THE widow of Errol Flynn, actress Patrice Wymore, has fond memories of the times they spent in Majorca, and expressed a wish to return. She has not been in Majorca since 1985 and now lives on a farm in Jamaica, where she is planning to build a hotel with golf, riding and tennis facilities. “I was born in Miltonvale, a small town in Kansas. My mother was a pianist and singer and had given concerts. My father worked at several jobs, including film distributor. My early vocation was to follow in my mother's footsteps but nobody pushed me into it. Later, I became a businesswoman, in my father's wake. I started to study music and dancing at an early age. My first job was in New York, then I moved to Broadway as an actress, singer and dancer. “A talent scout working for Warner Brothers saw me perform and I was contracted. It wasn't easy working in the film studios. Besides, I never wanted to work in the chorus line becaue I knew it was always very difficult to get out of it. My first film was Tea for Two, a musical with Doris Day in 1950. Then they decided that I was to be a leading star at Warner Brothers. I made a second film, Rocky Mountain that same year with Errol Flynn. That's how I met him.” -Was it love at first sight? “No, it was nothing like that. At that time I was much more interested in my career than romance. The film was shot in New Mexico and to tell the truth, I hadn't seen Errol's films and I didn't like him as an actor. I knew nothing about the characters he had played: Captain Blood, Robin Hood, General Custer. “We began to become friends on the set, between shots. And I gradually came to know what he was really like: intelligent, sensitive, with a sense of humour.” - In her recent book of memoirs, Maureen O'Hara says he was very professional, a good companion and charming, but from 5pm, alcohol prevented him from continuing to work. “To tell the truth, at that time, I never saw him drink in excess.” -That was the time when you both had salmon for breakfast every morning? “Yes. We were married that same year in 1950. The civil wedding was in Monaco and the religious ceremony, according to the Lutheran rite, was held in Nice.” -And shortly after that, you arrived in Majorca, on board the Zaca, which was black with a 30-metre mast. “It was the month of December, 1950. Our honeymoon was in Majorca, as the bad weather had arleady arrived in France. We were heading for Jamaica, where I had never been before, and the moment we arrived on the beautiful Mediterranean island, we fell in love with it. Those two weeks in Majorca were marvellous, unforgettable. “We continued our trip and in Tangier, were called back to Hollywood, where they were waiting for us with the salmon ready. The Zaca remained moored at the Club Nautico in Palma for four years. Then, when we returned, we lived for a while in Illetas, at Es Moli, while the boat was reformed in the shipyards. Our friends on the island were Gaby and Jim McKinnon, Adam Genetti, who was my singing teacher, and the flamenco dancer Pedro de Cordoba. I liked the way he danced and we went to Las Vegas. We did a number which combined his flamenco with a cabaret show.” -In Illetas, there is a rock by the Hotel Albatross, with an inscription recalling that you once lived there. Also at that time, 1957, there was a recital with the Palma Symphony Orchestra conducted by Ekitay Ahnn at the Teatro Principal, and you also gave an exhibition of Majorcan dancing at the Club Nautico. “The song recital did not turn out as well as I would have liked. The Majorcan dancing I learned by watching the folk groups in Majorca. I copied them in my own way. In those years, the 1950s, we frequented Plaza Gomila at night: Tito's, El Patio, Joe's. And we also sailed to wonderful beaches, only accessible by sea. I remember that they taught me to make an oven on the beach: a hole in the sand covered in banana skin. I can assure you that I have an image of complete happiness of that time in Majorca.” -How would you define Errol Flynn's character? “He was full of vitality, and curious about everything. He could feel equally at home in Buckingham Palace, on the road or drinking with the sailors. When he was with me, his vocation was writing. He published two novels and an autobiography.
-He died in 1959, in Canada, I believe. “In Vancouver. He was there in connection with the yacht. We had a daughter, Arnella Roma, who died five years ago. It's very sad. I am happier to be able to say that I have a grandson, Luke Flynn, who also makes films.” -In 1957, Errol Flynn received the offer to make The Sun also Rises, based on the Hemingway novel, and directed by Henry King. His co-stars were Tyrone Power and Ava Gardner, but I believe he did not want to do it. “That's right. I insisted on him taking the role, and it proved to be one of his best performances. He was almost nominated for an Oscar. At that time, we alternated between living in Majorca and Jamaica, where we owned an island, Navy Island, in Port Antonio. It was our garden and we lived on the yacht. There was nobody else on the island, it was almost like Robinson Crusoe.” -A lot has been said about Errol Flynn's political ideology, probably without a base. Some biographies have also hinted at alleged Nazi sympathies. “That hurt me very much. It wasn't true and he was dead and couldn't defend himself. It could be said that he was not left wing. He was moved above all by an insatiable curiosity. He liked to go where there were conflicts, with a desire to find the truth. I think he was searching for the humanity in man. In Spain, for example, when they spoke to him of the Civil War, he didn't understand it.” But in early 1937, the name of Errol Flynn appeared on a movement supporting the Republican cause, together with Charles Chaplin, the Marx Brothers, Bette Davis, Clark Gable, Gary Cooper, Marlene Dietrich and his first wife, Lily Damita, among others. “I was only a child then. And I know very little of his first marriage, or the second, to Nora Eddington. The man I knew was apolitical. We were friendly with Ronald Reagan, the ex-President who died recently. Ronald always spoke to us of politics and political history, but Errol did not follow him.” -I believe that in January 1959, when the Castro revolution triumphed in Cuba, there is a photograph of Flynn and Hemingway with Fidel, Raul and Che Guevara, the leaders of the new regime. “We used to spend long seasons in Cuba, where a friend owned property and I recall that Errol went to see if he was all right. When he returned, he told an American television station that Castroism was pure communism. I remember at that time, Castro was still trying to be nice, to win the confidence of the United States. And he seemed to be succeeding, because at that time, everybody laughed at Errol. They thought he was wrong, but it was soon obvious that he wasn't.” -And how do you stand politically? “Democracy is my ideology. But I think that it cannot work in some places, where the population is largely illiterate.” -You have left films far behind, and are now a farmer? “Yes, I have a farm in Boston Bay with horses, cattle and coco palms. At the moment about 50 people are working for me but at times there have been more. And I am also preparing my first book, my memoirs, but I have only got half way.” -Is Jamaica now your home? “Yes. But if I leave one day, I will return to Majorca. I have excellent memories of my last visit to the island in August 1985. But I don't know if I will be able to retire there one day. I always have new projects, such as an ecological hotel on my property, with golf, horses, tennis, cycling. It will be like a small village, but I don't know if I will ever carry it out.”