Probably best-remembered for his turbulent personal life with Elizabeth Taylor (whom he married twice), Richard Burton was nonetheless also regarded as an often brilliant British actor of the post-WWII period. In this article, we will talk about Richard Burton's Biography including Net Worth, Age, Birthday, Height, Weight, Family, Children etc.
Richard Burton Biography
Burton was born Richard Walter Jenkins in 1925 into a Welsh (Cymraeg)-speaking family in Pontrhydyfen to Edith Maude (Thomas) and Richard Walter Jenkins, a coal miner. The twelfth of thirteen children, his mother died while he was a toddler and his father later abandoned the family, leaving him to be raised by an elder sister, Cecilia. An avid fan of Shakespeare, poetry and reading, he once said "home is where the books are". He received a scholarship to Oxford University to study acting and made his first stage appearance in 1944.
His first film appearances were in routine British movies such as The Last Days of Dolwyn (1949), Waterfront (1950) and Green Grow the Rushes (1951). Then he started to appear in Hollywood movies such as My Cousin Rachel (1952), The Robe (1953) and Alexander the Great (1956), added to this he was also spending considerable time in stage productions, both in the UK and USA, often to splendid reviews. The late 1950s was an exciting and inventive time in UK cinema, often referred to as the "British New Wave", and Burton was right in the thick of things, and showcased a sensational performance in Look Back in Anger (1959). He also appeared with a cavalcade of international stars in the World War II magnum opus The Longest Day (1962), and then onto arguably his most "notorious" role as that of Marc Antony opposite Elizabeth Taylor in the hugely expensive Cleopatra (1963). This was, of course, the film that kick-started their fiery and passionate romance (plus two marriages), and the two of them appeared in several productions over the next few years including The V.I.P.s (1963), The Sandpiper (1965), the dynamic Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966) and The Taming of the Shrew (1967), as well as box office flops like The Comedians (1967). Burton did better when he was off on his own giving higher caliber performances, such as those in Becket (1964), the film adaptation of the Tennessee Williams play The Night of the Iguana (1964), the brilliant espionage thriller The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1965) and alongside Clint Eastwood in the World War II action adventure film Where Eagles Dare (1968).
His audience appeal began to decline somewhat by the end of the 1960s as fans turned to younger, more virile male stars, however Burton was superb in Anne of the Thousand Days (1969) as King Henry VIII, he put on a reasonable show in the boring Raid on Rommel (1971), was over the top in the awful Villain (1971), gave sleepwalking performances in Hammersmith Is Out (1972) and Bluebeard (1972), and was wildly miscast in the ludicrous The Assassination of Trotsky (1972).
By the early 1970s, quality male lead roles were definitely going to other stars, and Burton found himself appearing in some movies of dubious quality, just to pay the bills and support family, including Divorce His - Divorce Hers (1973) (his last on-screen appearance with Taylor), The Klansman (1974), Brief Encounter (1974), Jackpot (1974) (which was never completed) and Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977). However, he won another Oscar nomination for his excellent performance as a concerned psychiatrist in Equus (1977). He appeared with fellow acting icons Richard Harris and Roger Moore in The Wild Geese (1978) about mercenaries in South Africa. While the film had a modest initial run, over the past thirty-five years it has picked up quite a cult following. His final performances were as the wily inquisitor "O'Brien" in the most recent film version of George Orwell's dystopian Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984), in which he won good reviews, and in the TV mini series Ellis Island (1984). He passed away on August 5, 1984 in Celigny, Switzerland from a cerebral hemorrhage.
To know his complete profile, check the following table.
|Birth Name/Full Name||:||Richard Walter Jenkins|
|Other Name (s)||:||-|
|Date of Birth||:||November 10, 1925|
|Birthplace||:||Pontrhydyfen, Wales, UK|
|Profession (s)||:||Actor ,|
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Richard Burton Age in 2023 and Birthday Info
In this section, we will add Richard Burton's birthday-related information. Richard Burton was born in Pontrhydyfen, Wales, UK on November 10, 1925.He died on in Céligny, Geneva, Switzerland (cerebral hemorrhage). Check the below table for more information.
