HOLLYWOOD HEYDAY

Ushering in a new renaissance, cinema greats tell the story of the mythical backdrop of Port Antonio when it was better known as the Hollywood of the High Seas. Portland’s resurrected archive of screen idols such as Elizabeth Taylor, Audrey Hepburn, and Patrice Flynn shed light on the halcyon days of one of Jamaica’s most breathtaking parishes.

Life was rich in the ’60s and Port Antonio was a kind of Hollywood hotbed where the stars formed an insider’s click of nouveau frontier meets ex-pat chic.  As Patrice Flynn described, “You’d always end up having a big bash, with all of these famous people whether you wanted to or not.”

With 14 films to her credit, including the original Ocean’s Eleven featuring the original Rat Pack, Patrice Flynn has had the silver screen bug in her blood since her small town beginnings.  As she tells it, her mother took her to dancing school in New York at age 17, and she literally never returned to Kansas.  She crossed paths with her future husband, swashbuckling screen icon Errol Flynn, on the set of Ocean’s Eleven and again when they were both cast in Rocky Mountain, a high stakes romance shot on location in New Mexico.

“We got married in 1950,” Flynn recalled.  “I was 23 and Errol was 40 going on 15.”  She said their decision to move to Jamaica was a natural extension of their spirited beginning.  In a moment of reminiscence, Flynn spoke of the early days when she and Errol were settling in.  “Elizabeth Taylor and Jean Simmons used to come up for a Sunday BBQ,” she said.  “They were devastatingly beautiful.  They looked like they might have maybe put a brush through their hair.”

Flynn is survived by her grandson, Luke Flynn, a talented filmmaker and model, who continues to carry forth his parents’ legacy with spirit and grace.

 

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