Before Errol Flynn, before Robert Mitchum, before Richard Burton and before Johnny Depp, there was Bad Boy Johnny Farrow from Australia, a consummate raconteur, liar, imposter and famous womanizer around town who bedded more starlets than MGM had stars in heaven. His blond hair, blue eyes and movie star looks were enough to make a moviola swoon.

This is also the story of glam actress Maureen O’Sullivan, a ravishing Irish beauty who was brought to Hollywood in the late 1920s by director Frank Borzage and went on to become the toast of Tinseltown, first coming to fame as Tarzan’s mate and then continuing her career in a variety of leading and supporting roles in period pieces and romances. She was already a major celebrity when she met John; after their chance meeting in a Paramount studio office, her crush on him led to her intervention with the US Courts to stop John’s deportation and, after they were wed in 1936, her companionship and love helped energize John’s career … to a point.

Between the two of them, they dominated Hollywood society for more than two decades. Maureen cut back on her acting career to raise seven kids, including actress Mia Farrow. With her support, John told amazing stories on film. While other directors were content to create flimsy romances and fanciful fantasies, Farrow pushed the boundaries of film and added a realism that changed the industry forever: In “Tarzan Escapes” (1936), he added raw violence and gore to the action-adventure series, so much so that most of this footage was cut; in “Five Came Back” (1939), considered the precursor to the modern disaster film (and the movie that made Lucile Ball a star), he insisted on realism by importing trees and animals to flesh out a jungle landscape on the sound stage; in “Wake Island” (1942), he insisted on realism by scrupulously paying attention to battle detail; a special weapons squad of selected Marines manned machine guns in land battle scenes and Marine crews were used as extras and to operate equipment. (Star MacDonald Carey was so inspired by working on the film he joined the United States Marine Corps after filming ended).

But Farrow, who was abandoned as a child when his mother died in a mental asylum and his father remarried, carried with him demons that would occasionally rise to the surface. Thinking he was the son of insanity and evil, he turned to storytelling and reinvention to hide his roots. He was unfaithful to Maureen while adhering to strong Catholic values for his children, whom he beat on a regular basis; on set he was a horrible task master and later became “the most hated man in Hollywood.” Little did he know that the demons in him would be passed on to his children — especially Mia Farrow, who would also fight the monsters inside by her own form of storytelling.

Maureen was the quintessential Hollywood starlet, vivacious and bubbly. She loved films and filmmaking, and she loved starring in films with happy endings. Maureen tried her best to keep the family‚Äôs private life out of the spotlight. She loved John unconditionally while also bearing the emotional and physical pain he doled out. She knew his demons lay deeply hidden, more than even he himself understood … he was the typical “troubled artist.” For all her married life with this man, she knew he would always remain just beyond her reach. When they were drinking she could match him scotch for scotch.

“Paradise Lost” is a six-episode series that explores the lives of these two unsung giants of early Hollywood. It’s a story filled with intriguing characters; of adventure, romance, danger, greed, sex and debauchery, success and failure – all set amidst a backdrop of Hollywood and filmmaking during the wild early years of the cinema. It’s the story of John Farrow, who directed some fifty films, including noir classics “The Big Clock” and “Alias Nick Beal,” whose career, by 1962, when he died, was just a faded memory. It’s the story of Maureen O’Sullivan, who gave up her career in her prime, and found that her love could not change Farrow’s fate, nor those of their children.

This is the tragic, untold story of John Farrow and Maureen O’Sullivan.