|Date of Birth||:||November 10, 1925|
|Birth Place||:||Pontrhydyfen, Wales, UK|
|Date of Death||:||1984-8-5|
|Death Place||:||Céligny, Geneva, Switzerland (cerebral hemorrhage)|
|Next Birthday||:||10 November, 2023|
Richard Burton Height and Weight
Now we are going to add Richard Burton's Height (In Meter, Centi Meter, and Feet-Inches) and Weight (In Kilogram and Pounds). As weight changes frequently, we may not have the current weight of Richard Burton. The height of Richard Burton is 1.78 m. Check the below table to see in more units.
|Height in Meter||:||1.78 m.|
|Height in Centimeter||:||178 cm.|
|Height in Feet-inches||:||5'10"|
|Weight in Kilogram||:||- kg|
|Weight in Pounds||:||- lb|
Richard Burton Family (Spouse, Children, Parents, Siblings, Relatives)
In this section, we will add Richard Burton's complete family information including his martial status, husbandorwife, children, parents, relatives, and siblings.
|Spouse (s)||:||Sally Burton (3 July 1983 - 5 August 1984) (his death) ,|
Susan Hunt (21 August 1976 - 27 February 1983) (divorced) ,
Elizabeth Taylor (10 October 1975 - 29 July 1976) (divorced) ,
Elizabeth Taylor (15 March 1964 - 26 June 1974) (divorced) (1 child) ,
Sybil Williams (5 February 1949 - 5 December 1963) (divorced) (2 children)
|Children (s)||:||Kate Burton|
|Parents (Father and Mother)||:||Thomas, Edith Maude ,|
Richard Burton Social Accounts (Facebbok, Instagram, Twitter, Website)
In this section, we will add Richard Burton's Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and personal website.
|:||Richard Burton Facebook|
|:||Richard Burton Instagram|
|:||Richard Burton Twitter|
|Personal Website||:||Richard Burton Webiste|
Richard Burton Net Worth in 2023
You might be interested to know what was the net worth of Richard Burton at time when he died. The net worth of Richard Burton was $50 million. We do not guarantee the net worth of Richard Burton is the exact amount. This is based on several sources on the internet.
Richard Burton Facts and Trivia
Here is the list of top facts about Richard Burton.
- He took his professional name from his schoolmaster and tutor, Philip Burton, who took the 17-year old Richard Jenkins and groomed him for success, both academically and as an actor. The two became so close, Burton attempted to adopt him as his son, but was prevented from doing so as he was too young, under the law. Nevertheless, Jenkins, who became known to the world as Richard Burton, considered Philip Burton his adopted father and honored him by taking on his surname. Years later, when Philip Burton met Elizabeth Taylor and she asked Philip Burton how he came to adopt her soon-to-be fifth (and later sixth) husband, Richard piped up, "He didn't adopt me! I adopted him!".
- Father of Kate Burton.
- Interred at Protestant Churchyard, Céligny, Switzerland.
- He once shared the record with Peter O'Toole for the most Oscar acting nominations (7) without a single win. In 2007, that record was broken, when O'Toole was nominated and lost yet again for the film Venus (2006).
- Spoke Cymraeg (Welsh-language) as mother tongue.
- He died on Sunday, August 5, 1984, less than a week before he was due to begin shooting Wild Geese II (1985), a sequel to his successful mercenary thriller The Wild Geese (1978), made in 1978. He was the only actor returning for the film and, as Colonel Allen Faulkner, would have led a team of crack mercenaries to spring aged Nazi Rudolf Hess from Spandau Prison in Berlin. Burton's death caused huge problems for producer Euan Lloyd, the man behind the original The Wild Geese (1978) and its follow-up, Wild Geese II (1985). With the rest of the cast (Scott Glenn, Barbara Carrera and Laurence Olivier (playing Hess)) in place, Euan Lloyd had just a handful of days to find a replacement for Burton. He selected British actor Edward Fox, who joined the cast as Alex Faulkner, Burton's brother. Burton's no-show in the film was explained by one character telling Edward Fox that they'd heard his famous warrior brother had died. The film was dedicated to Burton's memory.
- He made his stage debut at Maesteg Town Hall in Wales.
- Suffered from acute insomnia.
- The twelfth of thirteen children, he insisted that his way out of an impoverished Welsh childhood was due not to acting, but to books.
- Had two daughters by his first wife, Sybil Williams. Actress Kate Burton (born 1957) and Jessica (born 1961), who was diagnosed as profoundly autistic and would eventually be institutionalized.
