Sean Leslie Flynn (born May 31, 1941, disappeared while in Cambodia on April 6, 1970, (declared legally dead in 1984), believed killed by Khmer Rouge in June 1971), was an American actor and freelance photojournalist best known for his coverage of the Vietnam War. He started a news service in Saigon with John Steinbeck IV, son of the American author.
1 The mystery of his fate
2 Acting career
3 Flynn the journalist
5 External links
 The mystery of his fate
Flynn was the only child of the marriage of Errol Flynn and Lili Damita. After studying briefly at Duke University, he became a movie actor like his parents.
When he tired of acting, Flynn became a freelance photo journalist under contract to Time Magazine. In a search for exceptional images, he attached himself to Special Forces units and even irregulars operating in remote areas. On April 6, 1970, Flynn and fellow journalist Dana Stone (working for CBS) left Phnom Penh on rented Honda motorbikes to find the front lines in Cambodia. Traveling southeast on Route One near a eucalyptus plantation in eastern Cambodia, the men were stopped at a check point at map coordinates XT171209 in Svay Rieng Province. They were led away by members of the Viet Cong Tay Ninh Armed Forces and the combined North Vietnamese-Viet Cong Ningh Division based in Cambodia.
Information from indigenous sources indicated Stone and Flynn were executed in mid-1971 in Kampong Cham Province, Cambodia. However, other sources, including an intercepted radio message from COSUN, the Viet Cong high command, indicated they survived. One source claimed he had seen a group of very long haired, bearded, tall prisoners near Memot, Cambodia who were identified as 'imperialist journalists'.
Over the years, occasional reports emerged from isolated Cambodian villages of a "movie star" who was being held prisoner by the Khmer Rouge. Flynn's mother Lili Damita spent large sums of money searching for her son, but he was never found. In the 1980s, a vagrant claimed to have been in Mexico having been drinking buddies with a man who said he was the son of Errol Flynn. This was never verified.
In 1984 Flynn was declared legally dead, as one of 22 international journalists missing in Southeast Asia, most known to have been captured by the communists.
Important evidence concerning Flynn's fate was uncovered in 1991 by his photojournalist colleague Tim Page. According to a report in the Sunday Times on 24 March 1991, Page returned to Cambodia in November 1990, determined to solve the mystery. He began his search at Sangke Kaong, the first village where Flynn and Stone were known to have been held captive for several months, according to documents released by the CIA.
Page tracked down a former villager who identified Flynn from a photograph and remembered the American had told her both his parents were movie actors. Flynn and Stone were next reportedly moved north in early 1971 to Rokar Knor and then Peus, following the advance of US forces into Cambodia. Following a hunger strike, they were moved again, and eventually handed over to the Khmer Rouge. Investigations by Page and a TV documentary maker led them to a village known as Bei Met, and to a grave that had allegedly been the final resting place of two foreigners. Forensic examination of the few remains left suggested they belonged to a tall man and a short man, and that both had met a violent end.
More recent information has been provided by author Jeffrey Meyers in his 2002 dual biography, "Inherited Risk: Errol and Sean Flynn in Hollywood and Viet Nam". His research provides a different ending. According to Meyer, in June of 1971, after more than a year in captivity Flynn, had contracted a "severe case of malaria". Due to the poor medical facilities in Cambodia at the time, the medical treatment given to him by his captors "went horribly wrong". When nothing else could be done for him, he was given a lethal injection. (He may also have been buried alive, before the effects of the injection took its final toll.) His remains were then buried in an unknown spot and have never been found. Meyer says that Page, after completing his own documentary, acknowledged that he had heard that this was how his friend met his end.
