Actor in a whole bunch of romantic adventure movies from the thirties and onward. Lots of swashbuckling, Robin Hooding, and rescuing of some damsel in distress or other, fencing with flair and elegance against some evil tyrant or villain, always accompanied by his trusty sidekick, his moustache.
When caught unarmed whilst sneaking away from the evil lord, no one could jump up on the table and grab the ornamental rapier conveniently hanging on a nearby wall with such agility as Errol.
Whenever threatened with imminent decapitation in some fight for a noble cause, all Errol had to do was laugh his triumphant "Ha-haa!"-laugh and mow down the astonished antagonists with a few quick swipes and thrusts.

A classic Hollywood hero on film, quite the piano-playing bastard in real life.
Errol Flynn (1909-1959) was not a star of the 50sand 60s. His heyday came in the late 30s and early 40s. The description of his characters is right on though. Major movies during his career include: Flynn was alcoholic and notoriously promiscuous, supposedly giving rise to the saying "in like Flynn." His career took a nosedive when he was accused of statuatory rape in 1942, even though he was acquitted. He died of a heart attack in 1959.

From his earliest days in film, Errol Flynn was recognized as the best swashbuckling actor in Hollywood.  While he was rarely praised by the critics for his dramatic work, it was said of Flynn that no one could handle a sword, wear a costume, or woo a lady like he did.

Film fencing master Ralph Faulkner worked twice with Errol Flynn.  They first met in 1935.  "I doubled for Errol in Captain Blood, the movie that made him a star.  Later, we crossed blades in The Sea Hawk, which was done in 1940.  It's one of his best films."

Added Faulkner, "Most people underrated Flynn.  But he never failed to impress me.  In those days, he had a memory like an elephant's.  He could remember duels, move for move, even after we'd laid off of them for days at a time.  That's not an easy thing to do.  I never tried to remember them.  I always wrote everything down."

While never a real fencer in the competitive sense, Errol Flynn was a natural athlete who was able to look good with a weapon in his hand.  Other films in which he wielded a sword include The Prince and the Pauper (1937), The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938), The Adventures of Don Juan (1949), Against All Flags (1952), Master of Ballantrae (1953), Crossed Swords (1953), and The Warriors (1955).

A man without much personal discipline, Errol Flynn died in 1959, at the age of 50, from a life of extreme dissipation.  Yet, the legacy of his greatest swashbuckler films continue to impose their magical influence on the public's recognition of fencing even to this day.

From The Art and Science of Fencing, by Nick Evangelista

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