- He was awarded the CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in the 1970 Queen's Birthday Honours List for his services to drama. He collected this award on his 45th birthday with his older sister Cis, who raised him as a child, and his wife Elizabeth Taylor.
- Grandfather of Morgan Ritchie.
- Burton received the first retrospective of his work since his death during Bradford Film Festival 2002 - almost 18 years after his death on Sunday, August 5, 1984. Twelve films were screened, among them Look Back in Anger (1959), Becket (1964), Equus (1977) and Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984), his final picture. The festival, which christened its Burton season Lion of the Welsh, also featured a strand on legendary unfinished films that included a clip of Burton in Laughter in the Dark (1969), a movie from which he was allegedly fired by director Tony Richardson. The picture, based on the novel by Vladimir Nabokov, was shut down and eventually made with Nicol Williamson in Burton's role.
- Was a drinking partner of Richard Harris and Peter O'Toole until O'Toole was forced to give up drinking after surgery in 1976.
- Died shortly after the filming of Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984) was completed. He was in terrible health during filming from years of alcoholism and heavy smoking, and had to wear a neck brace during rehearsals.
- He taught William Shakespeare to future actress Catherine Oxenberg when she was 13 and 14 years old.
- He once bought a complete set of "The Everyman Library" for Elizabeth Taylor as a present.
- He was on a flight to California from Mexico, when he ran into a young man interested in acting. Burton encouraged him to pursue it full time during their conversation. That young man was Kevin Costner, who promptly left his marketing job to pursue an acting career.
- During World War II, he was admitted to Exeter College, Oxford to take the "University Short Course" for six months as a Royal Air Force cadet. While at Oxford in 1943-1944, he was a member of the Oxford University Dramatic Society. Cadets were promised that they could return to Oxford to complete their education after the war, but he did not, instead becoming a professional actor after being demobilized in 1947. Almost thirty years later, he was invited back to Oxford to teach poetry to undergraduates for a semester.
- His mother died when he was two-years old. He was taken in and raised by his older sister, Cis, and her husband in the same Port Talbot, Wales, neighborhood where fellow Welshman Anthony Hopkins later lived in as a child. "I shone in the reflection of her green-eyed, black-haired gypsy beauty," Burton said of his sister/surrogate mother.
- He, Ray Milland, Anthony Hopkins and Catherine Zeta-Jones all were born within a 10-mile radius in south-western Wales.
- His movie contracts contained a clause that he did not have to work on the 1st of March, St David's Day, the day honoring the patron saint of Wales.
- Had to turn down the lead role of the British Consul in John Huston's adaptation of Malcolm Lowry's Under the Volcano (1984) as he was appearing in a touring production of Noël Coward's "Private Lives" co-starring with Elizabeth Taylor. The role was subsequently played by Albert Finney, who won an Oscar nomination as Best Actor.
- Was the best man at Laurence Olivier's marriage to Joan Plowright in New York City on March 17, 1961. Both were appearing on Broadway at the time, he in "Camelot" and Laurence Olivier in "Becket".
- Was famous for his high intelligence and for being incredibly well-read. Burton was widely admired for his command and understanding of English poetry, which he taught for a term at Oxford University in the early 1970s.
- His friend Laurence Olivier tried to interest him in taking over the National Theatre after his imminent retirement from the post. He declined, feeling that the board of directors had treated the great Laurence Olivier shabbily.
- He once got into a contest with Robert F. Kennedy, whom he greatly admired, in which they tried to out-do the other by quoting William Shakespeare's sonnets. Both were word-perfect, and Burton was forced to "win" the contest by quoting one of the sonnets backwards.
- Was a great fan of baseball, which he followed avidly when he was in America. Burton thought Pulitzer Prize-winning baseball columnist Red Smith was a brilliant writer. Burton played softball with a team from the Broadway theatre in the 1980s, despite crippling bursitis in his shoulder.
- Won Broadway's 1961 Tony Award as Best Actor (Musical) for "Camelot" as well as a Special Award in 1976. He was also twice nominated for Tony Awards as Best Actor (Dramatic): for "Time Remembered" (1954) and for "Hamlet" (1964).
