Richard Burton
Overview
Richard Burton, CBE
Order of the British Empire
The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is an order of chivalry established on 4 June 1917 by George V of the United Kingdom. The Order comprises five classes in civil and military divisions...

 (10 November 1925 5 August 1984) was a Welsh
Welsh people
The Welsh people are an ethnic group and nation associated with Wales and the Welsh language.John Davies argues that the origin of the "Welsh nation" can be traced to the late 4th and early 5th centuries, following the Roman departure from Britain, although Brythonic Celtic languages seem to have...

 actor. He was nominated seven times for an Academy Award, six of which were for Best Actor in a Leading Role (without ever winning), and was a recipient of BAFTA, Golden Globe and Tony Award
Tony Award
The Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Theatre, more commonly known as a Tony Award, recognizes achievement in live Broadway theatre. The awards are presented by the American Theatre Wing and The Broadway League at an annual ceremony in New York City. The awards are given for Broadway...

s for Best Actor. Although never trained as an actor, Burton was, at one time, the highest-paid actor in Hollywood. He remains closely associated in the public consciousness with his second wife, actress Elizabeth Taylor
Elizabeth Taylor
Dame Elizabeth Rosemond "Liz" Taylor, DBE was a British-American actress. From her early years as a child star with MGM, she became one of the great screen actresses of Hollywood's Golden Age...

; the couple's turbulent relationship was rarely out of the news.
Richard Burton was born Richard Walter Jenkins in the village of Pontrhydyfen
Pontrhydyfen
Pontrhydyfen is a small village in the Afan Valley, in Neath Port Talbot county borough in Wales.-Location:It is situated in the Afan Valley at , at the confluence of the River Afan and the smaller Afon Pelenna, 1.8 miles north of the larger village of Cwmafan and not far from the towns of Port...

, Neath Port Talbot
Neath Port Talbot
Neath Port Talbot is a county borough and one of the unitary authority areas of Wales. Neath Port Talbot is the 8th most populous county in Wales and the third most populous county borough....

, Wales.
Encyclopedia
Richard Burton, CBE
Order of the British Empire
The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is an order of chivalry established on 4 June 1917 by George V of the United Kingdom. The Order comprises five classes in civil and military divisions...

 (10 November 1925 5 August 1984) was a Welsh
Welsh people
The Welsh people are an ethnic group and nation associated with Wales and the Welsh language.John Davies argues that the origin of the "Welsh nation" can be traced to the late 4th and early 5th centuries, following the Roman departure from Britain, although Brythonic Celtic languages seem to have...

 actor. He was nominated seven times for an Academy Award, six of which were for Best Actor in a Leading Role (without ever winning), and was a recipient of BAFTA, Golden Globe and Tony Award
Tony Award
The Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Theatre, more commonly known as a Tony Award, recognizes achievement in live Broadway theatre. The awards are presented by the American Theatre Wing and The Broadway League at an annual ceremony in New York City. The awards are given for Broadway...

s for Best Actor. Although never trained as an actor, Burton was, at one time, the highest-paid actor in Hollywood. He remains closely associated in the public consciousness with his second wife, actress Elizabeth Taylor
Elizabeth Taylor
Dame Elizabeth Rosemond "Liz" Taylor, DBE was a British-American actress. From her early years as a child star with MGM, she became one of the great screen actresses of Hollywood's Golden Age...

; the couple's turbulent relationship was rarely out of the news.

Childhood and education

Richard Burton was born Richard Walter Jenkins in the village of Pontrhydyfen
Pontrhydyfen
Pontrhydyfen is a small village in the Afan Valley, in Neath Port Talbot county borough in Wales.-Location:It is situated in the Afan Valley at , at the confluence of the River Afan and the smaller Afon Pelenna, 1.8 miles north of the larger village of Cwmafan and not far from the towns of Port...

, Neath Port Talbot
Neath Port Talbot
Neath Port Talbot is a county borough and one of the unitary authority areas of Wales. Neath Port Talbot is the 8th most populous county in Wales and the third most populous county borough....

, Wales. He grew up in a working class, Welsh-speaking
Welsh language
Welsh is a member of the Brythonic branch of the Celtic languages spoken natively in Wales, by some along the Welsh border in England, and in Y Wladfa...

 household, the twelfth of thirteen children. His father, Richard Walter Jenkins, was a short, robust coal miner, a "twelve-pints-a-day man" who sometimes went off on drinking and gambling sprees for weeks. Burton later claimed, by family telling, that "He looked very much like me...That is, he was pockmarked, devious, and smiled a great deal when he was in trouble. He was, also, a man of extraordinary eloquence, tremendous passion, great violence."

Burton was less than two years old in 1927 when his mother, Edith Maude (née Thomas), died at the age of 43 after giving birth to her 13th child. His sister Cecilia and her husband Elfed took him into their Presbyterian mining family in nearby Port Talbot
Port Talbot
Port Talbot is a town in Neath Port Talbot, Wales. It had a population of 35,633 in 2001.-History:Port Talbot grew out of the original small port and market town of Aberafan , which belonged to the medieval Lords of Afan. The area of the parish of Margam lying on the west bank of the lower Afan...

 (an English-speaking
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

 steel town). Burton said later that his sister became "more mother to me than any mother could have ever been... I was immensely proud of her... she felt all tragedies except her own". Burton's father would occasionally visit the homes of his grown daughters but was otherwise absent. Also important in young Burton's life was Ifor (Ivor), the brother 19 years his senior. A miner and rugby player, Ifor "ruled the household with the proverbial firm hand".

Burton showed a talent for English and Welsh literature at grammar school
Grammar school
A grammar school is one of several different types of school in the history of education in the United Kingdom and some other English-speaking countries, originally a school teaching classical languages but more recently an academically-oriented secondary school.The original purpose of mediaeval...

, and demonstrated an excellent memory, though his consuming interest was sports – rugby
Rugby football
Rugby football is a style of football named after Rugby School in the United Kingdom. It is seen most prominently in two current sports, rugby league and rugby union.-History:...

 (in fact famous Welsh centre Bleddyn Williams
Bleddyn Williams
Bleddyn Williams MBE , was a Welsh rugby union centre. He played in 22 internationals for Wales, captaining them five times, winning each time, and captained the British Lions in 1950 for some of their tour of Australia and New Zealand...

 said in his autobiography that Burton could have gone far as a player), cricket, and table tennis He later said, "I would rather have played for Wales at Cardiff Arms Park
Cardiff Arms Park
Cardiff Arms Park , also known as The Arms Park, is primarily known as a rugby union stadium, but it also has a bowling green, and is situated in the centre of Cardiff, Wales. The Arms Park was host to the British Empire and Commonwealth Games in 1958, and hosted four games in the 1991 Rugby World...

 than Hamlet at the Old Vic." He earned pocket money by running messages, hauling horse manure, and delivering newspapers. He started to smoke at the age of eight and drink regularly at twelve. Inspired by his schoolmaster, Philip H. Burton, he excelled in school productions, his first being The Apple Cart. Philip could not legally adopt Burton because their age difference was one year short of the minimum twenty years required. Burton early on displayed an excellent speaking and singing voice and won an Eisteddfod prize as a boy soprano.

Burton left school at sixteen for full-time work. He worked for the local wartime Co-operative committee, handing out supplies in exchange for coupons, but then considered other professions for his future, including boxing, religion and singing. When Burton joined the Port Talbot Squadron of the Air Training Corps
Air Training Corps
The Air Training Corps , commonly known as the Air Cadets, is a cadet organisation based in the United Kingdom. It is a voluntary youth group which is part of the Air Cadet Organisation and the Royal Air Force . It is supported by the Ministry of Defence, with a regular RAF Officer, currently Air...

 as a cadet, he re-encountered Philip Burton, his former teacher, who was the commander. Richard also joined a youth drama group led by Leo Lloyd, a steel worker and avid amateur thespian, who taught him the fundamentals of acting.

Philip Burton, recognising Richard's talent, then adopted him as his ward and Richard returned to school, and, being older than most of the boys, he was very attractive to some of the girls. Philip Burton later said, "Richard was my son to all intents and purposes. I was committed to him." Philip Burton tutored his charge intensely in school subjects and also worked at developing the youth's acting voice, including outdoor voice drills which improved his projection.

In 1943, at the age of eighteen, Richard Burton (who had now taken his teacher's surname but would not change it by deed poll for several years), was allowed into Exeter College, Oxford
Exeter College, Oxford
Exeter College is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in England and the fourth oldest college of the University. The main entrance is on the east side of Turl Street...

 for a special term of six months study, made possible because he was an air force cadet obligated to later military service. He subsequently did serve in the RAF
Royal Air Force
The Royal Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Formed on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world...

 (1944–1947) as a navigator. Burton's eyesight was too poor for him to be considered pilot material.

Early acting career

In the 1940s and early 1950s Burton worked on stage and in cinema in the United Kingdom. Before his war service with the Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
The Royal Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Formed on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world...

, he starred as Professor Higgins in a YMCA
YMCA
The Young Men's Christian Association is a worldwide organization of more than 45 million members from 125 national federations affiliated through the World Alliance of YMCAs...

 production of Pygmalion
Pygmalion (play)
Pygmalion: A Romance in Five Acts is a play by Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw. Professor of phonetics Henry Higgins makes a bet that he can train a bedraggled Cockney flower girl, Eliza Doolittle, to pass for a duchess at an ambassador's garden party by teaching her to assume a veneer of...

. He earned his first professional acting fees doing radio parts for the BBC. He had made his professional acting debut in Liverpool
Liverpool
Liverpool is a city and metropolitan borough of Merseyside, England, along the eastern side of the Mersey Estuary. It was founded as a borough in 1207 and was granted city status in 1880...

 and London, appearing in Druid's Rest, a play by Emlyn Williams
Emlyn Williams
George Emlyn Williams, CBE , known as Emlyn Williams, was a Welsh dramatist and actor.-Biography:He was born into a Welsh-speaking, working class family in Mostyn, Flintshire....

 (who also became a guru), but his career was interrupted by conscription in 1944. Early on as an actor, he developed the habit of toting around a book-bag filled with novels, dictionaries, a complete Shakespeare, and books of quotations, history, and biography, and enjoyed solving crossword puzzles. Burton could, given any line from Shakespeare's works, recite from memory the next several minutes of lines. His Welsh love of language was paramount, as he famously stated years later, with a tearful Elizabeth Taylor at his side, "The only thing in life is language. Not love. Not anything else."

In 1947, after his discharge from the RAF, Burton went to London to seek his fortune. He immediately signed up with a theatrical agency to make himself available for casting calls. His first film was The Last Days of Dolwyn
The Last Days of Dolwyn
The Last Days of Dolwyn is a 1949 British drama film directed by Russell Lloyd and Emlyn Williams and starring Edith Evans, Richard Burton and Anthony James...

, set in a Welsh village about to be drowned to provide a reservoir. His reviews praised him for his "acting fire, manly bearing, and good looks."

Burton met his future wife, the young actress Sybil Williams, on the set, and they married in February 1949. They had two daughters, and divorced in 1963 after Burton's widely reported affair
Affair
Affair may refer to professional, personal, or public business matters or to a particular business or private activity of a temporary duration, as in family affair, a private affair, or a romantic affair.-Political affair:...

 with Elizabeth Taylor
Elizabeth Taylor
Dame Elizabeth Rosemond "Liz" Taylor, DBE was a British-American actress. From her early years as a child star with MGM, she became one of the great screen actresses of Hollywood's Golden Age...

. In the years of his marriage to Sybil, Burton appeared in the West End in a highly successful production of The Lady's Not for Burning
The Lady's Not for Burning
The Lady's Not for Burning is a 1948 play by Christopher Fry.A romantic comedy in three acts, set in verse, it is set in the Middle Ages, it reflects the world's "exhaustion and despair" following World War II, with a war-weary soldier who wants to die, and an accused witch who wants to live...