 Acting career
Original film poster - 1964
U.S. ReleaseFlynn first appeared in front of the cameras at the age of 15, when he appeared in an episode of his father's television show, "The Errol Flynn Theatre". The episode titled "The Strange Auction" filmed in 1956. (The show was produced and broadcast in the U.K. in 1956 and was broadcast in syndication in the U.S.A. in 1957.) In 1960, at the suggestion of his friend, actor George Hamilton, Flynn filmed a scene in Hamilton's picture "Where The Boys Are", but it ended up on the cutting room floor. In 1961, at the age of 20 (and after his father's death), Flynn accepted a contract to appear in a sequel to his father's hit film Captain Blood, "The Son of Captain Blood"(1964--year of U.S. release), also known as "Il Figlio del Capitano Blood" (1962, year of initial European release), a European production. He made a few more films in Europe, including, "Il Segno di Zorro"(1963, year of initial European release) (aka "Duel at the Rio Grande"(1964, year of release of English version). He also starred in "Stop Train 349"(1964) with José Ferrer (aka "Verspätung in Marienborn"- 1963, year of initial European release), "Mission to Venice"(1964) (aka "Agent Special a Venise--Voir Venise et...Crever"(1964) & "Sandok, Il Maciste della Jungla"(also 1964)(aka "Temple of the White Elephant"--1966, year of release of English version).
Flynn became bored with acting and went to Africa in late 1964/early 1965 to try his hand at safari guide and big game-hunting. He also tried his hand at being a game warden in Kenya. In the latter part of 1965, he needed money and made two Spaghetti westerns back-to-back in Spain and Italy. ("Sette Magnifiche Pistole" and "Dos Pistolas Gemelas", both receiving initial European release in 1966.) In the summer of 1966, in need of money again, Flynn went to Singapore to star in his eighth and final flim, the French-Italian action film, "Cinq Gars Pour Singapour" (1967-year of initial European release) (aka "Five Ashore in Singapore"(1968--year of release of English version). After its completion, he gave up acting for good.
 Flynn the journalist
Flynn arrived in South Vietnam in January, 1966, as a free-lance photojournalist; first for the French magazine, Paris-Match, then for Time-Life and then for United Press International. His photos were soon published around the world. He soon made a name for himself as one of that group of high-risk photojournalists who would do anything to get the best pictures; even going into combat. In March, of 1966, he was wounded in his knee while in the field. In the summer of 1966, he left Vietnam long enough to star in his last movie. In 1967, he went to Israel to cover the Arab-Israeli war of 1967. He returned to Vietnam in 1968, after the Tet offensive, with plans to make a documentary about the war. In the spring of 1970, he went to Cambodia, when news of North Vietnamese advancement into that country broke. On April 6, 1970, Flynn and fellow photojournalist, Dana Stone rode off into Cambodia on rented motorcycles never to be heard from again.
Lists of miscellaneous information should be avoided. Please relocate any relevant information into appropriate sections or articles. (April 2008)
The story of Sean Flynn was immortalized by The Clash in the song "Sean Flynn" from the album Combat Rock.
Sean Flynn is a major character in Michael Herr's Dispatches, one of the most acclaimed American literary treatments of the Vietnam War. Herr's friendship with Flynn during his years in Vietnam is vividly described. Dennis Hopper's photojournalist character in Apocalypse Now is modeled in part on Flynn and in part on the harlequin character ("The man's enlarged my mind.") in Heart of Darkness.
Portrayed by Kevin Dillon in 1992 mini-series Frankie's House.
Examples of Sean Flynn's photography are included in "Requiem: By the Photographers Who Died in Vietnam and Indochina", a collection edited by fellow Vietnam War veteran journalists and friends Horst Faas and Tim Page.
Sean Flynn also tried his hand at being a singer; recording songs for a company known as Hi-Fidelity R. V. Records. Two songs were released on 45 rpm, "Stay in My Heart" b/w "Secret Love" (Arvee 5043). The single is now a very rare collector's item. A copy was sold on e-bay!
 External links
Brief memoire about Flynn, with an example of his Vietnam images
Photo of Flynn (left) and Stone taken two hours before their disappearance in 1970
1963 photo-report of Flynn filming Son of Captain Blood in Stars and Stripes.
Peter's E.F. Club - An internet scrapbook dedicated to Errol Flynn with extensive archival articles, books, photographs, filmography, biography, and much more including Sean Flynn.
Sean Flynn at the Internet Movie Database http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sean_Flynn