- He and his then wife Elizabeth Taylor were very close friends with the famous president of Yugoslavia (Serbia), Marshall Josip Broz Tito. They spent many vacations with him at his villa on the Yugoslavian Adriatic coast line as well as being a frequent guest at his mansion in Belgrade. He later played his close friend in the 1972 Yugoslavian film Sutjeska (1973) (The Fifth Offensive).
- He was engaged to Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia (Serbia & Montenegro) between the time of his two marriages to Elizabeth Taylor. Princess Elizabeth is the mother of Catherine Oxenberg whom he later coached on acting.
- In 1961 he won a Tony Award for playing King Arthur in the original production of Lerner & Loewe's (Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe) Broadway musical "Camelot". When the film was in pre-production in the mid-1960s Burton turned down an attractive offer to reprise the role and Richard Harris was cast as The Once & Future King. Burton subsequently appeared in the 1980 Broadway revival of the musical, which played a total of 56 performances on the Great White Way before the production went on the road. During the road tour, Burton was replaced by Richard Harris as he was debilitated by crippling bursitis of the shoulder which eventually prevented him from handling a sword. Pain-killers did not help so he dropped out of the show and he was once again "replaced" by Richard Harris in the role.
- Was nominated for a 1958 Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play for "Time Remembered". Three years later he won a 1961 Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical for "Camelot", and three years after that, he was again nominated for a Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play for his 1964 "Hamlet", which was directed by his mentor John Gielgud. Burton also received a Special Tony Award in 1976 after appearing as a replacement in "Equus". Like his friends Laurence Olivier and Peter O'Toole, Burton was an unique and utterly electrifying stage actor whom commanded the rapt attention of his audience.
- Won the 1951 Theatre World Award for "The Lady's Not For Burning".
- Since Elizabeth Taylor had been sterilized in 1957 (at age 25, after giving birth to three children), she and Eddie Fisher adopted a German orphan, Maria (born 1961) in 1962. Fisher surrendered his parental rights before they divorced and Richard adopted the girl as his daughter, legally re-naming her Maria Burton.
- He and Elizabeth Taylor starred together in 11 movies: Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966); The V.I.P.s (1963); Under Milk Wood (1971); The Taming of the Shrew (1967); The Sandpiper (1965); Hammersmith Is Out (1972); Doctor Faustus (1967); Divorce His - Divorce Hers (1973); The Comedians (1967); Cleopatra (1963) and Boom (1968).
- He was forced to drop out of the Los Angeles run of "Camelot" in April 1981 due to crippling back pain, most likely caused by his chronic bursitis. Doctors at the hospital couldn't understand how he had managed to entertain live audiences night after night. His entire spinal column was found to be coated in crystallized alcohol. At first the doctors couldn't operate because Burton was three stone underweight, so he had to remain in bed to build up his strength. His backbone was rebuilt in a delicate operation that could easily have left him paralyzed for life if something had gone wrong. Burton called his friend Richard Harris to replace him as King Arthur, and then returned to his home in Switzerland to recover.
- Circa 1970, Burton's fellow Celt (and cinema superstar) Sean Connery, who had received excellent reviews for his portrayal of the doomed king in a 1960 Canadian television version of "Macbeth", hoped to launch a big-screen version of the Scottish play. Sean Connery's plans were foiled when Roman Polanski's version went into production for Hugh Hefner's Playboy Productions. Burton, who had won a reputation as the best "Hamlet" of his generation, was also interested in launching a film version of "Macbeth" at the same time. He had just had a great cinema success in the period piece Anne of the Thousand Days (1969), for which he won his sixth and penultimate Oscar nomination, and he told his friend Sir Laurence Olivier that he wanted to make a movie of "Macbeth" with himself as the eponymous king and his wife Elizabeth Taylor as Lady Macbeth. Burton's plans came to naught for the same reason as Sean Connery's did. A decade earlier, Sir Laurence Olivier - the greatest "Macbeth" of the 20th Century - had also failed to bring the play to the big screen. The future Lord Laurence Olivier had hoped to film his own version of the play in the late 1950s, but the failure of his movie Richard III (1955) to make back its money frustrated his plans. Producer Mike Todd, Elizabeth Taylor's third husband, told Laurence Olivier in 1958 that he likely would produce the film with Laurence Olivier as "Macbeth" and Laurence Olivier's real-life wife, Vivien Leigh, as his Lady, but that hope died in the plane crash that claimed Mike Todd's life. Thus, the famous "Macbeth" curse adversely affected three of the greatest actors of the 20th Century.
