Charles Higham: The Mad Leper’s Degenerate Dreams
Celebrity assassin Charles Higham has died at the age of 81. The Los Angeles Times began posting his obituary this week. He reportedly succumbed to a heart attack after suffering a fall on April 21st. Higham is best known as the con-man who fabricated the popular myth that Errol Flynn was both a homosexual and a Nazi spy. This claim was brilliantly refuted by journalist William Donati who documented Higham’s fabrications.
Higham’s many other celebrity bios are hurtful exercises in degenerate daydreaming. Eventually, Higham was quoted as saying: “I don’t have a document that says A,B,C,D,E, Errol Flynn was a Nazi agent. But I have pieced together a mosaic that proves that he is.” This preposterous nonsense was profitable for Higham who continued publishing faux celebrity biographies for several decades. His Errol Flynn: The Untold Story (1980) is credited with beginning the long cycle of intentionally smarmy tell-all biographies. Higham’s influence was far-reaching: today writers like David Bret and Andrew Morton have taken up where Higham left off, publishing books lacking in journalistic integrity and participating in a cottage industry that stems from dysfunctional fantasies and aberrant daydreams.
At long last Charles Higham is dead, unloved and reviled by all except his gayboy friends. That’s not exactly a legacy anyone should be proud of. His death was first reported by Todd McCarthy, the film critic for The Hollywood Reporter. The initial statement from McCarthy was rewritten and pasted all over the Internet. Higham is referred to as “controversial” which is misleading. In fact, Higham was nothing more than a closet homosexual who created lies to bolster his career and make money. Higham was one of the world’s maggots who fed off the bodies of dead celebrities, intentionally smearing their careers and connecting them to his own demented fantasies in order to justify his lifestyle choices. I am not being politically incorrect or insensitive, I’m being factual.
It’s true that Higham’s career was once promising. His early books were praised for their insight into the filmmaking process, but dementia and greed overtook all other considerations, and eventually Higham succeeded in making a name for himself along with a lot of money. He discovered one simple lucrative fact – the dead can’t defend themselves. And so the Nazi spy myths were born. And so the sex gossip began. And it all became a million dollar industry. There are several interesting omissions from Higham’s published obituary, notably his lifelong fascination and fear of leprosy, his fixation on the Third Reich, and his constant battle to keep secret his homosexuality. Charles Higham was one tortured son-of-a-bitch.
And there’s one final fact to consider: A lot of people have been waiting for Charles Higham to die for a very long time. Ding Dong the Witch is Dead.
To read William Donati’s investigation into Charles Higham’s fraudulent claims about Errol Flynn see: My Days with Errol Flynn by Buster Wiles (Roundtable Publishing, 1988) and The Spy Who Never Was by Tony Thomas (Citadel Press, 1990).