, alongside Sir John Gielgud
John Gielgud
Sir Arthur John Gielgud, OM, CH was an English actor, director, and producer. A descendant of the renowned Terry acting family, he achieved early international acclaim for his youthful, emotionally expressive Hamlet which broke box office records on Broadway in 1937...

 and Claire Bloom
Claire Bloom
Claire Bloom is an English film and stage actress.-Early life:Bloom was born in the North London suburb of Finchley, the daughter of Elizabeth and Edward Max Blume, who worked in sales...

, in both the London and NewYork productions. He had small parts in various British films: Now Barabbas Was A Robber; Waterfront
Waterfront (1950 film)
Waterfront is a 1950 British drama film directed by Michael Anderson and starring Robert Newton, Kathleen Harrison and Avis Scott. A sailor abandons his family, in the Liverpool slums...

(1950) with Robert Newton
Robert Newton
Robert Newton was an English stage and film actor. Along with Errol Flynn, Newton was one of the most popular actors among the male juvenile audience of the 1940s and early 1950s, especially with British boys...

; The Woman with No Name
The Woman with No Name
The Woman with No Name is a 1950 British drama film directed by Ladislao Vajda and starring Phyllis Calvert, Edward Underdown, Helen Cherry, Richard Burton and James Hayter...

(1951); and a bigger part as a smuggler in Green Grow the Rushes
Green Grow the Rushes (film)
Green Grow the Rushes is a British comedy film from the production company A.C.T. Films. -Plot:Three British government bureaucrats arrive in Kent to inquire as to why the costal marsh is not being cultivated...

, a B-movie
B-movie
A B movie is a low-budget commercial motion picture that is not definitively an arthouse or pornographic film. In its original usage, during the Golden Age of Hollywood, the term more precisely identified a film intended for distribution as the less-publicized, bottom half of a double feature....

.

Reviewers took notice of Burton: "He has all the qualifications of a leading man that the British film industry so badly needs at this juncture: youth, good looks, a photogenic face, obviously alert intelligence, and a trick of getting the maximum of attention with a minimum of fuss." In the 1951 season at Stratford, he gave a critically acclaimed performance and achieved stardom as Prince Hal in Shakespeare's Henry IV, Part 1
Henry IV, Part 1
Henry IV, Part 1 is a history play by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written no later than 1597. It is the second play in Shakespeare's tetralogy dealing with the successive reigns of Richard II, Henry IV , and Henry V...

opposite Anthony Quayle
Anthony Quayle
Sir John Anthony Quayle, CBE was an English actor and director.-Early life:Quayle was born in Ainsdale, Southport, in Lancashire to a Manx family....

's Falstaff
Falstaff
Sir John Falstaff is a fictional character who appears in three plays by William Shakespeare. In the two Henry IV plays, he is a companion to Prince Hal, the future King Henry V. A fat, vain, boastful, and cowardly knight, Falstaff leads the apparently wayward Prince Hal into trouble, and is...

. Philip Burton arrived at Stratford to help coach his former charge, and he noted in his memoir that Quayle and Richard Burton had their differences about the interpretation of the Prince Hal role. Richard Burton was already demonstrating the same independence and competitiveness as an actor that he displayed off-stage in drinking, sport, or story-telling.

Kenneth Tynan
Kenneth Tynan
Kenneth Peacock Tynan was an influential and often controversial English theatre critic and writer.-Early life:...

 said of Burton's performance, "His playing of Prince Hal turned interested speculation to awe almost as soon as he started to speak; in the first intermission local critics stood agape in the lobbies." Suddenly, Richard Burton had fulfilled his guardian's wildest hopes and was admitted to the post-War British acting circle which included Anthony Quayle
Anthony Quayle
Sir John Anthony Quayle, CBE was an English actor and director.-Early life:Quayle was born in Ainsdale, Southport, in Lancashire to a Manx family....

, John Gielgud
John Gielgud
Sir Arthur John Gielgud, OM, CH was an English actor, director, and producer. A descendant of the renowned Terry acting family, he achieved early international acclaim for his youthful, emotionally expressive Hamlet which broke box office records on Broadway in 1937...

, Michael Redgrave
Michael Redgrave
Sir Michael Scudamore Redgrave, CBE was an English stage and film actor, director, manager and author.-Youth and education:...

, Hugh Griffith
Hugh Griffith
Hugh Emrys Griffith was a Welsh film, stage and television actor.-Early life:Griffith was born in Marianglas, Anglesey, Wales, the son of Mary and William Griffith. He was educated at Llangefni County School and attempted to gain entrance to university, but failed the English examination...

 and Paul Scofield
Paul Scofield
David Paul Scofield, CH, CBE , better known as Paul Scofield, was an English actor of stage and screen...

. He even met Humphrey Bogart
Humphrey Bogart
Humphrey DeForest Bogart was an American actor. He is widely regarded as a cultural icon.The American Film Institute ranked Bogart as the greatest male star in the history of American cinema....

, a fellow hard drinker, who sang his praises back in Hollywood. Lauren Bacall recalled, "Bogie loved him. We all did. You had no alternative." Burton bought the first of many cars and celebrated by increasing his drinking. The following year, Burton signed a five-year contract with Alexander Korda
Alexander Korda
Sir Alexander Korda was a Hungarian-born British producer and film director. He was a leading figure in the British film industry, the founder of London Films and the owner of British Lion Films, a film distributing company.-Life and career:The elder brother of filmmakers Zoltán Korda and Vincent...

 at £
Pound sterling
The pound sterling , commonly called the pound, is the official currency of the United Kingdom, its Crown Dependencies and the British Overseas Territories of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, British Antarctic Territory and Tristan da Cunha. It is subdivided into 100 pence...

100 a week, launching his Hollywood career.

Hollywood and later career

In 1952, Burton successfully made the transition to a Hollywood star; on the recommendation of Daphne du Maurier
Daphne du Maurier
Dame Daphne du Maurier, Lady Browning DBE was a British author and playwright.Many of her works have been adapted into films, including the novels Rebecca and Jamaica Inn and the short stories "The Birds" and "Don't Look Now". The first three were directed by Alfred Hitchcock.Her elder sister was...

, he was given the leading role in My Cousin Rachel opposite Olivia de Havilland
Olivia de Havilland
Olivia Mary de Havilland is a British American film and stage actress. She won the Academy Award for Best Actress in 1946 and 1949. She is the elder sister of actress Joan Fontaine. The sisters are among the last surviving leading ladies from Hollywood of the 1930s.-Early life:Olivia de Havilland...

. Burton arrived on the Hollywood scene at a time when the studios were struggling. Television's rise was drawing away viewers and the studios looked to new stars and new film technology to staunch the bleeding. 20th Century Fox
20th Century Fox
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation — also known as 20th Century Fox, or simply 20th or Fox — is one of the six major American film studios...

 negotiated with Korda to borrow him for this film and a further two at $50,000 a film. The film was a critical success. It established Burton as a Hollywood leading man and earned him his first Academy Award nomination and the Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year – Actor. In Desert Rats
The Desert Rats (film)
The Desert Rats is a 1953 American war film about the World War II siege of Tobruk. It stars Richard Burton and was directed by Robert Wise.-Plot:...

(1953), Burton plays a young English captain in the North African campaign during World War II who takes charge of a hopelessly out-numbered Australian unit against the indomitable Field Marshal Erwin Rommel
Erwin Rommel
Erwin Johannes Eugen Rommel , popularly known as the Desert Fox , was a German Field Marshal of World War II. He won the respect of both his own troops and the enemies he fought....

 (James Mason
James Mason
James Neville Mason was an English actor who attained stardom in both British and American films. Mason remained a powerful figure in the industry throughout his career and was nominated for three Academy Awards as well as three Golden Globes .- Early life :Mason was born in Huddersfield, in the...

). Mason, another actor known for his distinctive voice and excellent elocution, became a friend of Burton's and introduced the new actor to the Hollywood crowd. In short order, he met Judy Garland
Judy Garland
Judy Garland was an American actress and singer. Through a career that spanned 45 of her 47 years and for her renowned contralto voice, she attained international stardom as an actress in musical and dramatic roles, as a recording artist and on the concert stage...

, Greta Garbo
Greta Garbo
Greta Garbo , born Greta Lovisa Gustafsson, was a Swedish film actress. Garbo was an international star and icon during Hollywood's silent and classic periods. Many of Garbo's films were sensational hits, and all but three were profitable...

, Stewart Granger
Stewart Granger
Stewart Granger was an English-American film actor, mainly associated with heroic and romantic leading roles. He was a popular leading man from the 1940s to the early 1960s rising to fame through his appearances in the Gainsborough melodramas.-Early life:He was born James Lablache Stewart in Old...

, Jean Simmons
Jean Simmons
Jean Merilyn Simmons, OBE was an English actress. She appeared predominantly in motion pictures, beginning with films made in Great Britain during and after World War II – she was one of J...

, Deborah Kerr
Deborah Kerr
Deborah Kerr, CBE was a Scottish film and television actress from Glasgow. She won the Sarah Siddons Award for her Chicago performance as Laura Reynolds in Tea and Sympathy, a role which she originated on Broadway, a Golden Globe Award for the motion picture The King and I, and was a three-time...

, and Cole Porter
Cole Porter
Cole Albert Porter was an American composer and songwriter. Born to a wealthy family in Indiana, he defied the wishes of his domineering grandfather and took up music as a profession. Classically trained, he was drawn towards musical theatre...

, and Burton met up again with Humphrey Bogart
Humphrey Bogart
Humphrey DeForest Bogart was an American actor. He is widely regarded as a cultural icon.The American Film Institute ranked Bogart as the greatest male star in the history of American cinema....

. At a party, he met a pregnant Elizabeth Taylor
Elizabeth Taylor
Dame Elizabeth Rosemond "Liz" Taylor, DBE was a British-American actress. From her early years as a child star with MGM, she became one of the great screen actresses of Hollywood's Golden Age...

 (then married to Michael Wilding
Michael Wilding (actor)
-Early life:Born in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, England, Wilding was a successful commercial artist when he joined the art department of a London film studio in 1933. He soon embarked on an acting career.-Career:...

) whose first impression of Burton was that "he was rather full of himself. I seem to remember that he never stopped talking, and I had given him the cold fish eye."

The following year he created a sensation by starring in The Robe
The Robe (film)
The Robe is a 1953 American Biblical epic film that tells the story of a Roman military tribune who commands the unit that crucifies Jesus. The film was made by 20th Century Fox and is notable for being the first film released in the widescreen process CinemaScope.It was directed by Henry Koster...

,
the first film to premiere in the wide-screen process CinemaScope
CinemaScope
CinemaScope was an anamorphic lens series used for shooting wide screen movies from 1953 to 1967. Its creation in 1953, by the president of 20th Century-Fox, marked the beginning of the modern anamorphic format in both principal photography and movie projection.The anamorphic lenses theoretically...

, winning another Oscar nomination. He replaced Tyrone Power
Tyrone Power
Tyrone Edmund Power, Jr. , usually credited as Tyrone Power and known sometimes as Ty Power, was an American film and stage actor who appeared in dozens of films from the 1930s to the 1950s, often in swashbuckler roles or romantic leads such as in The Mark of Zorro, Blood and Sand, The Black Swan,...

, who was originally cast in the role of Marcellus, a noble but decadent Roman in command of the detachment of Roman soldiers that crucified Jesus Christ, who, haunted by his guilt from this act, is eventually led to his own conversion. Marcellus' Greek slave (played by Victor Mature
Victor Mature
Victor John Mature was an American stage, film and television actor.-Early life:Mature was born in Louisville, Kentucky to an Italian-speaking father from the town Pinzolo, in the Italian part of the former County of Tyrol , Marcello Gelindo Maturi, later Marcellus George Mature, a cutler,...

) guides him as a spiritual teacher, and his wife (played by Jean Simmons) follows his lead, although it will mean both their deaths. The film marked a resurgence in Biblical blockbusters. Burton was offered a seven-year, $1 million contract by Darryl F. Zanuck
Darryl F. Zanuck
Darryl Francis Zanuck was an American producer, writer, actor, director and studio executive who played a major part in the Hollywood studio system as one of its longest survivors...

 at Fox, but he turned it down, though later the contract was revived and he agreed to it. It has been suggested that remarks Burton made about blacklisting Hollywood while filming The Robe may have explained his failure to ever win an Oscar, despite receiving seven nominations.

