Richard Burton was a Twentieth Century stage and film actor
When and Where was he Born?
10th November 1925, Pontrhydfen, Wales.
Richard Burton was the son of a coal miner Richard Walter Jenkins and his wife Edith. He was the twelfth of thirteen children. Christened Richard Walter Jenkins.
Local School. Took stage name in gratitude to favourite teacher Phillip Burton. Oxford University. (Burton wanted to adopt him but a full adoption was not legally possible so he changed his name instead). Exeter College, Oxford with the R.A.F.
Chronology/Biography of Richard Burton:
1939: Beginning of the Second World War.
1943: Becomes a cadet in the Royal Air Force aged eighteen.
1944: Leaves University as one of twelve prize winning cadets and becomes a navigator. Prevented from becoming a pilot due to poor eyesight.
1948: Film Debut in “The Last Days of Dolwyn”.
1951: Had a triumphant season at the Royal Shakesperare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon.
1952: Richard Burton nominated for Best supporting Actor at the Oscars in “My Cousin Rachel” in his first Hollywood film.
1953: Nominated for Best actor in “The Robe”.
1954: Was the narrator in Dylan Thomas’s radio play “Under Milk Wood”.
1963: Appeared in “Cleopatra” alongside Elizabeth Taylor. The two fell in love and eventually married (twice).
1964: Nominated for Best actor in “Becket”.
Burton filmed Becket in and around Bamburgh Castle in Northumberland.
1965: Richard Burton nominated for Best actor in “The Spy Who Came in From the Cold”.
1966: Nominated for Best actor in “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”
1969: John Wayne came to see him and offered him the Oscar he had won for “True Grit” saying that Burton deserved it more than he. Appeared in “Where Eagles Dare”.
1970: nominated for Best actor in “Anne of a Thousand Days”.
1977: Nominated for Best actor in “Equus”. Although he was nominated for seven Oscars he never a actually won one, some say because the Academy disapproved of his life style.
1983: Richard Burton went to live in Switzerland with his new wife Sally.
1. Sybil Williams 1948-63 (Divorced)
2 and 3. Elizabeth Taylor 15th March 1964- 1974 (Divorced) and 10th October 1975 – 1st August 1976 (Divorced)
4. Sally Hay 1983 till his death.
When and Where did he Die?
5th August 1984, Geneva, Switzerland of a brain hemorrhage.
Age at Death:
Site of Grave:
Protestant Cemetery, Celigny, Switzerland.
Plays and films Performed in:
1944: London stage debut in “Druid’s Rest.”
1950: New York stage debut in “The Lady’s not for Burning.”
1952: “My Cousin Rachel”. (Film).
1954: Hamlet at the Old Vic Theatre, London.
1960: King Arthur in the Broadway Musical “Camelot”
1962: “Cleopatra”. (Film).
1964: “Becket”. “The Night of the Iguana”.
1965: “The Spy Who Came in from the Cold”.
1966: “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”
1969: “Where Eagle’s Dare”
Places of Interest:
The National Film Theatre.
Filmed “Becket” at Bamburgh Castle.