Born: December 17, 1926; Died: March 22, 2014
Patrice Wymore, who has died aged 87, was a Hollywood leading lady in the 1950s and appeared opposite stars of the calibre of Kirk Douglas, Frank Sinatra and the future President Reagan. But it is possibly in her role as the third and final Mrs Errol Flynn that she is of most interest.
She appeared opposite Flynn in her second feature film, the 1950 western Rocky Mountain. On screen, he rescued her from Indian attack; off screen they were soon head over heels in love - despite the fact Flynn was engaged to a Romanian princess and was also having an affair with his male co-star Scott Forbes, who played Wymore's fiancé in the film.
Wymore herself was betrothed to a Broadway producer but none of this was going to stand in Flynn's way. Flynn later recalled that as soon as she took her glasses off he fell for her. He had his housekeeper phone the Romanian princess and tell her she was dumped.
Flynn and Wymore were married in Monte Carlo a few months later. She was 23 and he was 41. It was her first marriage and his third. Flynn reflected that she was everything he wanted in a woman but Flynn was possibly Hollywood's greatest philanderer and he refused or was unable to change.
They remained married until his death of a heart attack in 1959, at the age of 50, worn out by his lifestyle which included a heavy diet of drink and drugs. He and Wymore were separated and for the previous two years he had been involved with a teenage dancer.
The daughter of vaudeville performers, Wymore was born in a small town in Kansas in 1926 and began performing in travelling shows as a child. After moving to New York, she worked as a model and singer and appeared in Broadway musicals. She made her film debut in the 1950 musical comedy Tea for Two, in which she and Doris Day were rivals for a Broadway role and for the affections of the show's producer.
Wymore continued working after getting married, co-starring with Kirk Douglas in the Big Trees (1952), Ronald Reagan in She's Working Her Way Through College (1952) and with her husband in the romantic musical King's Rhapsody (1955).
After Flynn's death, she was Frank Sinatra's girlfriend in the 1960 Rat Pack crime caper Ocean's Eleven, although in the 1960s she worked largely in television, before quitting the business to concentrate on running a cattle ranch and coconut plantation in Jamaica, where she had lived with Flynn.
She never remarried and insisted the Flynn she knew was very different from his public image. Arnella, Wymore and Flynn's daughter, became a model. She died in 1998. Wymore is survived by her grandson Luke Flynn, a model and actor.
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