Errol Flynn could dance, insists Julie Newmar 2

Dance · Film
Julie on set in gold head-to-toe makeup applied by makeup man Antole Robbins, Flynn observing at rear c. 1952

Beyond his many physical gifts that made him the most derring-do of screen actors to famously do his own stuntwork, the long-legged Aussie-born movie star, Erroll Flynn (1909-1959) could also dance. Who knew? It was a gem of a factoid shared in an interview with dancer/Cat Woman, Julie Newmar. She is someone who would know; the very smart, dance-savvy lady worked with Flynn on a project in Cuba, we are not yet certain its title.

“I want to tell you something else,” Julie told me. “Something he’s never been given credit for. This person is a non dancer. But he was a natural. He was born on the island of Australia, and that was Errol Flynn. If you can find him doing a song and dance number; I have never seen such a natural dancer, singer. He is known only as an actor, his timing was out of this world, his instincts were better than dancer-dancers.”

Errol Flynn, dancer

2 thoughts on “Errol Flynn could dance, insists Julie Newmar

  1. debra levine Mar 23,2021 11:01 am

    Fabulous comment, Tom. Thank you for sharing your knowledge. Good writer!

  2. Tom Webb Mar 23,2021 6:52 am

    Flynn danced and sang in two musical films. In the WWII All-Star Warner Brothers movie, “Thank Your Lucky Stars,” 1943, he was in a number called “That’s What You Jolly Well Get,” as a Cockney barfly who claims to be winning the war single-handedly. In a kind of self-parody of his movie image, Flynn was wonderful. For a non-trained singer and dancer, he did a really good job. Very amusing and clever. And in the 1954 musical “Lilacs in the Spring,” with British star Anna Neagle, he played a song-and-dance man. They do a stage performance of “Lily of Laguna,” and Flynn was again great. None of that is really surprising, as he was a first-class athlete, with incredible reflexes. He was one of the best, if not the best, tennis players in Hollywood. He was an excellent boxer, fencer, swimmer, horseback rider. If you watch film of him in tennis tournaments, he had an incredible serve and was fast as lightning. In his best screen duels, as with Basil Rathbone in “The Adventures of Robin Hood,” the choreographed duels themselves are like screen dances. Flynn moved with grace and style. It’s too bad they didn’t put him into a real singing and dancing musical when he was still young and healthy.

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