Errol Flynn, the Hollywood actor, was a Nazi spy who met Adolf Hitler shortly before the outbreak of the Second World War, it has been alleged.
The hard-drinking and womanising actor's life is currently being celebrated with a special festival in his home state of Tasmania
Charles Higham alleges that Flynn was employed to gather information on German socialists who fought against General Franco, helping contribute to the death of hundreds of volunteers and their families.
Higham, whose claims are partly based on analysis of declassified CIA files but have been challenged by other historians, said that the commemorations were inappropriate given the actor's political activities.
According to the biography, Flynn fell under the influence of a Hermann Erben, an Austrian doctor and Nazi party member, in the 1930s. They both travelled to Spain in 1937 where they fed information to the Gestapo, it is alleged.
The following year Flynn may even have attended a secret meeting with the Fuhrer at his Bavarian mountain retreat, according to Higham.
Flynn's surviving relatives have dismissed reports that the actor, whose roles included Robin Hood, had links with Hitler's regime.
"The idea of Errol Flynn being a Nazi is totally ridiculous," the Second World War historian James Holland told the Daily Mail.