In 1954, Burton took his most famous radio role, as the narrator in the original production of Dylan Thomas
Dylan Thomas
Dylan Marlais Thomas was a Welsh poet and writer, Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 11 January 2008. who wrote exclusively in English. In addition to poetry, he wrote short stories and scripts for film and radio, which he often performed himself...

's Under Milk Wood
Under Milk Wood
Under Milk Wood is a 1954 radio drama by Welsh poet Dylan Thomas, adapted later as a stage play. A movie version, Under Milk Wood directed by Andrew Sinclair, was released during 1972....

, a role he would reprise in the film version twenty years later. He was also the narrator, as Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, was a predominantly Conservative British politician and statesman known for his leadership of the United Kingdom during the Second World War. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the century and served as Prime Minister twice...

, in the highly successful 1960 television documentary series The Valiant Years
The Valiant Years
The Valiant Years was a documentary produced by ABC based on the memoirs of Winston Churchill, directed by Anthony Bushell and John Schlesinger, narrated by Gary Merrill and with extracts from the memoirs voiced by Richard Burton. It ran in the United States from 1960 to 1961, in sixteen 30-minute...

.

Stage career

Burton was still juggling theatre with film, playing Hamlet
Prince Hamlet
Prince Hamlet is a fictional character, the protagonist in Shakespeare's tragedy Hamlet. He is the Prince of Denmark, nephew to the usurping Claudius and son of the previous King of Denmark, Old Hamlet. Throughout the play he struggles with whether, and how, to avenge the murder of his father, and...

 and Coriolanus
Coriolanus
Gaius Marcius Coriolanus was a Roman general who is said to have lived in the 5th century BC. He received his toponymic cognomen "Coriolanus" because of his exceptional valor in a Roman siege of the Volscian city of Corioli. He was then promoted to a general...

 at the Old Vic
Old Vic
The Old Vic is a theatre located just south-east of Waterloo Station in London on the corner of The Cut and Waterloo Road. Established in 1818 as the Royal Coburg Theatre, it was taken over by Emma Cons in 1880 when it was known formally as the Royal Victoria Hall. In 1898, a niece of Cons, Lilian...

 theatre in 1953 and alternating the roles of Iago
Iago
Iago is a fictional character in Shakespeare's Othello . The character's source is traced to Giovanni Battista Giraldi Cinthio's tale "Un Capitano Moro" in Gli Hecatommithi . There, the character is simply "the ensign". Iago is a soldier and Othello's ancient . He is the husband of Emilia,...

 and Othello
Othello
The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in approximately 1603, and based on the Italian short story "Un Capitano Moro" by Cinthio, a disciple of Boccaccio, first published in 1565...

 with the Old Vic's other rising matinee idol John Neville. Hamlet was a challenge that both terrified and attracted him, as it was a role many of his peers in the British theatre had undertaken, including John Gielgud
John Gielgud
Sir Arthur John Gielgud, OM, CH was an English actor, director, and producer. A descendant of the renowned Terry acting family, he achieved early international acclaim for his youthful, emotionally expressive Hamlet which broke box office records on Broadway in 1937...

 and Laurence Olivier
Laurence Olivier
Laurence Kerr Olivier, Baron Olivier, OM was an English actor, director, and producer. He was one of the most famous and revered actors of the 20th century. He married three times, to fellow actors Jill Esmond, Vivien Leigh, and Joan Plowright...

. Bogart, on the other hand, warned him as Burton left Hollywood, "I never knew a man who played Hamlet who didn't die broke." Once again, Philip Burton provided expert coaching. Claire Bloom
Claire Bloom
Claire Bloom is an English film and stage actress.-Early life:Bloom was born in the North London suburb of Finchley, the daughter of Elizabeth and Edward Max Blume, who worked in sales...

 played Ophelia, and their work together led to a turbulent affair. His reviews in Hamlet were good but he received stronger praise for Coriolanus. His fellow actor Robert Hardy
Robert Hardy
Timothy Sydney Robert Hardy, CBE, FSA is an English actor with a long career in the theatre, film and television. He is also an acknowledged expert on the longbow.-Early life:...

 said, "His Coriolanus is quite easily the best I've ever seen" but Hamlet was "too strong".

Burton appeared on Broadway, receiving a Tony Award
Tony Award
The Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Theatre, more commonly known as a Tony Award, recognizes achievement in live Broadway theatre. The awards are presented by the American Theatre Wing and The Broadway League at an annual ceremony in New York City. The awards are given for Broadway...

 nomination for Time Remembered
Time Remembered
-Track listing:# "Danny Boy" - 10:41# "Like Someone in Love" - 6:27# "In Your Own Sweet Way" - 2:58# "Easy to Love" - 4:42...

(1958) and winning the award for playing King Arthur
King Arthur
King Arthur is a legendary British leader of the late 5th and early 6th centuries, who, according to Medieval histories and romances, led the defence of Britain against Saxon invaders in the early 6th century. The details of Arthur's story are mainly composed of folklore and literary invention, and...

 in the musical Camelot
Camelot (musical)
Camelot is a musical by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe . It is based on the King Arthur legend as adapted from the T. H. White tetralogy novel The Once and Future King....

(1960), directed by Moss Hart
Moss Hart
Moss Hart was an American playwright and theatre director, best known for his interpretations of musical theater on Broadway.-Early years:...

 and written by Alan Jay Lerner
Alan Jay Lerner
Alan Jay Lerner was an American lyricist and librettist. In collaboration with Frederick Loewe, he created some of the world's most popular and enduring works of musical theatre for both the stage and on film...

 and Frederick Loewe. Julie Andrews
Julie Andrews
Dame Julia Elizabeth Andrews, DBE is an English film and stage actress, singer, and author. She is the recipient of Golden Globe, Emmy, Grammy, BAFTA, People's Choice Award, Theatre World Award, Screen Actors Guild and Academy Award honors...

, fresh from her triumph in My Fair Lady
My Fair Lady
My Fair Lady is a musical based upon George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion and with book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner and music by Frederick Loewe...

,
played Guenevere to Burton's King Arthur
King Arthur
King Arthur is a legendary British leader of the late 5th and early 6th centuries, who, according to Medieval histories and romances, led the defence of Britain against Saxon invaders in the early 6th century. The details of Arthur's story are mainly composed of folklore and literary invention, and...

, with Robert Goulet
Robert Goulet
Robert Gerard Goulet was a Canadian American entertainer as a singer and actor. He played the role of Lancelot in the Broadway musical Camelot of 1960.-Early life:...

 as Lancelot
Lancelot
Sir Lancelot du Lac is one of the Knights of the Round Table in the Arthurian legend. He is the most trusted of King Arthur's knights and plays a part in many of Arthur's victories...

 completing the love triangle. The production was troubled, with both Loewe and Hart falling ill, numerous revisions upsetting the schedule and the actors, and the pressure building due to great expectations and huge advance sales. The show's running time was nearly five hours. Burton took it all in his stride and calmed people down with statements like "Don't worry, love." Burton's intense preparation and competitive desire served him well. He was generous and supportive to others who were suffering in the maelstrom. According to Lerner, "he kept the boat from rocking, and Camelot might never have reached New York if it hadn't been for him." As in the play, both male stars were enamoured of their leading lady, newly married Andrews. When Goulet turned to Burton for advice, Burton had none to offer, but later he admitted, "I tried everything on her myself. I couldn't get anywhere either." Burton's reviews were excellent, Time magazine
Time (magazine)
Time is an American news magazine. A European edition is published from London. Time Europe covers the Middle East, Africa and, since 2003, Latin America. An Asian edition is based in Hong Kong...

 stated that Burton "gives Arthur the skilful and vastly appealing performance that might be expected from one of England's finest young actors." The show's album was a major seller. The Kennedys, newly in the White House
White House
The White House is the official residence and principal workplace of the president of the United States. Located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C., the house was designed by Irish-born James Hoban, and built between 1792 and 1800 of white-painted Aquia sandstone in the Neoclassical...

, also enjoyed the play and invited Burton for a visit, establishing the link of the idealistic young Kennedy administration with Camelot.

He then put his stage career on the back burner to concentrate on film, although he received a third Tony Award
Tony Award
The Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Theatre, more commonly known as a Tony Award, recognizes achievement in live Broadway theatre. The awards are presented by the American Theatre Wing and The Broadway League at an annual ceremony in New York City. The awards are given for Broadway...

 nomination when he reprised his Hamlet
Richard Burton's Hamlet
Richard Burton’s Hamlet is a common name for both the Broadway production of William Shakespeare's tragedy that played from April 9 through August 8 of 1964 at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, and for the filmed record of it that has been released theatrically and on home video.-Background:The production...

 under John Gielgud
John Gielgud
Sir Arthur John Gielgud, OM, CH was an English actor, director, and producer. A descendant of the renowned Terry acting family, he achieved early international acclaim for his youthful, emotionally expressive Hamlet which broke box office records on Broadway in 1937...

's direction in 1964 in a production that holds the record for the longest run of the play in Broadway history (136 performances). The performance was immortalised both on record and on a film
Richard Burton's Hamlet
Richard Burton’s Hamlet is a common name for both the Broadway production of William Shakespeare's tragedy that played from April 9 through August 8 of 1964 at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, and for the filmed record of it that has been released theatrically and on home video.-Background:The production...

 that played in US theatres for a week in 1964 as well as being the subject of books written by cast members William Redfield and Richard L. Sterne. Burton took the role on just after his marriage to Taylor. Since Burton disliked wearing period clothing, Gielgud conceived a production in a "rehearsal" setting with a half-finished set and actors wearing their street clothes (carefully selected while the production really was in rehearsal). Burton's basic reading of Hamlet, which displeased some theatre-goers, was of a complex manic-depressive personality, but during the long run he varied his performance considerably as a self-challenge and to keep his acting fresh. On the whole, Burton had good reviews. Time said that Burton "put his passion into Hamlet's language rather than the character. His acting is a technician's marvel. His voice has gem-cutting precision." The opening night party was a lavish affair, attended by six hundred celebrities who paid homage to the couple. The most successful aspect of the production was generally considered to be Hume Cronyn
Hume Cronyn
Hume Blake Cronyn, OC was a Canadian actor of stage and screen, who enjoyed a long career, often appearing professionally alongside his second wife, Jessica Tandy.-Early life:...

's performance as Polonius
Polonius
Polonius is a character in William Shakespeare's Hamlet. He is King Claudius's chief counsellor, and the father of Ophelia and Laertes. Polonius connives with Claudius to spy on Hamlet...

, winning Cronyn the only Tony Award
Tony Award
The Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Theatre, more commonly known as a Tony Award, recognizes achievement in live Broadway theatre. The awards are presented by the American Theatre Wing and The Broadway League at an annual ceremony in New York City. The awards are given for Broadway...

 that he would ever receive in a competitive category.

After his Hamlet, Burton did not return to the stage for twelve years until 1976 in Equus
Equus (play)
Equus is a play by Peter Shaffer written in 1973, telling the story of a psychiatrist who attempts to treat a young man who has a pathological religious fascination with horses....

. (He did accept the role of Humbert Humbert in Alan Jay Lerner
Alan Jay Lerner
Alan Jay Lerner was an American lyricist and librettist. In collaboration with Frederick Loewe, he created some of the world's most popular and enduring works of musical theatre for both the stage and on film...

's musical adaptation of Lolita entitled Lolita, My Love
Lolita, My Love
Lolita, My Love was an unsuccessful musical by John Barry and Alan Jay Lerner, based on Vladimir Nabokov's novel Lolita. It closed in Boston in 1971 while on a tour prior to Broadway.-Production history:...

. However he withdrew and was replaced by friend and fellow Welshman John Neville
John Neville
John Neville, OBE, CM was an English theatre and film actor who moved to Canada in 1972. He enjoyed a resurgence of international attention in the 1980s as a result of his starring role in Terry Gilliam's The Adventures of Baron Munchausen .-Early life:Neville was born in Willesden, London, the...

