Richard Burton: Prince of Players

Richard Burton: Prince of Players

Michael Munn

Language: English

Pages: 260

ISBN: 1602393559

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


From the depths of a small mining village in Wales to a star of Hollywood's silver screen, Richard Burton broke every rule in his quest for the American Dream. Burton made sure that he sipped the cup of life at its fullest. Twice married to Elizabeth Taylor, he is now revealed to have been one of Marilyn Monroe's secret lovers. The details of these licit and illicit relationships with Hollywood's most iconic stars will titillate and shock both newcomers to Burton's story and those already familiar with his fame. Munn's biography covers everything from Burton's early days on the London stage, to his star performance in Broadway's Camelot, to his wild nights in Hollywood with the likes of Errol Flynn, Peter O'Toole, and Frank Sinatra. Burton was known for his charisma, his explosive temper, his excessive carousing, and, above all, his stunning command of stage and screen. This first-ever look at the real Richard Burton is a must-read for any follower of film, history, and the rise of celebrity in America.

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shame it had to be done by transatlantic telephone. It was also a personal shame for me because the editor took my name off the published piece as he tended to do often, and edited to make it seem like Burton was being interviewed actually on the set–so here it is, in full, under my own name. Richard said to me, ‘Okay, Mick, let’s play the game. You ask me the questions and I’ll try and give a straight answer. I’d like this film to be a success so I won’t give you any of the usual interview

drinking and wenching, so in a way Philip did manage to curb some of young Richard’s habits. In August 1943 an advertisement appeared in the local paper: the Welsh writer and actor Emlyn Williams was seeking Welsh actors, including a boy, for a new play, The Druid’s Rest, to be produced in London by H.M. Tennent Ltd, run by the legendary Hugh ‘Binkie’ Beaumont. Philip put Richard’s name forward, and Rich was duly given an audition in Cardiff. Philip went with him and, among scores of other

played a Roman girl jilted by Burton. I met Dawn in 1974 when I was running the stills department for both Warner Bros. and Columbia and she came looking for photographs from a film she was in. She took me to lunch and naturally I brought up the subject of The Robe and Richard Burton; she told me, ‘I was in my early twenties and still new in films, and Rich swept me off my feet and into bed.’ The Robe was a huge success when released in 1953, probably because of the novelty of being the first

greatest love. But it was a love that was wasted because he wasn’t leaving Sybil for her. It took Elizabeth Taylor to make him do that. I guess Elizabeth Taylor is like no other woman. Claire wasn’t the right kind of woman to make Burton leave his wife. And I think it was during the making of Alexander that she finally realised that. They decided to call it a day.’ Well, it wasn’t quite that cut and dried. Rich told me that he said his final goodbye to Claire but then find himself compelled to

despite the disparaging remarks he tended to make in interviews about films, he really wanted to see if he could be a fine screen actor. He told me, ‘I wanted to be good in movies. I honest to God did. I did those films with the same attitude I did Shakespeare. But it didn’t work for me. I can blame the directors, the screenwriters, the studio for putting me into films that were basically shit. But I tried to rise above the material; some good film actors can. I didn’t.’ Still, he had made good

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