- Won a Grammy in the "Best Recording for Children" category for "The Little Prince" (featuring Jonathan Winters and Billy Simpson). 
- His 1964 performance of "Hamlet" is the longest run of the play in Broadway history with 137 performances. It broke the record held by John Gielgud, who played the part for 132 performances and who directed Burton's Broadway production.
- The producers of the film Equus (1977), who envisioned either Marlon Brando or Jack Nicholson in the role of the psychiatrist "Martin Dysart" in the film version, would only consider Burton for the role if he agreed to undertake a screen-test of sorts by playing the role on Broadway. Though considered one of the most brilliant theatre actors of his generation, Burton had not been on the professional stage in a dozen years (though he had appeared in an Oxford Undergradate Dramatic Society production of Doctor Faustus (which subsequently was filmed as Doctor Faustus (1967)) in 1966. Having suffered a slew of failures since 1970 that had undermined his bankability as a movie star, Burton agreed to take on the grueling role for a 12-week run. Though he was scheduled for his Broadway debut on a Sunday, he took over a Saturday matinée for the departing Anthony Perkins (who had received excellent notices after taking over for Anthony Hopkins, Burton's fellow Welshman who had grown up in his neighborhood in Wales and who had won a 1975 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Actor in a Play for originating Dysart on Broadway). The film producers frankly were worried that Burton's alcoholism, which had nearly killed him during the production of The Klansman (1974), had not only destroyed his powers as an actor but his stamina also. Their fears were borne out the first night when a nervous Burton stumbled during the matinée. However, by Sunday's show, with the vultures out to see a great actor brought low, Burton wowed the audience with a brilliant performance. Burton astounded theatre-goers and the critics, winning himself a Special Tony Award and the role in the film. (His run was extended another two weeks due to demand to see the legendary thespian and hell-raiser and easily could have gone on for many more weeks had Burton chosen to remain with the play.) Burton's career was recharged. The momentum of Burton's professional renaissance nearly brought him an Academy Award in 1978, but sadly, it was reckoned that the performance caught on film by director Sidney Lumet was only a pale shadow of the genius that had been on show on Broadway. (Ironically, this was the charge that had plagued Burton in his early career, that the talent, the genius, did not come through the lens to be caught on film. Burton himself said he did not learn to act on film until he co-starred with Elizabeth Taylor in Cleopatra (1963).) Reverting to his 1970s habit of poor film choices, such as Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977) and The Medusa Touch (1978) tarnished Burton's newly burnished lustre too and Richard Dreyfuss beat him for the Oscar in his seventh (and last) Oscar nomination. Although he worked steadily until his death, Burton's post-Equus (1977) career never gained any real traction and he never again was a bankable star.
- In addition to being honored with a Special Tony Award in 1976 for his triumphant return to Broadway after 12 years in Equus (1977), he was nominated three times for a Tony, winning once, in 1961 for Best Actor in a Musical for "Camelot". His other nominations were in 1958 (for Best Actor in Play) for "Time Remembered" and in 1964 (for Best Actor in Play) for Hamlet (1964).
- After his second wife Elizabeth Taylor's close friend Montgomery Clift died before shooting began on Reflections in a Golden Eye (1967), Burton briefly considered taking over the vacated role of the closeted homosexual Major Weldon Penderton that had been slated for Montgomery Clift. Though Burton would later play homosexual parts in Staircase (1969) and Villain (1971), it was thought that he would not be a good fit for the role of an American soldier. The part subsequently went to Marlon Brando, who gave what critics now believe was one of his greatest performances. Marlon Brando and Elizabeth Taylor became friends, giving Burton a chance to socialize with America's greatest actor.
- Was actively pursued for the role of "The Pilot" in the proposed film of The Little Prince (1974). Burton had had a huge success on Broadway with Lerner & Lowe's (Alan Jay Lerner & Frederick Loewe) Camelot (1967), but had turned down that film as he did The Little Prince (1974). The role of "The Pilot" subsequently was played by Richard Kiley.