.) His performance as psychiatrist Martin Dysart won him both a special Tony Award for his appearance, but he had to make Exorcist II: The Heretic
Exorcist II: The Heretic
Exorcist II: The Heretic is a 1977 American horror film and the sequel to The Exorcist , directed by John Boorman from a screenplay by William Goodhart and starring Linda Blair, Richard Burton, Louise Fletcher, Max von Sydow, James Earl Jones, Ned Beatty and Kitty Winn...

– a film he hated – before Hollywood producers would allow him to repeat his role in the 1977 film version
Equus (film)
Equus is a 1977 British-American drama film directed by Sidney Lumet and starring Richard Burton. Peter Shaffer wrote the screenplay based on his play Equus...

. The final stage performance in which he starred was a critically reviled production of Noël Coward
Noël Coward
Sir Noël Peirce Coward was an English playwright, composer, director, actor and singer, known for his wit, flamboyance, and what Time magazine called "a sense of personal style, a combination of cheek and chic, pose and poise".Born in Teddington, a suburb of London, Coward attended a dance academy...

's Private Lives
Private Lives
Private Lives is a 1930 comedy of manners in three acts by Noël Coward. It focuses on a divorced couple who discover that they are honeymooning with their new spouses in neighbouring rooms at the same hotel. Despite a perpetually stormy relationship, they realise that they still have feelings for...

,
opposite his ex-wife Elizabeth Taylor
Elizabeth Taylor
Dame Elizabeth Rosemond "Liz" Taylor, DBE was a British-American actress. From her early years as a child star with MGM, she became one of the great screen actresses of Hollywood's Golden Age...

, in 1983. Most reviewers dismissed the production as a transparent attempt to capitalise on the couple's celebrity, although they grudgingly praised Burton as having the closest connection to Coward's play of anyone in the cast.

Hollywood career in the 1950s and 1960s

In terms of critical success, Burton's Hollywood roles throughout the 1950s did not live up to the early promise of his debut. Burton returned to Hollywood to star in Prince of Players
Prince of Players
Prince of Players is a 1955 20th Century Fox biographical film about the 19th century American actor Edwin Booth. The film was directed and produced by Philip Dunne from a screenplay by Moss Hart, based on the book by Eleanor Ruggles. The music score was by Bernard Herrmann and the cinematography...

, another historical Cinemascope film, this time concerning Edwin Booth
Edwin Booth
Edwin Thomas Booth was a famous 19th century American actor who toured throughout America and the major capitals of Europe, performing Shakespearean plays. In 1869 he founded Booth's Theatre in New York, a spectacular theatre that was quite modern for its time...

, famous American actor and brother of Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. He successfully led his country through a great constitutional, military and moral crisis – the American Civil War – preserving the Union, while ending slavery, and...

's assassin John Wilkes Booth
John Wilkes Booth
John Wilkes Booth was an American stage actor who assassinated President Abraham Lincoln at Ford's Theatre, in Washington, D.C., on April 14, 1865. Booth was a member of the prominent 19th century Booth theatrical family from Maryland and, by the 1860s, was a well-known actor...

. A weak script undermined a valiant effort by Burton, although the view of director Philip Dunne
Philip Dunne (writer)
Philip Dunne was a Hollywood screenwriter, film director and producer, who worked prolifically from 1932 until 1965. He spent the majority of his career at 20th Century Fox crafting well regarded romantic and historical dramas, usually adapted from another medium...

 was that "The fire and intensity were there, but that was all. He hadn't yet mastered the tricks of the great movie stars, such as Gary Cooper
Gary Cooper
Frank James Cooper, known professionally as Gary Cooper, was an American film actor. He was renowned for his quiet, understated acting style and his stoic, but at times intense screen persona, which was particularly well suited to the many Westerns he made...

." Next came Alexander the Great
Alexander the Great (1956 film)
Alexander the Great is a 1956 America sword and sandal epic film written, directed and produced by Robert Rossen with Gordon S. Griffith as executive producer...

(1956), written, directed, and produced by Robert Rossen
Robert Rossen
Robert Rossen was an American screenwriter, film director, and producer whose film career spanned almost three decades. His 1949 film All the King's Men won Oscars for Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress, while Rossen was nominated for an Oscar as Best Director...

, with Burton in the title role, on a loan out to United Artists
United Artists
United Artists Corporation is an American film studio. The original studio of that name was founded in 1919 by D. W. Griffith, Charles Chaplin, Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks....

, and again with Claire Bloom
Claire Bloom
Claire Bloom is an English film and stage actress.-Early life:Bloom was born in the North London suburb of Finchley, the daughter of Elizabeth and Edward Max Blume, who worked in sales...

 co-starring. Contrary to Burton's expectations, the "intelligent epic" was a wooden, slow-paced flop.

In The Rains of Ranchipur
The Rains of Ranchipur
The Rains of Ranchipur is a 1955 film drama made by 20th Century Fox. It was directed by Jean Negulesco and produced by Frank Ross from a screenplay by Merle Miller, based on the novel The Rains Came by Louis Bromfield. The music score was by Hugo Friedhofer and the cinematography by Milton R...

, Burton plays a noble Hindu doctor who attempts the spiritual recovery of an adulteress (Lana Turner). Critics felt that the film lacked star chemistry, with Burton having difficulty with the accent, and relied too heavily on Cinemascope special effects including an earthquake and a collapsing dam. Burton returned to the theatre in Henry V
Henry V (play)
Henry V is a history play by William Shakespeare, believed to be written in approximately 1599. Its full titles are The Cronicle History of Henry the Fifth and The Life of Henry the Fifth...

and Othello
Othello
The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in approximately 1603, and based on the Italian short story "Un Capitano Moro" by Cinthio, a disciple of Boccaccio, first published in 1565...

, alternating the roles of Iago and Othello. He and Sybil then moved to Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

 to avoid high British taxes and to try to build a nest egg, for themselves and for Burton's family. He returned to film again in Sea Wife
Sea Wife
Sea Wife is a British film based on the 1955 James Maurice Scott novel Sea-Wyf and Biscuit. Shot in Jamaica, the film is set around events in 1942 among a group of survivors from a torpedoed British refugee ship.-Plot:...

, shot in Jamaica and directed by Roberto Rossellini
Roberto Rossellini
Roberto Rossellini was an Italian film director and screenwriter. Rossellini was one of the directors of the Italian neorealist cinema, contributing films such as Roma città aperta to the movement.-Early life:Born in Rome, Roberto Rossellini lived on the Via Ludovisi, where Benito Mussolini had...

. A young Joan Collins
Joan Collins
Joan Henrietta Collins, OBE , is an English actress, author, and columnist. Born in Paddington and raised in Maida Vale, Collins grew up during the Second World War. At the age of nine, she made her stage debut in A Doll's House and after attending school, she was classically trained as an actress...

 (then called by the tabloids "Britain's bad girl") plays a nun shipwrecked on an island with three men. But Rossellini was let go after disagreements with Zanuck. According to Collins, Burton had a "take-the-money-and-run attitude" toward the film. Burton turned down the lead for Lawrence of Arabia
Lawrence of Arabia (film)
Lawrence of Arabia is a 1962 British film based on the life of T. E. Lawrence. It was directed by David Lean and produced by Sam Spiegel through his British company, Horizon Pictures, with the screenplay by Robert Bolt and Michael Wilson. The film stars Peter O'Toole in the title role. It is widely...

, also turned down by Marlon Brando
Marlon Brando
Marlon Brando, Jr. was an American movie star and political activist. "Unchallenged as the most important actor in modern American Cinema" according to the St...

, which went to newcomer Peter O'Toole
Peter O'Toole
Peter Seamus Lorcan O'Toole is an Irish actor of stage and screen. O'Toole achieved stardom in 1962 playing T. E. Lawrence in Lawrence of Arabia, and then went on to become a highly-honoured film and stage actor. He has been nominated for eight Academy Awards, and holds the record for most...

.

Then in 1958, he was offered the part of Jimmy Porter, "an angry young man" role, in the film version of John Osborne
John Osborne
John James Osborne was an English playwright, screenwriter, actor and critic of the Establishment. The success of his 1956 play Look Back in Anger transformed English theatre....

's play Look Back in Anger
Look Back in Anger (film)
Look Back in Anger is a 1959 British film starring Richard Burton, Claire Bloom and Mary Ure and directed by Tony Richardson.It is based on John Osborne's play of the same name about a love triangle involving an intelligent but disaffected young man , his upper-middle-class, impassive wife , and...

, a gritty drama about middle-class life in the British Midlands, directed by Tony Richardson
Tony Richardson
Cecil Antonio "Tony" Richardson was an English theatre and film director and producer.-Early life:Richardson was born in Shipley, Yorkshire in 1928, the son of Elsie Evans and Clarence Albert Richardson, a chemist...

, and again with Claire Bloom as co-star. Though it didn't do well commercially (many critics felt Burton, at 33, looked too old for the part) and Burton's Hollywood box office aura seemed to be diminishing, Burton was proud of the effort and wrote to his mentor Philip Burton, "I promise you that there isn't a shred of self-pity in my performance. I am for the first time ever looking forward to seeing a film in which I play". Next came The Bramble Bush
The Bramble Bush
The Bramble Bush is a 1960 American drama film directed by Daniel Petrie and starring Richard Burton, Angie Dickinson and Jack Carson....

and Ice Palace
Ice Palace
An ice palace is a castle-like structure made out of ice. The most earliest known may be Anna Ivanovna's palace in St. Petersburg, Russia.Ice Palace may also refer to:In Russia:* Ice Palace Saint Petersburg, an arena in St...

in 1960, neither important to Burton's career.

After playing King Arthur in Camelot
Camelot (musical)
Camelot is a musical by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe . It is based on the King Arthur legend as adapted from the T. H. White tetralogy novel The Once and Future King....

on Broadway for six months, Burton replaced Stephen Boyd
Stephen Boyd
Stephen Boyd was an Irish actor, from Glengormley, Northern Ireland, who appeared in around 60 films, most notably in the role of Messala in Ben-Hur.-Biography:...

 as Mark Antony
Mark Antony
Marcus Antonius , known in English as Mark Antony, was a Roman politician and general. As a military commander and administrator, he was an important supporter and loyal friend of his mother's cousin Julius Caesar...

 in the troubled production Cleopatra
Cleopatra (1963 film)
Cleopatra is a 1963 British-American-Swiss epic drama film directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz. The screenplay was adapted by Sidney Buchman, Ben Hecht, Ranald MacDougall, and Mankiewicz from a book by Carlo Maria Franzero. The film starred Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Rex Harrison, Roddy...

(1963). Twentieth Century-Fox's future appeared to hinge on what became the most expensive movie ever made up until then, reaching almost $40 million. The film proved to be the start of Burton's most successful period in Hollywood; he would remain among the top 10 box-office earners for the next four years. During the filming, Burton met and fell in love with Elizabeth Taylor
Elizabeth Taylor
Dame Elizabeth Rosemond "Liz" Taylor, DBE was a British-American actress. From her early years as a child star with MGM, she became one of the great screen actresses of Hollywood's Golden Age...

, who was married to Eddie Fisher
Eddie Fisher (singer)
Edwin Jack "Eddie" Fisher , was an American entertainer. He was one of the world's most famous and successful singers in the 1950s, selling millions of records and hosting his own TV show. His divorce from his first wife, Debbie Reynolds, to marry his best friend's widow, Elizabeth Taylor, garnered...

. The two would not be free to marry until 1964 when their respective divorces were complete. On their first meeting on the set, Burton said "Has anyone ever told you that you're a very pretty girl?" Taylor later recalled, "I said to myself, Oy gevalt, here's the great lover, the great wit, the great intellectual of Wales, and he comes out with a line like that." In their first scenes together, he was shaky and missing his lines, and she soothed and coached him. Soon the affair began in earnest and Sybil, seeing this as more than a passing fling with a leading lady, was unable to bear it. She fled the set, first for Switzerland, then for London.

