the Metropolitan — in the same spirit of curiosity. Here are the works of man, here is an art of man, here is the eternal pursuit of gold and pleasure. I couldn’t be more sincere. This doesn’t mean that if I go to La Scala in Milan to hear Carmen I want to get up on the stage and participate. I do not. Neither do I always participate in a fine representative national whorehouse — but I must see it as a spectacle, an offering, a symptom of a nation.”
4. THE GEORGE MICHAEL CONUNDRUM “I want faith; but I am faithless.”
3. LAW AND ORDER “The rest of my life will be devoted to women and litigation.”
2. IN LIKE… “I know if I touch the arm of a girl or woman who fires me I have got to go as far as she will let me.”
1. EXPERIENCE OF A LIFETIME “An artist may paint one thousand canvases before achieving one work of art. Would you deny a lover the same practice?”