- According to Melvyn Bragg's biography (that was based on Burton's own diaries) in 1959, he turned down an offer of $350,000 (approximately $2.25 million in 2005 terms) to star as "Christ" in Nicholas Ray's remake of King of Kings (1961) due to superstition. A Welsh-Irish drunkard had read the palms of Burton and some friends, including Dylan Thomas, who were performing poetry on B.B.C. Radio's "Third Programme" and were waiting for show-time in a local pub. The drunk predicted the friends' deaths, which in the case of Dylan Thomas, was accurate. After two other friends died within their prescribed time frames, Burton (who had been told he would die at the age of 33) decided to take the year 1959 off so as not to tempt fate. Although he thought Nicholas Ray might make a good film and was keen to shoot on location in Spain, Burton, who already was a millionaire and did not need the money, turned the offer down. For the same reason, he also turned down the role played by Audie Murphy in John Huston's The Unforgiven (1960), which was shot in Durango, Mexico.
- Planned on going back to the stage to appear in William Shakespeare's "Richard III" and "King Lear". His staging of "Richard III" would have been based on the ideas of his step-father, Philip Burton, to bring together all of William Shakespeare's dramatization of Richard, Duke of Glouster (later Richard III) from the "Henry VI" trilogy. Burton had planned on visiting his step-father in Florida in early 1985 to work on the project.
- Loved to do crossword puzzles and was dismayed that American newspapers' crosswords were more geared towards encyclopedic information rather than puns and wordplay.
- At the time of his death in 1984, he was slated to reprise his role as Colonel Allen Faulkner in Wild Geese II (1985) and had signed on to star as the English journalist Thomas Fowler in a remake of Graham Greene's The Quiet American (1958). Wild Geese II (1985) went ahead with Edward Fox taking over his part (the film is dedicated to Burton), but the production of "The Quiet American" was canceled.
- According to his long-time friend Brook Williams, the son of the man who had given Burton his first professional break Emlyn Williams, Burton turned down a role in The Sea Wolves: The Last Charge of the Calcutta Light Horse in 1980, which reunited The Wild Geese (1978) director Andrew V. McLaglen, screenwriter Reginald Rose and co-star Roger Moore. The Wild Geese (1978) had been a big hit (Burton was always popular and a box office draw in military roles) and Andrew V. McLaglen had directed Burton's post-The Wild Geese (1978) film Steiner - Das Eiserne Kreuz, 2. Teil (1979), but Burton turned it down. Brook Williams believed that Burton's third wife, Susan Hunt, didn't want Burton away on a lark with his old friends (and drinking companions) as he was in frail health and battling alcoholism at the time.
- His divorce from third wife Susan Hunt, whom he was married to from 1976 to 1982, entailed a settlement of $1 million (approximately $2 million in 2005 terms) and a house he owned in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico (his first house in Puerto Vallarta was lost to second wife Elizabeth Taylor during his first divorce from her).
- Frankly told the press that he appeared in the movies Steiner - Das Eiserne Kreuz, 2. Teil (1979), Circle of Two (1981) and Lovespell (1981) (generally considered by critics to be three of his worse films, all of them critical and box office disasters that eroded the reputation he had recently fought back to reclaim with his appearance on stage and screen in Equus (1977)) for the money. Burton, who had effectively been cleaned out financially by his two divorces from second wife Elizabeth Taylor, was paid $750,000 for each picture (approximately $2.25 million in 2005 terms). Conversely, he was willing to appear in Absolution (1978) at the same time for one-sixth his fee as he believed in the project very strongly.
- Burton and Warren Mitchell were Royal Air Force cadets together at Oxford in 1944. In the years 1944-1947, when both were demobilized, they were stationed together at times in Canada and back in England. Later, they appeared together in The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1965).
