Trying to ID obscure actress Gertrude Flynn

I’m wondering if actress Gertrude Flynn might have been the same person as Josephine Bordages. Here’s what I have found out:

Gertrude Flynn married writer Asa Bordages in New York in 1933 (I think).
Josephine Bordages was the name of Asa Bordages’ wife when he died in 1986.
Josephine (Stanley) Bordages was born in Sherman TX.
Asa Bordages was born in Beaumont TX.
Josephine was an editor for “Art Digest” magazine from the mid 1940s thru the mid 1950s.
Coincidentally, Gertrude Flynn’s Broadway acting career ended in the early 1940s (with a solitary exception in the early 1950s), and her movie/TV career started in the mid 1950s.
Josephine Bordages claimed to have attended Sullins College in Vermont, and Columbia University.
Biographical info on Josephine Bordages’ obit ends with the 1950s (she died in 1991).
There’s no mention of Gertrude Flynn in Asa’s obit.

It’s neat how some of the dates fit together, but that’s not enough to link Josephine and Gertrude Flynn together. Unfortunately, also, there’s not enough biographical info on either to show that they’re different people.

Also, Flynn was never a star, and seems to have been relegated to bit roles, her first one being in “The Barefoot Contessa,” which was on TCM earlier this week.

Anyone with anything to add to this, feel free.

Where’s Eve when we need her?

I can’t find a thing on Josephine Bordages except a mention of her estate in a legal document (as plaintiff against Penn Oil). Does her obituary say anything about children, or when she was born?

Here’s what I got on Gertrude, mostly some google-fu that you’ve probably done already, and various Newspaper databases:

  • Gertrude was performing on Broadway as far back as 1929, and appears to have performed in a production of “The Buccaneers” while attending City College.

  • Not exactly a detailed image, but here’s an Al Hirschfeld caricature of her performing in The Puritan with Dennis O’Day.

  • I found a news item and an obituary for Asa and Gertrude’s daughter, Ellen Flynn Bordages, from October 1950. Sadly she died at only 12 from a horse riding accident in East Islip, LI.

  • This is kind of a stretch, but here goes. Here’s a 2002 obit for a woman named Catherine who could possibly be Gertrude’s sister, although there’s no confirmation that it’s the same Gertrude Flynn. However, they’re the right age (90s) and geography. If this woman was Gertrude’s sister, then her parents were Thomas and Helen Flynn, which means ‘Flynn’ is not a stage name. And that rules out Josephine Stanley as Gertrude’s birth name.

Speaking of which… it seems odd to think that she’d have changed her name from Josephine Stanley to Gertrude Flynn (during her theatrical career and at the time of the child’s accident), then back to Josephine Bordages for her “Art Digest” career, and then back to Gertrude Flynn for her film career. And wouldn’t the obituary make some mention of her role as a performer?

  • Finally, there’s a post on a Twilight Zone message board that gives a date of death for Gertrude as October 1996. I’m not sure how he found that; there are several Gertrude Flynns on the Social Security Death Index, any of which could be her.

That’s all I got without spending bucks on this. Probably you knew most of this already, but just in case I thought I’d type it up.

If you don’t mind my asking, was Josephine a relative of yours or something? What’s the connection?

No mention of any children for either Asa or Josephine Bordages, living or deceased.

Had not come across that. The obits for Asa and Josephine both said they had lived in the area (Warren TWP, NJ) since 1949.

Yep. And if I could just find an obit for Gertrude Flynn, that might cinch it.

I agree. I thought it might have been a case of her using a stage name for acting jobs and her real name for a day job. Just kinda grasping for straws.

Had not seen that, but I did find several Gertrude Flynns in the SSDI, but wasn’t able to corroborate any of them. I might sign up for that board and see where they got their info.

No, not a relative. Some people (like me) just have too much time on their hands. I came across her name recently in a couple of different things that I saw back to back, and was unable to find any biographical info on her, other than her marriage to Bordages. Was curious to know a) whether she was still alive, b) if not when she died, and c) was she the same person as the Josephine married to Asa Bordages when he died. (I’ll admit the last point does not look promising, but I also haven’t found anything to summarily dismiss it as a possibility.)
ETA: Thanks for the additional info, though!

Gertrude Flynn did not have a sister. She had one brother, Jim Flynn. I believe he was a part-time actor. Gertrude had one beautiful daughter who was killed in an accident around 1950 when she was about 12-yrs. old.
Gertrude was my cousin - I visited her at her home in L.A. in 1967.
If anyone has more information on her and in particular about her daughter, I’d appreciate hearing from you.


Thanks for responding. What scant information is available on her indicates that she might have been living in Columbia, South Carolina in the mid 1990s when she died. There definitely was a Gertrude Flynn, and it seems to be the actress. But there was no published obit. I did find out rather quickly after posting the original message that she was most definitely not Josephine Bordages.

One odd credit that she has: In the pilot episode of “Hawaii Five-O”, she plays a role in which she can’t be obviously identified. I think she plays a landlady, who is not actually seen–only her voice is heard, although a very distorted reflection is partially visible on a vase or lamp. Either that or she plays a prison matron who calls out for Rosemary Quong (Nancy Kwan). That actress also sounded like Flynn, but she never turned around for a positive id, and she might have been stouter than the real thing. Guess she still could have supplied the voice.

I knew the Bordages in the 19940s. The daughter sometimes rode her horse as far as Stillwater, Susse County. I was smitten. She looked older than thirteen. I have no really new information except I believe they spent winters in Mexico. AOM