The gigantic scale of the troubled production, Taylor's bouts of illness and fluctuating weight, the off-screen turbulence—all generated enormous publicity, which by-and-large the studio embraced. Zanuck stated, "I think the Taylor-Burton association is quite constructive for our organization." The six-hour film was cut to under four, eliminating many of Burton's scenes, but the result was viewed the same—a film long on spectacle dominated by the two hottest stars in Hollywood. Their private lives turned out to be an endless source of curiosity for the media, and their marriage was also the start of a series of on-screen collaborations. In the end, the film did well enough to recoup its great cost.

Burton played Taylor's tycoon husband in The V.I.P.s
The V.I.P.s
The V.I.P.s, also known as Hotel International, is a 1963 British drama film. It was directed by Anthony Asquith, produced by Anatole de Grunwald and distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer...

, an all-star film set in the VIP lounge of London Airport
London Heathrow Airport
London Heathrow Airport or Heathrow , in the London Borough of Hillingdon, is the busiest airport in the United Kingdom and the third busiest airport in the world in terms of total passenger traffic, handling more international passengers than any other airport around the globe...

 which proved to be a box-office hit. Then Burton portrayed the archbishop martyred by Henry II in the title role of Becket, turning in an effective, restrained performance, contrasting with Peter O'Toole
Peter O'Toole
Peter Seamus Lorcan O'Toole is an Irish actor of stage and screen. O'Toole achieved stardom in 1962 playing T. E. Lawrence in Lawrence of Arabia, and then went on to become a highly-honoured film and stage actor. He has been nominated for eight Academy Awards, and holds the record for most...

's manic portrayal of Henry.

In 1964, Burton triumphed as defrocked Episcopal priest Dr. T. Lawrence Shannon in Tennessee Williams' The Night of the Iguana
The Night of the Iguana (film)
The Night of the Iguana is a 1964 film based on the 1961 play The Night of the Iguana by Tennessee Williams. Directed by John Huston, it starred Richard Burton, Ava Gardner, and Deborah Kerr. It won the 1964 Academy Award for Best Costume Design, and was nominated for the Academy Awards for Best...

directed by John Huston
John Huston
John Marcellus Huston was an American film director, screenwriter and actor. He wrote most of the 37 feature films he directed, many of which are today considered classics: The Maltese Falcon , The Treasure of the Sierra Madre , Key Largo , The Asphalt Jungle , The African Queen , Moulin Rouge...

, a film which became another critical and box office success. Richard Burton's performance in The Night of the Iguana may be his finest hour on the screen, and in the process helped put the town of Puerto Vallarta on the map (the Burtons later bought a house there). Part of Burton's success was due to how well he varied his acting with the three female characters, each of whom he tries to seduce differently: Ava Gardner
Ava Gardner
Ava Lavinia Gardner was an American actress.She was signed to a contract by MGM Studios in 1941 and appeared mainly in small roles until she drew attention with her performance in The Killers . She became one of Hollywood's leading actresses, considered one of the most beautiful women of her day...

 (the randy hotel owner), Sue Lyon
Sue Lyon
- Lolita :Sue Lyon was 14 years old when she was cast in the role of Dolores "Lolita" Haze, the sexually charged adolescent and the object of an older man's obsessions in Stanley Kubrick's 1962 film, Lolita. She was chosen for the role partly because her curvy figure suggested an older adolescent...

 (the nubile American tourist), and Deborah Kerr
Deborah Kerr
Deborah Kerr, CBE was a Scottish film and television actress from Glasgow. She won the Sarah Siddons Award for her Chicago performance as Laura Reynolds in Tea and Sympathy, a role which she originated on Broadway, a Golden Globe Award for the motion picture The King and I, and was a three-time...

 (the poor, repressed artist).

Against his family's advice, Burton married Taylor on Sunday 15 March 1964, in Montreal
Montreal
Montreal is a city in Canada. It is the largest city in the province of Quebec, the second-largest city in Canada and the seventh largest in North America...

. Ever optimistic, Taylor proclaimed, "I'm so happy you can't believe it. This marriage will last forever". At the hotel in Boston, the rabid crowd clawed at the newlyweds, Burton's coat was ripped and Taylor's ear was bloodied when someone tried to steal one of her earrings.

After an interruption playing Hamlet on Broadway, Burton returned to film as British spy Alec Leamas in The Spy Who Came in from the Cold
The Spy Who Came in from the Cold
The Spy Who Came in from the Cold , by John le Carré, is a British Cold War spy novel that became famous for its portrayal of Western espionage methods as being morally inconsistent with Western democracy and values. The novel received critical acclaim at the time of its publication and became an...

. Burton and Taylor continued making films together though the next one The Sandpiper
The Sandpiper
The Sandpiper is a 1965 film starring Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, directed by Vincente Minnelli.-Plot:Laura Reynolds is a free-spirited, unwed single mother living with her young son Danny in an isolated California beach house...

(1965) was poorly received. Following that, he and Taylor had a great success in Mike Nichols
Mike Nichols
Mike Nichols is a German-born American television, stage and film director, writer, producer and comedian. He began his career in the 1950s as one half of the comedy duo Nichols and May, along with Elaine May. In 1968 he won the Academy Award for Best Director for the film The Graduate...

's film (1966) of the Edward Albee
Edward Albee
Edward Franklin Albee III is an American playwright who is best known for The Zoo Story , The Sandbox , Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? , and a rewrite of the screenplay for the unsuccessful musical version of Capote's Breakfast at Tiffany's . His works are considered well-crafted, often...

 play Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? is a play by Edward Albee that opened on Broadway at the Billy Rose Theater on October 13, 1962. The original cast featured Uta Hagen as Martha, Arthur Hill as George, Melinda Dillon as Honey and George Grizzard as Nick. It was directed by Alan Schneider...

, in which a bitter erudite couple spend the evening trading vicious barbs in front of their horrified and fascinated guests, played by George Segal
George Segal
George Segal is an American film, stage and television actor.-Early life:George Segal, Jr. was born in 1934 Great Neck, Long Island, New York, the son of Fannie Blanche and George Segal, Sr. He was educated at George School, a private Quaker preparatory boarding school near Newtown, Bucks County,...

 and Sandy Dennis
Sandy Dennis
Sandra Dale “Sandy” Dennis was an American theater and film actress. In 1966, she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?.-Early life:...

. Burton was not the first choice for the role of Taylor's husband. Jack Lemmon
Jack Lemmon
John Uhler "Jack" Lemmon III was an American actor and musician. He starred in more than 60 films including Some Like It Hot, The Apartment, Mister Roberts , Days of Wine and Roses, The Great Race, Irma la Douce, The Odd Couple, Save the Tiger John Uhler "Jack" Lemmon III (February 8, 1925June...

 was offered the role first, but when he backed off, Jack Warner, with Taylor's insistence, agreed on Burton and paid him his price. Albee preferred Bette Davis
Bette Davis
Ruth Elizabeth "Bette" Davis was an American actress of film, television and theater. Noted for her willingness to play unsympathetic characters, she was highly regarded for her performances in a range of film genres, from contemporary crime melodramas to historical and period films and occasional...

 and James Mason
James Mason
James Neville Mason was an English actor who attained stardom in both British and American films. Mason remained a powerful figure in the industry throughout his career and was nominated for three Academy Awards as well as three Golden Globes .- Early life :Mason was born in Huddersfield, in the...

, fearing that the Burtons' strong screen presence would dominate the film. Nichols, in his directorial debut, managed the Burtons brilliantly. The script by Hollywood veteran Ernest Lehman
Ernest Lehman
Ernest Lehman was an American screenwriter. He received 6 Academy Award nominations during his screenwriting career...

 broke new ground for its raw language and harsh depiction of marriage. Although all four actors received Oscar nominations for their roles in the film (the film received a total of thirteen), only Taylor and Dennis went on to win. So immersed had the Burtons become in the roles of George and Martha over the months of shooting, after the wrap Richard Burton said, "I feel rather lost." Later the couple would state that the film took its toll on their relationship, and that Taylor was "tired of playing Martha" in real life.

Their lively version of Shakespeare
William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon"...

's The Taming of the Shrew
The Taming of the Shrew (1967 film)
The Taming of the Shrew is a 1967 film based on the play of the same name by William Shakespeare about a courtship between two strong-willed people...

(1967), directed by Franco Zeffirelli
Franco Zeffirelli
Franco Zeffirelli KBE is an Italian director and producer of films and television. He is also a director and designer of operas and a former senator for the Italian center-right Forza Italia party....

, was a notable success. Later collaborations, however, The Comedians (1967), Boom!
Boom! (1968 film)
Boom! is a 1968 British drama film starring Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton and Noël Coward. It was directed by Joseph Losey and adapted from Tennessee Williams' play The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore.-Plot:...

(1968), and the Burton-directed Doctor Faustus
Doctor Faustus (1967 film)
Doctor Faustus is a 1967 film adaptation of Christopher Marlowe's The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus, written in 1588. The first theatrical film version of a Marlowe play, it starred and was directed by Richard Burton, , who played the title character Faustus...

(1967) (which had its genesis from a theatre production he staged and starred in at the Oxford University Dramatic Society
Oxford University Dramatic Society
The Oxford University Dramatic Society is the principal funding body and provider of theatrical services to the many independent student productions put on by students in Oxford, England...

) were critical and commercial failures. He did enjoy a final commercial blockbuster with Clint Eastwood
Clint Eastwood
Clinton "Clint" Eastwood, Jr. is an American film actor, director, producer, composer and politician. Eastwood first came to prominence as a supporting cast member in the TV series Rawhide...

 in Where Eagles Dare
Where Eagles Dare
Where Eagles Dare is a 1968 World War II action-adventure spy film starring Richard Burton, Clint Eastwood and Mary Ure. It was directed by Brian G. Hutton and shot on location in Upper Austria and Bavaria....

in 1968 but his last film of the decade, Anne of the Thousand Days
Anne of the Thousand Days
Anne of the Thousand Days is a 1969 costume drama made by Hal Wallis Productions and distributed by Universal Pictures. It was directed by Charles Jarrott and produced by Hal B. Wallis. The film tells the story of Anne Boleyn...

(1969), was a commercial and critical disappointment. In spite of those failures, it performed remarkably well at that year's Academy awards (receiving ten nominations, including one for Burton's performance as Henry VIII
Henry VIII of England
Henry VIII was King of England from 21 April 1509 until his death. He was Lord, and later King, of Ireland, as well as continuing the nominal claim by the English monarchs to the Kingdom of France...

), which many thought to be largely the result of an expensive advertising campaign by Universal Studios
Universal Studios
Universal Pictures , a subsidiary of NBCUniversal, is one of the six major movie studios....

.

Later career

Because of Burton and Taylor's extravagant spending and his support of his family and others (42 people at one point), Burton agreed to work in mediocre films that hurt his career. He recognised his financial need to do so, and that in the New Hollywood
New Hollywood
New Hollywood or post-classical Hollywood, sometimes referred to as the "American New Wave", refers to the time from roughly the late-1960s to the early 1980s when a new generation of young filmmakers came to prominence in America, influencing the types of films produced, their production and...

 era of cinema he or Taylor would not soon again be paid as well as at the height of their stardom. Films he made during this period included Bluebeard
Bluebeard (1972 film)
Bluebeard is a 1972 thriller starring Richard Burton, Raquel Welch, Joey Heatherton and Sybil Danning. It was filmed in Budapest, Hungary and directed by Edward Dmytryk....

(1972), Hammersmith Is Out
Hammersmith Is Out
Hammersmith Is Out is a 1972 comedy film based on the legend of Faust. It is directed by Peter Ustinov, who starred in the film alongside Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Beau Bridges, Leon Ames, and George Raft.-Plot:...

(1972), The Klansman
The Klansman
The Klansman is a 1974 American motion picture drama based on the book of the same name by William Bradford Huie. It was directed by Terence Young and starred Lee Marvin, Richard Burton, O.J. Simpson,Lola Falana and Linda Evans.-Plot:...