- In 1969, Richard Burton bought his second wife Elizabeth Taylor one of the world's largest diamonds from the jeweller Cartier after losing an auction for the 69-carat, pear-shaped stone to the jeweller, which was won with a $1 million bid. Aristotle Onassis also failed in his bid to win the diamond, which he intended to give his wife Jacqueline Kennedy. The rough diamond that would yield the prized stone weighed 244 carats and was found in 1966 at South Africa's Premier mine. Harry Winston cut and polished the diamond, which was put up for auction in 1969. Burton purchased the diamond from Cartier the next day for $1,069,000 (approximately $6 million in 2005 dollars) to give to Elizabeth Taylor. The small premium Cartier charged Burton was in recognition of the great publicity the jewellery garnered from selling the stone, which was dubbed the "Burton-Cartier Diamond", to the then-"world's most famous couple". Ten years later, the twice-divorced-from-Burton Elizabeth Taylor herself auctioned off the "Burton-Taylor Diamond" to fund a hospital in Botswana. The last recorded sale of the "Burton-Taylor Diamond" was in 1979 for nearly $3,000,000 to an anonymous buyer in Saudi Arabia. The ring was the centre of the classic Here's Lucy (1968) episode "Lucy Meets the Burtons" in 1970, in which Lucy Carter, played by Lucille Ball, gets the famous ring stuck on her finger. The actual ring was used and the episode was the highest rated episode of the very popular series.
- Marlon Brando became quite friendly with Burton's wife Elizabeth Taylor while shooting Reflections in a Golden Eye (1967). Marlon Brando agreed to pick up her Best Actress Award for Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966) from the New York Film Critics Circle. When Marlon Brando made his appearance at the NYFCC Award ceremony at Sardi's on January 29, 1967, he hectored the critics, querying them as to why they hadn't recognized Elizabeth Taylor before. He then flew to Dahomey, Africa where Elizabeth Taylor was shooting The Comedians (1967) with Burton to personally deliver the award, a development Burton thought odd. Later in the 1960s, Marlon Brando' socialised with the Burtons, visiting them on their famous yacht the Kalizma, while they plied the Mediterreanean. Marlon Brando's ex-wife Anna Kashfi, in her book "Brando for Breakfast" (1979), claimed that Marlon Brando and Burton got into a fist-fight aboard the yacht, probably over Elizabeth Taylor, but nothing of the incident appears in Burton's voluminous diaries. In his diaries, Burton found Marlon Brando to be quite intelligent but believed he suffered, like Elizabeth Taylor did, from becoming too famous too early in his life and believed their affinity for one another was based on this. (Both Elizabeth Taylor and Marlon Brando would later befriend Michael Jackson, another superstar-cum-legend who had become too famous too soon.) Burton recognized Marlon Brando as a great actor, but felt he would have been more suited to silent films due to the deficiency in his voice (the famous "mumble"). As a silent film star, Burton believed Marlon Brando would have been the greatest motion picture actor ever.
- According to Burton's diaries, when he and Elizabeth Taylor appeared on the Here's Lucy (1968) (episode: "Lucy Meets the Burtons"), he was appalled by the tedium of shooting the show. He found Lucille Ball's meticulous professionalism to be ludicrous as he felt it was out of place on a TV show. Lucy was entirely focused on making the show work, and Burton -- who thought it would be a lark -- didn't have any fun on the set. He was quite impressed by Ball's co-star Gale Gordon, but was dismayed that Lucy, personally, directed him to play his "part" -- which was himself, after all -- very broad so that he was shouting. When he did shout, she told him that he was finally playing comedy as it should be played. The episode featured Lucy meeting Burton, who was fleeing the press and hid in her office, and then Liz, and putting on Liz's 69-carat, pear-shaped stone diamond, which became stuck to her her finger.
- Recorded his sessions for the Jeff Wayne's musical version of "The War of the Worlds" in two afternoon sessions in New York between film making.
- Following the release of The Robe (1953), his first Hollywood production, the critics would accuse Burton of being a wooden film actor, a charge that would stay with him throughout his career. It was not until The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1965) that critics would be unanimous in their praise of his performance, yet after an excellent five years his mastery of film technique had seemingly deserted him and much of his later work, such as Villain (1971) and Equus (1977), would be dismissed by many as overacting.
- In November 1974, Burton was asked to write an article about Sir Winston Churchill for "The New York Times". Since Burton had just played the wartime leader in The Gathering Storm (1974), the newspaper expected a laudatory piece. Instead they were presented with a rant about Churchill the right-wing politician, whom Burton wrote, "to know him is to hate him".
- He was a close friend of fellow Welsh actor Sir Stanley Baker from childhood, and provided the narration for Baker's epic film Zulu (1964).
- He had smoked since he was eight, reaching five packs of cigarettes a day in middle age.
- The day when Richard Burton was born was Tuesday.
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