Reportedly, ERROL FLYNN snatched JOHN BARRYMORE’s corpse from the morgue and took his late pal out for some morbid after-life carousing. Bullsh*t or NOT? The ENQUIRER sets the story straight.
According to the swashbuckler’s memoirs “My Wicked, Wicked Ways”, two-fisted director Raoul Walsh "borrowed" Barrymore's stone-cold body from the mortuary when the master thespian died May 29, 1942.
Back then, in the golden era of Hollywood, Barrymore, Flynn and others of the Bundy Drive Gang made the latter day Rat Pack seem like Cub Scouts when it came to excessive boozing, whoring and carousing.
To no one’s surprise, when Flynn learned his mentor and longtime-drinking buddy Barrymore had died suddenly, he went on an out-of-control bender with Raoul Walsh to drown their sorrows at the Cock and Bull Bar.
But while Flynn was still knocking them back, Walsh excused himself and mysteriously disappeared.
Walsh paid a visit to the Pierce Brothers mortuary where The Great Profile lay in state.
He bribed the parlor director, retrieved the dearly departed, and then drove back to Flynn’s mansion.
Walsh recalled awakening Flynn’s Russian butler out of his drunken stupor, to help bring the stiff inside the house.
“Mr. Barrymore’s drunk – so lend me a hand,” Walsh recalled in an interview with The Beaver Times.
“’I think he’s dead,” the butler countered.
“You’ve seen him like this before,” Walsh insisted, “So help lend me a hand.”
“All right – but he looks dead to me!”
After more existential discussion, Walsh and the butler, dragged Barrymore inside, placing the stone-cold star into his favorite perch on Flynn’s couch.
He then implored the butler to get his “woozy” pal some coffee to help sober him up.
A passed out Barrymore on the couch was nothing new to the seen-it-all drunk-it-all Russkie butler.
About 4 AM, after draining the bottles dry at the Cock and Bull, Flynn staggered back home.
Walsh recalled, that at first, Flynn noticed “nothing unusual”.
“He sat down in his favorite chair and was talking about something or other when the butler came back in saying ‘Here’s Mr. Barrymore’s coffee.’
“And with that, Flynn saw Jack and ran out of the house screaming. He hid behind a bush in the yard, yelling, “Get him out of here! You are going to get us all of us put in San Quentin!’
“Well, I took Jack back to the funeral home and the mortician asked me where I’d taken him” Walsh recalled. “I said we went to Errol Flynn’s.
“‘You did? he said.
“‘Why, if I’d have known you were going to take him up there, I would have put a better suit on him.’ ”
Yet, Barrymore’s “official” biographer, John Kobler claims there was only one visitor to Barrymore at the mortuary – a local, well-known prostitute “who knelt and prayed and continued on her way in silence.”
Regardless, Raoul Walsh went on the record AGAIN recalling he and Errol Flynn’s story for the 1973 documentary “The Men Who Made the Movies”.
But for Errol, the passing of his longtime pal, John Barrymore, was more than losing a booze buddy – he had practically worshipped the great actor.
In fact, so much so, Flynn later played an aging Barrymore battling his boozy estranged daughter, Diana, (Dorothy Malone) in a biopic appropriately entitled “Too Much, Too Soon”.
The title of which could have easily been Flynn’s epitaph as well as he was dead at age 50 within a year of the film's release.