Barrymore's Body

"The day John Barrymore died director Raoul Walsh was at Errol Flynn's house drinking heavily. Flynn had idolized Barrymore and was deeply saddened by his death. 'Uncle,' he told Walsh, 'I can see the old fellow sitting there now telling us his most marvelous tales. How I miss him.' The phone rang, and Flynn returned to say that he had to see his lawyer but would be back shortly, and asked Walsh to stay for dinner.

"Walsh poured himself another drink and got into his station wagon, having found out from a friend that Barrymore's body had been taken to Malloy Brothers on Temple Street. One of the Malloy brothers had been a character actor who'd worked in Walsh's pictures. 'I'd like to borrow Barrymore's body for about two hours,' the director told him upon arriving at the mortuary. 'I want to take him somewhere to surprise somebody.' The former actor drank a great deal and, as usual, was loaded. 'All right, for you I'll do it,' he said. They got hold of Barrymore's stiff body and put him in the back of Walsh's station wagon. The director drove carefully to Flynn's house, not wanting the police to stop him. He pulled into the driveway and told Error's servant, 'Alex, Mr. Barrymore didn't die, he's drunk. Help me carry him in the house.' The servant helped carry Barrymore in, agreeing he'd never seen a man so drunk. They propped the dead actor up on a couch, and before long Flynn walked in. He saw Barrymore's body sitting there and dashed from the house. 'You missed the old boy and I brought him up here,' Walsh shouted out the door. 'At least come in and say hello to him.' Flynn wanted no part of it. 'All right, Alex,' Walsh said, 'let's get him back before he falls asleep.' They loaded Barrymore into the station wagon again, and Walsh drove down to Malloy Brothers, where the former actorwas waiting. 'Where the hell did you take him, Mr. Walsh?' the drunken brother wanted to know. 'I took him up to Error Flynn's,' explained the director. 'Why the hell didn't you tell me!' Malloy exclaimed. 'I'd have put a better suit on him.'"

0/5 0 votes

Share It

Share Report

Related Anecdotes