(1974), and Exorcist II: The Heretic
Exorcist II: The Heretic
Exorcist II: The Heretic is a 1977 American horror film and the sequel to The Exorcist , directed by John Boorman from a screenplay by William Goodhart and starring Linda Blair, Richard Burton, Louise Fletcher, Max von Sydow, James Earl Jones, Ned Beatty and Kitty Winn...

(1977). He did enjoy one major critical success in the 1970s in the film version
Equus (film)
Equus is a 1977 British-American drama film directed by Sidney Lumet and starring Richard Burton. Peter Shaffer wrote the screenplay based on his play Equus...

 of his stage hit Equus, winning the Golden Globe Award
Golden Globe Award
The Golden Globe Award is an accolade bestowed by the 93 members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association recognizing excellence in film and television, both domestic and foreign...

 as well as an Academy Award nomination. Public sentiment towards his perennial frustration at not winning an Oscar made many pundits consider him the favourite to finally win the award, but on Oscar Night he lost to Richard Dreyfuss
Richard Dreyfuss
Richard Stephen Dreyfuss is an American actor best known for starring in a number of film, television, and theater roles since the late 1960s, including the films American Graffiti, Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, The Goodbye Girl, Whose Life Is It Anyway?, Stakeout, Always, What About...

 in The Goodbye Girl
The Goodbye Girl
The Goodbye Girl is a 1977 American romantic comedy-drama film. Directed by Herbert Ross, the film stars Richard Dreyfuss, Marsha Mason, Quinn Cummings, and Paul Benedict...

.

In 1976 Burton received a Grammy in the category of Best Recording for Children
Grammy Award for Best Album for Children
The Grammy Award for Best Album for Children has been awarded since 1959. Prior to 1992, the award was known as Best Recording for Children and was therefore open to any audio recording, whether it was an album, a single song, a recording of a book, or the audio from a television show or movie...

 for his narration of The Little Prince
The Little Prince
The Little Prince , first published in 1943, is a novella and the most famous work of the French aristocrat writer, poet and pioneering aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupéry ....

by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry , officially Antoine Marie Jean-Baptiste Roger, comte de Saint Exupéry , was a French writer, poet and pioneering aviator. He became a laureate of France's highest literary awards, and in 1939 was the winner of the U.S. National Book Award...

. He also found success in 1978, when he narrated Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds
Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds
Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds is a 1978 concept album by Jeff Wayne, retelling the story of The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells. Its format is progressive rock and string orchestra, using narration and leitmotifs to carry the story via rhyming melodic lyrics that express...

. His distinctive performance became a necessary part of the concept album – so much so that a hologram of Burton is used to narrate the live stage show (touring in 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2010) of the musical.

Burton had an international box office hit with The Wild Geese
The Wild Geese
The Wild Geese is a British 1978 film about a group of mercenaries in Africa. It stars Richard Burton, Roger Moore, Richard Harris and Hardy Krüger...

(1978), an adventure tale about mercenaries in Africa. The film was a success in the UK and Europe but had only limited distribution in the U.S. owing to the collapse of the studio that funded it and the lack of an American star in the movie. He returned to appearing in critically reviled films like The Medusa Touch
The Medusa Touch (film)
The Medusa Touch is a 1978 British supernatural thriller film directed by Jack Gold. It starred Richard Burton, Lino Ventura, Lee Remick and Harry Andrews, with cameos by Alan Badel, Derek Jacobi, Gordon Jackson, Jeremy Brett and Michael Hordern...

(1978), Circle of Two
Circle of Two
Circle of Two is a 1980 Canadian film. It starred Richard Burton as a 60-year old artist who falls in love with a sixteen-year-old played by Tatum O'Neal. It was the last film directed by acclaimed film noir director Jules Dassin....

(1980), and the title role in Wagner (1983), a role he said he was born to play, after his success in Equus. His last film performance, as O'Brien in Nineteen Eighty-Four
Nineteen Eighty-Four (film)
Nineteen Eighty-Four is a 1984 British science fiction film, based upon George Orwell's novel of the same name, following the life of Winston Smith in Oceania, a country run by a totalitarian government...

, was critically acclaimed.

At the time of his death, Burton was preparing to film Wild Geese II
Wild Geese II
Wild Geese II is a 1985 British action-thriller film, based on the 1982 novel The Square Circle by Daniel Carney, in which a group of mercenaries are hired to spring Rudolf Hess from Spandau Prison in Berlin. The film is a sequel to the 1978 film The Wild Geese, which was also adapted from a novel...

, the sequel to The Wild Geese, which was eventually released in 1985. Burton was to reprise the role of Colonel Faulkner, while his friend Sir Laurence Olivier
Laurence Olivier
Laurence Kerr Olivier, Baron Olivier, OM was an English actor, director, and producer. He was one of the most famous and revered actors of the 20th century. He married three times, to fellow actors Jill Esmond, Vivien Leigh, and Joan Plowright...

 was cast as Rudolf Hess
Rudolf Hess
Rudolf Walter Richard Hess was a prominent Nazi politician who was Adolf Hitler's deputy in the Nazi Party during the 1930s and early 1940s...

. After his death, Burton was replaced by Edward Fox
Edward Fox (actor)
Edward Charles Morice Fox, OBE is an English stage, film and television actor.He is generally associated with portraying the role of the upper-class Englishman, such as the title character in the film The Day of the Jackal and King Edward VIII in the serial Edward & Mrs...

, and the character changed to Faulkner's younger brother.

Oscars

He was nominated six times for an Academy Award for Best Actor
Academy Award for Best Actor
Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role is one of the Academy Awards of Merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize an actor who has delivered an outstanding performance while working within the film industry...

 and once for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role is one of the Academy Awards of Merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize an actor who has delivered an outstanding performance while working within the film industry. Since its inception, however, the...

 – but he never won. From 1982, he and Becket co-star Peter O'Toole
Peter O'Toole
Peter Seamus Lorcan O'Toole is an Irish actor of stage and screen. O'Toole achieved stardom in 1962 playing T. E. Lawrence in Lawrence of Arabia, and then went on to become a highly-honoured film and stage actor. He has been nominated for eight Academy Awards, and holds the record for most...

 shared the record for the male actor with the most nominations (7) for a competitive acting Oscar without ever winning. In 2007, O'Toole was nominated for an eighth time (and subsequently lost), for Venus
Venus (film)
Venus is a 2006 British comedy-drama film starring Peter O'Toole, Leslie Phillips, Vanessa Redgrave and Jodie Whittaker. It is directed by Roger Michell and written by Hanif Kureishi....

(however, O'Toole received an Academy Honorary Award
Academy Honorary Award
The Academy Honorary Award, instituted in 1948 for the 21st Academy Awards , is given by the discretion of the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to celebrate motion picture achievements that are not covered by existing Academy Awards, although prior winners of...

 in 2003).

Television

Burton rarely appeared on television, although he gave a memorable performance as Caliban
Caliban
Caliban is a character in William Shakespeare's play The Tempest.Caliban may also refer to:* Caliban , a moon of Uranus* Caliban , a metalcore band from Germany* Caliban , an acoustic Celtic folk duo...

 in a televised production of The Tempest
The Tempest
The Tempest is a play by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in 1610–11, and thought by many critics to be the last play that Shakespeare wrote alone. It is set on a remote island, where Prospero, the exiled Duke of Milan, plots to restore his daughter Miranda to her rightful place,...

for The Hallmark Hall of Fame
Hallmark Hall of Fame
Hallmark Hall of Fame is an anthology program on American television, sponsored by Hallmark Cards, a Kansas City based greeting card company. The second longest-running television program in the history of television, it has a historically long run, beginning in 1951 and continuing into 2011...

 in 1960. Later appearances included the television film Divorce His – Divorce Hers (1973) opposite then-wife Elizabeth Taylor
Elizabeth Taylor
Dame Elizabeth Rosemond "Liz" Taylor, DBE was a British-American actress. From her early years as a child star with MGM, she became one of the great screen actresses of Hollywood's Golden Age...

 (a prophetic title, since their first marriage would be dissolved less than a year later), a remake of the classic film Brief Encounter
Brief Encounter
Brief Encounter is a 1945 British film directed by David Lean about the conventions of British suburban life, centring on a housewife for whom real love brings unexpectedly violent emotions. The film stars Celia Johnson, Trevor Howard, Stanley Holloway and Joyce Carey...

(1974) that was considered vastly inferior to the 1945 original, and a critically applauded performance as Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, was a predominantly Conservative British politician and statesman known for his leadership of the United Kingdom during the Second World War. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the century and served as Prime Minister twice...

 in The Gathering Storm
The Gathering Storm (1974 film)
The Gathering Storm is a 1974 American television biopic film, about Winston Churchill's life in the years just prior to, and at the start of, World War II, from 1936 to 1940....

(1974). A critically panned film he made about the life of Richard Wagner
Richard Wagner
Wilhelm Richard Wagner was a German composer, conductor, theatre director, philosopher, music theorist, poet, essayist and writer primarily known for his operas...

 (noted for having the only onscreen teaming of Laurence Olivier
Laurence Olivier
Laurence Kerr Olivier, Baron Olivier, OM was an English actor, director, and producer. He was one of the most famous and revered actors of the 20th century. He married three times, to fellow actors Jill Esmond, Vivien Leigh, and Joan Plowright...

, John Gielgud
John Gielgud
Sir Arthur John Gielgud, OM, CH was an English actor, director, and producer. A descendant of the renowned Terry acting family, he achieved early international acclaim for his youthful, emotionally expressive Hamlet which broke box office records on Broadway in 1937...

 and Ralph Richardson
Ralph Richardson
Sir Ralph David Richardson was an English actor, one of a group of theatrical knights of the mid-20th century who, though more closely associated with the stage, also appeared in several classic films....

 in the same scenes) was shown as a television miniseries in 1983 after failing to achieve a theatrical release in most countries, but Burton enjoyed a personal triumph in the American television miniseries Ellis Island
Ellis Island
Ellis Island in New York Harbor was the gateway for millions of immigrants to the United States. It was the nation's busiest immigrant inspection station from 1892 until 1954. The island was greatly expanded with landfill between 1892 and 1934. Before that, the much smaller original island was the...

in 1984, receiving a posthumous Emmy Award
Emmy Award
An Emmy Award, often referred to simply as the Emmy, is a television production award, similar in nature to the Peabody Awards but more focused on entertainment, and is considered the television equivalent to the Academy Awards and the Grammy Awards .A majority of Emmys are presented in various...

 nomination for his final television performance.

Television played an important part in the fate of his Broadway appearance in Camelot
Camelot (musical)
Camelot is a musical by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe . It is based on the King Arthur legend as adapted from the T. H. White tetralogy novel The Once and Future King....

.
When the show's run was threatened by disappointing reviews, Burton and co-star Julie Andrews
Julie Andrews
Dame Julia Elizabeth Andrews, DBE is an English film and stage actress, singer, and author. She is the recipient of Golden Globe, Emmy, Grammy, BAFTA, People's Choice Award, Theatre World Award, Screen Actors Guild and Academy Award honors...

 appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show
The Ed Sullivan Show
The Ed Sullivan Show is an American TV variety show that originally ran on CBS from Sunday June 20, 1948 to Sunday June 6, 1971, and was hosted by New York entertainment columnist Ed Sullivan....

to perform the number What Do The Simple Folk Do?. The television appearance renewed public interest in the production and extended its Broadway run.

Burton showed a subtle flair for comedy in a 1970 guest appearance with Elizabeth Taylor on the sitcom Here's Lucy
Here's Lucy
Here's Lucy is Lucille Ball's third network television sitcom. It ran on CBS from 1968 to 1974.-Background:Though The Lucy Show was still hugely popular during the previous season, finishing in the top five of the Nielsen Ratings , Ball opted to end that series at the end of that season and create...

, where he recited, in a plumber's uniform, a haunting excerpt of a speech from Shakespeare's Richard II
Richard II (play)
King Richard the Second is a history play by William Shakespeare believed to be written in approximately 1595. It is based on the life of King Richard II of England and is the first part of a tetralogy, referred to by some scholars as the Henriad, followed by three plays concerning Richard's...

