Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 36 Page 37 Page 38 Page 39 Page 40 Page 41 Page 42 Page 43 Page 44 Page 45 Page 46 Page 47 Page 48 Page 49 Page 50 Page 51 Page 52 Page 53 Page 54 Page 55 Page 56 Page 57 Page 58 Page 59 Page 60 Page 61 Page 62 Page 63 Page 64 Page 65 Page 66 Page 67 Page 68 Page 69 Page 70 Page 71 Page 72 Page 73 Page 74 Page 75 Page 76 Page 77 Page 78 Page 79 Page 80 Page 81 Page 82 Page 83 Page 84 Page 85 Page 86 Page 87 Page 88 Page 89 Page 90 Page 91 Page 92 Page 93 Page 94 Page 95 Page 96 Page 97 Page 98 Page 99 Page 100 Page 101 Page 102 Page 103 Page 104 Page 105together in Beverly Hills for some of the months that Snelling was in Hollywood. But there is no mention of Snelling in any of their or their friends’ books recording that time. Presumably Snelling would have been mentioned if he had been living with the two stars. Clearly Snelling admired Flynn and felt a rapport with him. In his Free Lance article headed ‘A Star in Person: Errol Flynn’, Snelling wrote that ‘into the brief space of 11 years, the Irish actor–author has crowded more adventure than the average person would have in 10 lifetimes.’ While Flynn was working on his new film, The Adventures of Robin Hood, I spent some time chatting to him behind the scenes. It was after the picture had been ‘shot’ that I enjoyed a particularly good game of lawn tennis with him. His play, I may add, is of championship form and ranks very high in Hollywood events. After the game, I sketched the accompanying portrait. He told me that his next little jaunt was to be an expedition in the interests of icthyology. Flynn will equip his recently acquired ship Sirocco with tanks in which to take back Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Lower Carpentaria deep–sea specimens for a California aquarium. Dick Powell is interested and would like to go along. I know from my own experience of the man that he is never seen in the conspicuous spots in Hollywood, basking in the limelight which comes with fame. He avoids premieres, stays away from previews and shuns anything which savours of display. ... All in all, he is a man’s man. Despite his blossoming as a charming 21–year–old, Snelling also was becoming a ‘man’s man.’ In his mind—and in line with the prevailing mentality of his generation—this phrase described men who pursued intriguing projects, were athletically active, enthusiastically heterosexual but patronising towards women, connected to various stratas of society and (for Snelling) financially successful in prestigious lines of work. Another admirable example of a man’s man, in Snelling’s interpretation, was the famous American architect Frank Lloyd Wright, who he later claimed, falsely, to have met and even worked with. Here is one example, as reported in the most valuable personality profile on him, published in People, 10 May 1950: Snelling realised he was not learning enough, so began attending night lectures in architecture. During this period of groping for knowledge, he first met the famous American architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Wright, the most unconventional of American contemporary architects, was not orthodox–trained, but he is recognised as one of the world’s greatest living architects. To Snelling, Wright was a Messiah. He spoke a new and exciting language of design. He talked of sun and air, of space, wood, stone Box Theatre, the Hollywood Theatre, the Vista Theatre, Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, the Egyptian Theatre and its adjacent restaurant, the Pig ‘N Whistle, the El Capitan, and the Hollywood Palladium. Fashionable restaurants of that time included Sardi’s, the Montmartre and the Musso and Frank Grill, the Brown Derby, Schwab’s Pharmacy, Café Trocadero and Jack’s Steak House. The above venues are mentioned because most of them were/are architecturally idiosyncratic—and their glitzy interiors presumably impressed Snelling. In his later architecture, he did not emulate the schmaltzy exteriors—ranging from thatched English cottages to Moorish and Tudor villas and French chateaux. But his later Sydney commercial interiors and most of his residences incorporated glamorous modern artifices which appeared to have been influenced by Hollywood approaches to retail, hospitality and film set design. These artifices did not appear in the oeuvres of Sydney Ancher, Arthur Baldwinson or most other Australian designers and architects of the 1940s and 1950s. However, glamour was a factor in Harry Seidler’s interiors—he had been exposed to both high European and modern American culture. Of all the stars this Kiwi ‘ingenue’ encountered, he seems to have been especially impressed by Errol Flynn—who he sketched on the set of The Adventures of Robin Hood. Snelling looked similar to Flynn—in the then–fashionable mould of moustachioed matinee idols. He told a reporter from New Zealand Free Lance that Flynn had shouted him lunch on the strength of their similarity and claimed to some family and friends that he acted as Flynn’s double in some scenes of Robin Hood. (While later advertisements for his New Zealand cinema appearances described Snelling as ‘Double of Errol Flynn’, he did not claim this role in any of his later publicity, including his own 1938 column about Flynn. Records at the United States Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences show that Flynn’s archery scenes instead were performed by an expert double called Howard Hill, who became Flynn’s friend. Snelling’s name does not appear on either the cast or technical contractors lists for this movie.) During the 1970s, Snelling befriended a Los Angeles aerospace engineer, Rex Crookshanks, and told him that he had stayed with Flynn and David Niven during his Hollywood phase, and that they had double–dated together. Crookshanks remembers that Snelling once used his home phone to try to arrange a meeting with Niven—not managing to contact him. From several biographies and autobiographies covering Flynn and Niven, both actors flatted DOUGLAS SNELLING DOUGLAS SNELLING 26 27 1937–1940 1937–1940