A Good Story: Whatever Happened to Sean Flynn
Sean Leslie Flynn (born May 31, 1941; disappeared April 6, 1970, age 28; declared legally dead in 1984) Sean was the only child from the marriage of early Hollywoods’ biggest star Errol Flynn and French actress Lili Damita. Sean tried acting like his famous parents, appearing at the age of 15 in an episode of his Dad’s TV show – The Errol Flynn Theater. Acting never really stuck for Sean, though he’d do it off and on over the years whenever he was broke. Adventure was the life for Errol’s boy – leaving the US to become a Safari guide and then a game warden in Kenya. Flynn also tried his hand as a singer; recording two songs 1961. The songs were released regionally as a 45rpm single, “Stay in My Heart” b/w “Secret Love” – an exceptionally rare collectors item.
Sean finally found his calling, traveling to Vietnam in 1966 as a photojournalist for Paris-Match and later Time-Life. His photos were soon published around the world. He 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.
On April 6, 1970, while traveling in Cambodia, Flynn and Dana Stone (on assignment for Time magazine and CBS News) were captured by communist guerrillas at a roadblock on Highway One. They were never heard from again and their remains have never been found. Although it is known that they were captured by Vietnamese Communists, it has been suggested that they died in the hands of “hostile” forces. There was suggestions of sightings for years, but the logical and accepted story was that he was killed by the Cambodian Khmer Rouge about a year after his capture.
Lili Damita spent all her time and money searching for her son, finally giving up in 1984, having him legally declared dead. In 2010 a mass grave of western bodies was found near were Sean went missing. Seans’ body was not among them
Sean’s apartment in Paris was left untouched for over 20 years, finally being opened after his mother’s death in 1994 (she didn’t want to change anything should he come home). When it was finally opened all sean’s possessions were perfectly in place, just as he’d left them.