Errol Flynn & Charlie Sheen: Separated at Birth?

errol flynnCharlie Sheen, in his open letter to the public, thanks his fans and says he's taking a break "like Errol Flynn, who had to put down his sword on occasion." 

Anyone else a little hazy on who he's talking about? For those of you under the age of 80 (myself included, thank you very much), did this make you wonder just who this Errol Flynn guy was, aside from a dude with an odd name?

Let's discuss.


Errol Flynn was an Australian-born movie star, most famous for being the go-to swashbuckler in the '30s and '40s black-and-white action movies. He was the first action star. On-screen he wooed the leading lady, fought for the good side, though he was the rebel. He starred as Robin Hood. (See, most of these roles have a sword, hence the source of Charlie's reference. I know, you all though it was code, perhaps a euphemism for something else, right? Minds out of the gutter, people.) 

But, perhaps more importantly, Ol' Errol was also Hollywood's original bad boy.

As my grandpa would say, he was a lush. Grandma would have a nicer way of putting it, mentioning he had a little trouble with the drink. No matter how you looked at it, yup, he was a drunk. He was a womanizer. He had trouble with the law (think tax woes, think statutory rape trials).

Bonus for all of you Jeopardy! fans: Errol Flynn's real-life escapades are also where the phrase "in like Flynn" originated (granted, it was a result of one of his statutory rape lawsuits, nothing to take lightly, but interesting nonetheless).

Rumors constantly swirled about his off-screen activities, which also boosted his fame. Errol would go on binge after binge, and sadly, a week-long bender cost him his life at the young age of 50.

Sound like anyone we know?


Image via classic film scans/Flickr

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