magazine, June 1946
"Ah, yes - a
victim of circumstance!" he says in a pseudo-tragic voice, calculated
to emphasize the burlesque.
the result of being a heaven-sent sucker," he continues. "I
realize it but I don't seem to be able to do anything about it. I keep
on trying to out-shrewd all the wrong people.
"There was a time when I used to think I was wise in the ways of
men, although not too wise in the ways of women," he shakes his
head sadly. "But it took Hollywood to teach me I was much too optimistic
on both counts."
Withal, Errol is sentimental about a number of things. Beauty, dogs,
animals (he invariably distinguishes in conversation between dogs and
animals), trees and boats. When you ask him, "What about people?"
he looks at you too innocently, and inquires, "Oh, did I not mention
Despite his vaunted disillusionment in humankind, he has a great capacity
for friendship and, what's more, he puts it to work. Two men in particular
testify to this. They are not producers or directors or actors. They're
not important people, according to Hollywood standards. One is Jim Fleming,
his stand-in; the other, Buster Wiles, stunt man on all his pictures.
You rarely see Errol around town without Jim or Buster somewhere in
the offing. It's not the usual "star and satellite" Hollywood
arrangement, either. Definitely not. They're just three guys who happen
to like and understand each other. And when trouble comes to one of
them - or all three of them, as has happened in the past - they see
it through together. Errol likes loyalty in his friends and pays them
back in the same coin, whether it's a traffic ticket, an ill-advised
blow at someone's butler during a party or a court trial. There's never
any question of "Don't bring me in on this." They consider
trouble for one is trouble for all. continue