. He later parodied this role in an episode of Television Show The Fall Guy
The Fall Guy
The Fall Guy is an American action/adventure television program produced for ABC and originally broadcast from November 4, 1981 to May 2, 1986. It starred Lee Majors, Douglas Barr, and Heather Thomas. Majors and Barr are the only two actors to appear in all 112 episodes of the series...

.

In 1997, archive footage of Burton was used in the first episode of the television series Conan.

Book

In 1964, Burton wrote a semi-autobiographical book A Christmas Story, which is an endearing tale of a Christmas Eve in a Welsh mining village, during the Depression.

Personal life

Burton was married five times and he had four children. From 1949 until their divorce in 1963, he was married to producer Sybil Williams, by whom he had two daughters, Katherine "Kate" Burton
Kate Burton (actress)
-Personal life:Burton was born in Geneva, Switzerland, the daughter of producer Sybil Burton and actor Richard Burton . She was thus the stepdaughter of actress Elizabeth Taylor and of Sybil's second husband Jordan Christopher. In 1979, Burton earned a bachelor's degree in Russian studies and...

 (born 10 September 1957) and Jessica Burton (born 1961). He was married twice, consecutively, to actress Elizabeth Taylor
Elizabeth Taylor
Dame Elizabeth Rosemond "Liz" Taylor, DBE was a British-American actress. From her early years as a child star with MGM, she became one of the great screen actresses of Hollywood's Golden Age...

, from 15 March 1964 to 26 June 1974 and from 10 October 1975 to 29 July 1976. Their first wedding took place in Montreal
Montreal
Montreal is a city in Canada. It is the largest city in the province of Quebec, the second-largest city in Canada and the seventh largest in North America...

, and their second wedding occurred, 16 months after their divorce, in the Chobe National Park
Chobe National Park
Chobe National Park, in northwest Botswana, has one of the largest concentrations of game in Africa. By size, it is the third largest park of the country, after the Central Kalahari Game Reserve and the Gemsbok National Park, and is the most diverse...

 in Botswana. In 1964, the couple adopted a daughter from Germany, Maria Burton (born 1 August 1961). Burton also adopted Taylor's daughter by the late producer Mike Todd
Mike Todd
Michael Todd was an American theatre and film producer, best known for his 1956 production of Around the World in Eighty Days, which won an Academy Award for Best Picture...

, Elizabeth Frances "Liza" Todd Burton (born 6 August 1957). Their relationship as portrayed in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (film)
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? is a 1966 American drama film directed by Mike Nichols. The screenplay by Ernest Lehman is an adaptation of the play of the same title by Edward Albee...

was popularly likened to Burton and Taylor's real-life marriage. Burton disagreed with others about Taylor's famed beauty, saying that calling her "the most beautiful woman in the world is absolute nonsense. She has wonderful eyes, but she has a double chin
Double chin
A double chin is a subcutaneous fat around the neck that sags down and creates a wrinkle, making the owner appear to have a second chin. It is most common on people who are elderly or obese. A person of average weight can bear a double chin as well, depending on their bone structure and amount of...

 and an overdeveloped chest, and she’s rather short in the leg." In August 1976, a month after his second divorce from Taylor, Burton married model Susan Hunt, the former wife of Formula 1 Champion James Hunt
James Hunt
James Simon Wallis Hunt was a British racing driver from England who won the Formula One World Championship in . Hunt's often action packed exploits on track earned him the nickname "Hunt the Shunt." After retiring from driving, Hunt became a media commentator and businessman...

; the marriage ended in divorce in 1982. From 1983 until his death in 1984, Burton was married to make-up artist Sally Hay
Sally Burton
Sally Burton , also known as Sally Hay Burton , was the fourth and last wife of actor Richard Burton.-Marriage:...

.

In 1957 Burton became a tax exile
Tax exile
A tax exile is one who chooses to leave a country with a high tax burden and instead to reside in a foreign nation or jurisdiction which takes a lower portion of earnings. Going into tax exile is a means of tax mitigation or avoidance.-Legal status:...

 by moving to Switzerland, where he lived until his death. It is widely believed he was never offered a knighthood due to his tax exile status, together with his attacks on Churchill and other controversial public opinions.

In 1968 Burton's elder brother, Ifor, slipped and fell, breaking his neck, after a lengthy drinking session with Burton at the actor's second home in Céligny
Céligny
Céligny is a municipality in the canton of Geneva, Switzerland. It consists of two small exclaves of the Canton of Geneva into the Canton of Vaud, near Crans-près-Céligny.-Geography:...

, Switzerland. The injury left him paralysed from the neck down. His younger brother Graham Jenkins opined it may have been guilt over this that caused Burton to start drinking very heavily, particularly after Ifor died in 1973.

In a February 1975 interview with his friend David Lewin he said he "tried" homosexuality. He also suggested that perhaps all actors were latent homosexual
Latent homosexuality
Latent homosexuality is an erotic inclination toward members of the same sex that is not consciously experienced or expressed in overt action...

s, and "we cover it up with drink
Alcoholic beverage
An alcoholic beverage is a drink containing ethanol, commonly known as alcohol. Alcoholic beverages are divided into three general classes: beers, wines, and spirits. They are legally consumed in most countries, and over 100 countries have laws regulating their production, sale, and consumption...

". In 2000, Ellis Amburn's biography of Elizabeth Taylor suggested that Burton had an affair with Laurence Olivier
Laurence Olivier
Laurence Kerr Olivier, Baron Olivier, OM was an English actor, director, and producer. He was one of the most famous and revered actors of the 20th century. He married three times, to fellow actors Jill Esmond, Vivien Leigh, and Joan Plowright...

 and tried to seduce Eddie Fisher
Eddie Fisher (singer)
Edwin Jack "Eddie" Fisher , was an American entertainer. He was one of the world's most famous and successful singers in the 1950s, selling millions of records and hosting his own TV show. His divorce from his first wife, Debbie Reynolds, to marry his best friend's widow, Elizabeth Taylor, garnered...

, although this was strongly denied by Burton's younger brother Graham Jenkins.
Burton was notorious for his unrestrained pursuit of women while filming. Joan Collins
Joan Collins
Joan Henrietta Collins, OBE , is an English actress, author, and columnist. Born in Paddington and raised in Maida Vale, Collins grew up during the Second World War. At the age of nine, she made her stage debut in A Doll's House and after attending school, she was classically trained as an actress...

 wrote that when she rejected his on-set advances, he embarked on a series of liaisons with other women including an elderly black
Black people
The term black people is used in systems of racial classification for humans of a dark skinned phenotype, relative to other racial groups.Different societies apply different criteria regarding who is classified as "black", and often social variables such as class, socio-economic status also plays a...

 maid who, according to Collins, was "almost toothless". Collins playfully told Burton that she believed he would sleep with a snake
Snake
Snakes are elongate, legless, carnivorous reptiles of the suborder Serpentes that can be distinguished from legless lizards by their lack of eyelids and external ears. Like all squamates, snakes are ectothermic, amniote vertebrates covered in overlapping scales...

 if he had the chance, to which Burton is alleged to have replied "only if it was wearing a skirt, darling".

He was an insomnia
Insomnia
Insomnia is most often defined by an individual's report of sleeping difficulties. While the term is sometimes used in sleep literature to describe a disorder demonstrated by polysomnographic evidence of disturbed sleep, insomnia is often defined as a positive response to either of two questions:...

c and a notoriously heavy drinker. However, ongoing back pain and a dependence upon pain medications have been suggested as the true cause of his misery. He was also a heavy smoker
Tobacco smoking
Tobacco smoking is the practice where tobacco is burned and the resulting smoke is inhaled. The practice may have begun as early as 5000–3000 BCE. Tobacco was introduced to Eurasia in the late 16th century where it followed common trade routes...

 from the time he was just eight years old; and by his own admission in a December 1977 interview with Sir Ludovic Kennedy
Ludovic Kennedy
Sir Ludovic Henry Coverley Kennedy was a British journalist, broadcaster, humanist and author best known for re-examining cases such as the Lindbergh kidnapping and the murder convictions of Timothy Evans and Derek Bentley, and for his role in the abolition of the death penalty in the United...

, Burton was smoking 60–100 cigarettes per day. According to his younger brother Graham Jenkins's 1988 book "Richard Burton: My Brother", he smoked at least a hundred cigarettes a day.

His father, also a heavy drinker, refused to acknowledge his son's talents, achievements and acclaim. In turn, Burton declined to attend his funeral, in 1957. Like Burton, his father died from a cerebral haemorrhage, in January 1957, at the age of 81.

Burton admired and was inspired by the actor and dramatist Emlyn Williams
Emlyn Williams
George Emlyn Williams, CBE , known as Emlyn Williams, was a Welsh dramatist and actor.-Biography:He was born into a Welsh-speaking, working class family in Mostyn, Flintshire....

. He employed his son Brook Williams
Brook Williams
Brook Richard Williams was an English stage actor who also made numerous film and television appearances in small roles....

 as his personal assistant and adviser and he was given small roles in some of the films in which Burton starred.

Burton was banned permanently from BBC productions in November 1974 for writing two newspaper articles questioning the sanity of Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, was a predominantly Conservative British politician and statesman known for his leadership of the United Kingdom during the Second World War. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the century and served as Prime Minister twice...

 and others in power during World War II – Burton reported hating them "virulently" for the alleged promise to wipe out all Japanese people on the planet. The publication of these articles coincided with what would have been Churchill's centenary, and came after Burton had played him in a favourable light in A Walk with Destiny, with considerable help from the Churchill family. In one article he accused Churchill of having Welsh miners shot during strikes in the 1920s. Ironically, Burton got along well with Churchill when he met him at a play in London, and kept a bust of him on his mantelpiece. On the Parkinson show in November 1974 Burton told a funny story about meeting Churchill; however, according to Robert Hardy
Robert Hardy
Timothy Sydney Robert Hardy, CBE, FSA is an English actor with a long career in the theatre, film and television. He is also an acknowledged expert on the longbow.-Early life:...

, it was not true. Politically Burton was a lifelong socialist, although he was never as heavily involved in politics as his close friend Stanley Baker
Stanley Baker
Sir Stanley Baker was a Welsh actor and film producer.-Early career:William Stanley Baker was born in Ferndale, Rhondda Valley, Wales. In the mid-1930s his parents moved to London, where Baker spent most of his formative years...

. He greatly admired Democratic Senator Robert F. Kennedy
Robert F. Kennedy
Robert Francis "Bobby" Kennedy , also referred to by his initials RFK, was an American politician, a Democratic senator from New York, and a noted civil rights activist. An icon of modern American liberalism and member of the Kennedy family, he was a younger brother of President John F...

 and once got into a sonnet-quoting contest with him. In 1973 Burton agreed to play Josef Broz Tito in a biopic, since he greatly admired the Yugoslav leader. While filming in Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia refers to three political entities that existed successively on the western part of the Balkans during most of the 20th century....

 he publicly proclaimed that he was a communist, saying he felt no contradiction between earning vast sums of money for films and holding very left-wing views since "unlike capitalists, I don't exploit other people." Burton courted further controversy in 1976 when he wrote a controversial article about his friend and fellow Welsh thespian Stanley Baker, who had recently died from pneumonia
Pneumonia
Pneumonia is an inflammatory condition of the lung—especially affecting the microscopic air sacs —associated with fever, chest symptoms, and a lack of air space on a chest X-ray. Pneumonia is typically caused by an infection but there are a number of other causes...

 at the age of 48.

Health issues

The 1988 biography of Burton by Melvyn Bragg
Melvyn Bragg
Melvyn Bragg, Baron Bragg FRSL FRTS FBA, FRS FRSA is an English broadcaster and author best known for his work with the BBC and for presenting the The South Bank Show...

 provides a detailed description of the many health issues that plagued Burton throughout his life. In his youth, Burton was a star athlete and well known for his athletic abilities and strength. By the age of 41 he had declined so far in health that his arms were by his own admission thin and weak. He suffered from bursitis
Bursitis
Bursitis is the inflammation of one or more bursae of synovial fluid in the body. The bursae rest at the points where internal functionaries, such as muscles and tendons, slide across bone. Healthy bursae create a smooth, almost frictionless functional gliding surface making normal movement painless...

