Beverly E. Fisher, who became famous at 17 as Beverly Aadland, the final girlfriend of 50-year-old swashbuckling Hollywood actor Errol Flynn, has died. She was 67.
Fisher died Tuesday at Lancaster Community Hospital from complications of diabetes and congestive heart failure, said Ronald Fisher, her husband of 40 years.
Beverly Fisher had a torrid two-year affair with Flynn that began when she was 15. The charming, womanizing actor had gained fame in the 1930s but his name had been tarnished in the 1940s, when he was accused of statutory rape and acquitted. He is also said to have abused alcohol and morphine, making it difficult for him to remember lines.
Fisher caught Flynn's eye working as a dancer at the Warner Bros. lot in 1957, and he invited her to dinner at a Hollywood estate to read for a part in a play, according to an interview published in People magazine in 1988.
"I read for the part but the whole thing was a ruse -- somebody else already had the part," she said. After dinner and sake, Flynn invited her onto a bearskin rug.
"With Errol I didn't know what was happening at first -- I just thought he was just trying to kiss me. He knew so many women who would say yes that when I was saying no, no, no, he thought I meant yes," Fisher said. Flynn, who was still married to but separated from his third wife, kept calling Fisher afterward to apologize. A few days later she agreed to go out with him again.
They traveled to Africa, Europe and Jamaica, where he had a ranch. Her mother did not object to the relationship, according to the interview.
Fisher, who was born Sept. 16, 1942, gained notoriety after Flynn suddenly died of a heart attack in 1959: She was with him when he collapsed in Vancouver.
In 1960, Fisher's boyfriend entered her home and was dead the next morning, fatally shot by his own gun on his 21st birthday.
She told police he'd attacked her and they'd grappled for control of the weapon, according to a Times article.
A month later, the 17-year-old was made a ward of the court and put in the care of a church chaplain's wife.
Fisher soon began a singing and dancing career on the East Coast and returned to California several years later. She married and divorced twice. After her second marriage, she ended her performing career and was a cocktail waitress when she met Ronald Fisher, who sold auto parts and tires. They initially settled in Glendale and moved to Palmdale in the early 1970s.
"I converted her into a housewife, which she always wanted to do anyway," he said.
An account of her relationship with Flynn was published in the book "The Big Love," which was written with her mother's help. It was later made into a play.
Ronald Fisher said his wife never stopped loving Flynn and told him once that "if he was still around, I'd be with him."
He joked back to her, "Well, it'd be crowded, wouldn't it?"
In addition to her husband, Fisher is survived by their 30-year-old daughter, Aadlanda Joy Fisher, and a granddaughter. Services will be private.