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Richard Burton was a highly regarded Welsh actor of stage and screen. He earned seven Oscar nominations and was married twice to actress Elizabeth Taylor.
Elizabeth Taylor - Cleopatra (2:34)
Watch a short video about Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor to learn how this confrontational couple catapulted each other to fame and fortune through the ups and downs of their relationship.
After suffering a near fatal collapse while filming "Cleopatra," Elizabeth Taylor returned to the set and met actor Richard Burton.
As Elizabeth Taylor's relationship with Richard Burton progressed, so did her excess spending and drinking that would become the couple's reputation.
After meeting on the set of Cleopatra, the affair between Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton quickly became the topic of every news headline.
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Woolf earned both actors Oscar nominations, for which Taylor won. The couple earned millions for their film roles.
During this period, Burton appeared once again on Broadway in a 1964 staging of Hamlet directed by Gielgud and continued to maintain distinctive projects, garnering additional lead actor Oscar nominations for in Becket (1964), The Spy Who Came in From the Cold (1965) and Anne of the Thousand Days (1969).
Burton continued to drink heavily. His marriage to Taylor was noted for its volatility and storminess, with both performers battling substance addictions. The two were estranged in 1970 and would divorce in 1974. They then reconciled and remarried in the fall of 1975 in Botswana, only to divorce again the following year. Burton would marry model Suzy Hunt in 1976.
Burton continued to make films in the '70s, including Villain (1971), Brief Encounter (1975) and Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977), and was nominated for his seventh Oscar for his role as a psychiatrist in the 1977 drama Equus.
In 1980, Burton returned to the New York stage in a revival of Camelot, though his performance would later be curtailed due to the effects of medication for spinal pain; he would leave the play to have surgery. Then, in 1983, he and Taylor returned to working together for the Noel Coward theatrical work Private Lives.
Burton's final film was 1984, an adaptation of the George Orwell classic. Burton died on August 5, 1984, at the age of 58, from a brain hemorrhage in his Céligny, Switzerland home. He was survived by Sally Hay Burton, his fourth wife, who has continued to manage the estate. Their daughter, Kate Burton, has become an actress as well.
Several books have chronicled Burton's life, including The Richard Burton Diaries, published in 2012, which collects journal entries and notes kept by the actor throughout the years.
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Hollywood's leading lady Elizabeth Taylor was married eight times—and two of them were to Richard Burton. The two fell in love on the set of the 1963 film Cleopatra, and though both were married at the time, by March 1964 they divorced their previous spouses and married each other. Their turbulent relationship kept them in the papers, and they divorced in 1974 and remarried in 1975, only to split again a year later.
Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton 2 people in this group
Famous Welsh People 16 people in this group
Marriage takes a lot of work—especially when you're two stars merging egos and assets, as well as your lives. For these particular famous couples, their fickle feelings and big personalities led to love, marriage, divorce, and then remarriage, all within a few short years.
Married Divorced Remarried 11 people in this group