, possibly aggravated by faulty treatment, arthritis
Arthritis
Arthritis is a form of joint disorder that involves inflammation of one or more joints....

, dermatitis
Dermatitis
-Etymology:Dermatitis derives from Greek derma "skin" + -itis "inflammation" and genetic disorder.-Terminology:There are several different types of dermatitis. The different kinds usually have in common an allergic reaction to specific allergens. The term may describe eczema, which is also called...

, cirrhosis
Cirrhosis
Cirrhosis is a consequence of chronic liver disease characterized by replacement of liver tissue by fibrosis, scar tissue and regenerative nodules , leading to loss of liver function...

 of the liver and kidneys, as well as developing, by his mid-forties, a pronounced limp. How much of this was due to his intake of alcohol is impossible to ascertain, according to Bragg, because of Burton's reluctance to be treated for alcohol addiction; however, in 1974, Burton spent six weeks in a clinic to recuperate from a period during which he had been drinking three bottles of vodka
Vodka
Vodka , is a distilled beverage. It is composed primarily of water and ethanol with traces of impurities and flavorings. Vodka is made by the distillation of fermented substances such as grains, potatoes, or sometimes fruits....

 a day. He was also a regular smoker, with an intake of between three and five packs a day for most of his adult life. Health issues continued to plague him until his death of a stroke at the age of 58.

Death

Burton died at age 58 from a brain haemorrhage on 5 August 1984 at his home in Céligny, Switzerland, and is buried there. Although his death was sudden, his health had been declining for several years, and he suffered from a constant and severe pain in the neck. He had been warned that his liver was enlarged as early as March 1970, and had been diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver and kidneys in April 1981. Burton was buried in a red suit, a tribute to his Welsh roots, and with a copy of Dylan Thomas
Dylan Thomas
Dylan Marlais Thomas was a Welsh poet and writer, Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 11 January 2008. who wrote exclusively in English. In addition to poetry, he wrote short stories and scripts for film and radio, which he often performed himself...

' poems.
He and Taylor had discussed being buried together; his widow Sally purchased the plot next to Burton's and erected a large headstone across both, likely to prevent Taylor from being buried there.

Academy Awards

Nominations
  • 1952 Best Supporting Actor, My Cousin Rachel
  • 1953 Best Actor, The Robe
    The Robe (film)
    The Robe is a 1953 American Biblical epic film that tells the story of a Roman military tribune who commands the unit that crucifies Jesus. The film was made by 20th Century Fox and is notable for being the first film released in the widescreen process CinemaScope.It was directed by Henry Koster...

  • 1964 Best Actor, Becket
  • 1965 Best Actor, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold
    The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (film)
    The Spy Who Came in from the Cold is a 1965 film adaptation of the novel of the same name by John le Carré. It was adapted by Paul Dehn and Guy Trosper. The film stars Richard Burton as Alec Leamas, along with Claire Bloom, Oskar Werner, Peter van Eyck, Sam Wanamaker, Rupert Davies and Cyril Cusack...

  • 1966 Best Actor, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
    Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (film)
    Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? is a 1966 American drama film directed by Mike Nichols. The screenplay by Ernest Lehman is an adaptation of the play of the same title by Edward Albee...

  • 1969 Best Actor, Anne of the Thousand Days
    Anne of the Thousand Days
    Anne of the Thousand Days is a 1969 costume drama made by Hal Wallis Productions and distributed by Universal Pictures. It was directed by Charles Jarrott and produced by Hal B. Wallis. The film tells the story of Anne Boleyn...

  • 1977 Best Actor, Equus
    Equus (film)
    Equus is a 1977 British-American drama film directed by Sidney Lumet and starring Richard Burton. Peter Shaffer wrote the screenplay based on his play Equus...


BAFTA Awards

  • 1966 Best Actor, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
    Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (film)
    Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? is a 1966 American drama film directed by Mike Nichols. The screenplay by Ernest Lehman is an adaptation of the play of the same title by Edward Albee...

     / The Spy Who Came in from the Cold
    The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (film)
    The Spy Who Came in from the Cold is a 1965 film adaptation of the novel of the same name by John le Carré. It was adapted by Paul Dehn and Guy Trosper. The film stars Richard Burton as Alec Leamas, along with Claire Bloom, Oskar Werner, Peter van Eyck, Sam Wanamaker, Rupert Davies and Cyril Cusack...



Nominations
  • 1959 Best Actor, Look Back in Anger
    Look Back in Anger (film)
    Look Back in Anger is a 1959 British film starring Richard Burton, Claire Bloom and Mary Ure and directed by Tony Richardson.It is based on John Osborne's play of the same name about a love triangle involving an intelligent but disaffected young man , his upper-middle-class, impassive wife , and...

  • 1967 Best Actor, The Taming of the Shrew
    The Taming of the Shrew (1967 film)
    The Taming of the Shrew is a 1967 film based on the play of the same name by William Shakespeare about a courtship between two strong-willed people...


Emmy Awards

Nominations
  • 1985 Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or a Special, Ellis Island
    Ellis Island
    Ellis Island in New York Harbor was the gateway for millions of immigrants to the United States. It was the nation's busiest immigrant inspection station from 1892 until 1954. The island was greatly expanded with landfill between 1892 and 1934. Before that, the much smaller original island was the...



Golden Globe Awards

  • 1953 Most Promising Newcomer – Male, My Cousin Rachel
  • 1978 Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama, Equus
    Equus (film)
    Equus is a 1977 British-American drama film directed by Sidney Lumet and starring Richard Burton. Peter Shaffer wrote the screenplay based on his play Equus...



Nominations
  • 1960 Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama, Look Back in Anger
    Look Back in Anger (film)
    Look Back in Anger is a 1959 British film starring Richard Burton, Claire Bloom and Mary Ure and directed by Tony Richardson.It is based on John Osborne's play of the same name about a love triangle involving an intelligent but disaffected young man , his upper-middle-class, impassive wife , and...

  • 1965 Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama, Becket
    Becket
    Becket or The Honor of God is a play written in French by Jean Anouilh. It is a depiction of the conflict between Thomas Becket and King Henry II of England leading to Becket's murder in 1170. It contains many historical inaccuracies, which the author acknowledged.-Background:Anouilh's...

  • 1967 Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
    Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (film)
    Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? is a 1966 American drama film directed by Mike Nichols. The screenplay by Ernest Lehman is an adaptation of the play of the same title by Edward Albee...

  • 1968 Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical/Comedy, The Taming of the Shrew
    The Taming of the Shrew (1967 film)
    The Taming of the Shrew is a 1967 film based on the play of the same name by William Shakespeare about a courtship between two strong-willed people...

  • 1970 Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama, Anne of the Thousand Days
    Anne of the Thousand Days
    Anne of the Thousand Days is a 1969 costume drama made by Hal Wallis Productions and distributed by Universal Pictures. It was directed by Charles Jarrott and produced by Hal B. Wallis. The film tells the story of Anne Boleyn...


Tony Awards

  • 1961 Best Actor – Musical, Camelot
    Camelot (musical)
    Camelot is a musical by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe . It is based on the King Arthur legend as adapted from the T. H. White tetralogy novel The Once and Future King....

  • 1976 Special Award


Nominations
  • 1959 Best Actor – Play, Time Remembered
  • 1964 Best Actor – Play, Hamlet
    Hamlet
    The Tragical History of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, or more simply Hamlet, is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written between 1599 and 1601...



Stage productions

  • Measure for Measure
    Measure for Measure
    Measure for Measure is a play by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in 1603 or 1604. It was classified as comedy, but its mood defies those expectations. As a result and for a variety of reasons, some critics have labelled it as one of Shakespeare's problem plays...

    (1944)
  • Druid's Rest (1944)
  • Castle Anna (1948)
  • The Lady's Not for Burning
    The Lady's Not for Burning
    The Lady's Not for Burning is a 1948 play by Christopher Fry.A romantic comedy in three acts, set in verse, it is set in the Middle Ages, it reflects the world's "exhaustion and despair" following World War II, with a war-weary soldier who wants to die, and an accused witch who wants to live...

    (1949)
  • The Lady's Not for Burning (1950)
  • A Phoenix Too Frequent (1950)
  • The Boy With A Cart (1950)
  • Legend of Lovers (1951)
  • The Tempest
    The Tempest
    The Tempest is a play by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in 1610–11, and thought by many critics to be the last play that Shakespeare wrote alone. It is set on a remote island, where Prospero, the exiled Duke of Milan, plots to restore his daughter Miranda to her rightful place,...

    (1951)
  • Henry V
    Henry V (play)
    Henry V is a history play by William Shakespeare, believed to be written in approximately 1599. Its full titles are The Cronicle History of Henry the Fifth and The Life of Henry the Fifth...

    (1951)

  • Henry IV
    Henry IV, Part 1
    Henry IV, Part 1 is a history play by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written no later than 1597. It is the second play in Shakespeare's tetralogy dealing with the successive reigns of Richard II, Henry IV , and Henry V...

    (1951)
  • Montserrat (1952)
  • The Tempest (1953)
  • King John (1953)
  • Hamlet
    Hamlet
    The Tragical History of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, or more simply Hamlet, is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written between 1599 and 1601...

    (1953)
  • Coriolanus
    Coriolanus
    Gaius Marcius Coriolanus was a Roman general who is said to have lived in the 5th century BC. He received his toponymic cognomen "Coriolanus" because of his exceptional valor in a Roman siege of the Volscian city of Corioli. He was then promoted to a general...

    (1953)
  • Hamlet (1953)
  • Twelfth Night (1953)
  • Henry V (1955)
  • Othello
    Othello
    The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in approximately 1603, and based on the Italian short story "Un Capitano Moro" by Cinthio, a disciple of Boccaccio, first published in 1565...

    (1956)

  • Sea Wife
    Sea Wife
    Sea Wife is a British film based on the 1955 James Maurice Scott novel Sea-Wyf and Biscuit. Shot in Jamaica, the film is set around events in 1942 among a group of survivors from a torpedoed British refugee ship.-Plot:...

    (1957)
  • Time Remembered (1957)
  • Camelot
    Camelot (musical)
    Camelot is a musical by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe . It is based on the King Arthur legend as adapted from the T. H. White tetralogy novel The Once and Future King....

    (1960)
  • Hamlet (1964)
  • A Poetry Reading (1964)
  • Doctor Faustus (1966)
  • Equus
    Equus (play)
    Equus is a play by Peter Shaffer written in 1973, telling the story of a psychiatrist who attempts to treat a young man who has a pathological religious fascination with horses....

    (1970)
  • Camelot
    Camelot (musical)
    Camelot is a musical by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe . It is based on the King Arthur legend as adapted from the T. H. White tetralogy novel The Once and Future King....

    (1980)
  • Private Lives
    Private Lives
    Private Lives is a 1930 comedy of manners in three acts by Noël Coward. It focuses on a divorced couple who discover that they are honeymooning with their new spouses in neighbouring rooms at the same hotel. Despite a perpetually stormy relationship, they realise that they still have feelings for...

    (1983)
  • War of the Worlds
    Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds
    Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds is a 1978 concept album by Jeff Wayne, retelling the story of The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells. Its format is progressive rock and string orchestra, using narration and leitmotifs to carry the story via rhyming melodic lyrics that express...

    (1978)


Further reading

  • Shipman, D. The Great Movie Stars: The International Years, Angus & Robertson 1982. ISBN 0-207-14803-1

External links



|-
!colspan="3" style="background:#C1D8FF;"| Husband of Elizabeth Taylor
Elizabeth Taylor
Dame Elizabeth Rosemond "Liz" Taylor, DBE was a British-American actress. From her early years as a child star with MGM, she became one of the great screen actresses of Hollywood's Golden Age...

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