Maurice Bennett Flynn (May 26, 1892 – March 4, 1959) was an American football player and actor. He was also known as “Lefty” Flynn because in football, he kicked with his left foot.
Flynn was born in Greenwich, Connecticut on May 26, 1892. He later attended Yale University starting in 1910. He was expelled from Yale in January 1913 after he married Irene Leary, a chorus girl. They separated after 11 days, and their divorce became final in 1914. In 1916 he married Blanche Shove Palmer and they had two children, including basketball player and broadcaster Bud Palmer.
Between 1919 and 1927, Flynn appeared in 40 feature films, often as the lead actor, and sometimes as a sports hero or daring adventurer.
He moved to Tryon, North Carolina and was married for the third time to Nora Langhorne Phipps. She was the youngest sister of Nancy Astor, Viscountess Astor and of Irene Langhorne, who was married to the artist Charles Dana Gibson. Flynn was married to actress Viola Dana from 1925 to 1929.
Nora, Flynn’s third wife, persuaded Lefty to cure his alcoholism through Christian Science treatments. She tried less-than-successfully to convince F. Scott Fitzgerald to try the Mary Baker Eddy approach in March 1934, when she and Lefty were caring for Scottie, Zelda and Scott’s daughter, during trying times for a depressed Scott. The next month Fitzgerald published a story, “The Intimate Strangers,” based on the Flynns.
He died on March 4, 1959 in Camden, SC. He was 66.