Before he was cast in the international hit "Game of Thrones" (HBO 2011- ) English actor Jerome Flynn was best known for his role as Corporal Paddy Garvey in the popular British television series "Soldier Soldier" (ITV 1991-97). While both shows shared a love of big themes, Flynn's own life turned out to have a broad sweep of its own, filled with the kind of stories of which legends can be made.
Jerome Flynn was born in Kent on March 16, 1963, into something of an entertainment dynasty. The son of musical theatre actor Eric Flynn and drama teacher Fern Flynn, Flynn and his siblings all went into the arts. His brother Daniel Flynn became a television actor, married to actress Serena Evans. His half-brother Johnny Flynn, along with working as a classically-trained actor himself, formed an indie folk-rock band, Johnny Flynn and The Sussex Wit, which also included their sister Lillie Flynn.
Flynn's first acting gig came on a 1985 episode of the public television anthology series "American Playhouse" (PBS 1981- ), "Displaced Person," based on the Kurt Vonnegut Jr. story about an orphanage in post-World War II Germany. In 1988, he had his first starring role on the British TV gangland drama "The Fear." His film career began taking off during this period as well, including key supporting roles in critically-acclaimed films such as Derek Jarman's extrapolation on Christopher Marlowe's "Edward II" (1991) and Steven Soderbergh's "Kafka" (1991).
Flynn's big breakthrough, and his first signature role, came with his portrayal of Corporal Paddy Garvey on the long-running series "Soldier Soldier" (ITV 1991-97). This popular series provided an accurate depiction of the downsizing of the British Army during the aftermath of the Cold War, and made Flynn a household name. An unexpected twist, however, contributed to his leaving the series in 1995, on which some observers blame the show's decline and cancellation.
On an episode of "Soldier Soldier," Flynn and cast mate Robson Green performed the pop standard "Unchained Melody." The network was instantly flooded with requests from fans eager to purchase the tune, and fledgling record executive Simon Cowell persuaded the actors to record the song. Under the name Robson & Jerome, the duo's single became an overnight sensation, selling more than 1.9 million copies and winning the 1996 Music Week Awards for best single, as well as best album for their self-titled long-playing debut. Robson & Jerome scored two more number one singles covers of Frankie Laine's "I Believe" and Jimmy Ruffin's "What Becomes of the Brokenhearted." A second album, Take Two also topped the charts in 1996, after which the duo amicably dissolved their accidental partnership and ended their music career.
Following that unexpected windfall, Flynn began backing away from his career for a time. Embarking upon a spiritual quest, Flynn took up with charismatic American mystic Andrew Cohen, purveyor of a path he called "evolutionary enlightenment," to whom Flynn devoted all his time before eventually parting ways. The seeker then became a follower of Balinese guru Ratu Bagus, an advocate of Qigong shaking meditation. Flynn was one of many followers of Ratu who lost a large sum of money when the sect invested its proceeds through a London-based investment company, Business Consulting International, which was later exposed as England's largest-ever ponzi scheme by a City of London Police investigation and subsequent trial.
In 2007, Flynn returned to acting as the voice of Daniel, the canine narrator of the animated children's show "Tommy Zoom" (CBeebies 2007- ). In 2011, he introduced himself to a new generation of fans worldwide through his role as sardonic swordsman Bronn on the HBO series "Game of Thrones," based on the fantasy novels by George R.R. Martin. The following year, Flynn starred opposite Matthew Macfadyen as Det. Sgt. Bennett Drake on "Ripper Street" (BBC 2012-16), a historical crime drama set in London's seedy Whitechapel neighborhood in 1889, shortly after the Jack the Ripper murders.