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Richard Burton

Male 1925 - 1984  (58 years)    Has one ancestor and 3 descendants in this family tree.

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  • Name Richard Burton 
    Birth 19 Nov 1925  Pontrhydyfen, South Wales, Wales Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Prominent People Great Britain Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Death 5 Aug 1984  Genève, Confoederatio Helvetica Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Siblings 1 Sibling 
    Person ID I372330  Geneagraphie
    Last Modified 29 Mar 2002 

    Father Dic Bach Jenkins   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Family ID F147551  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 1 Sybil Williams 
    Marriage 1948 
    Divorce 1963 
     1. Kate Burton
    Family ID F147548  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart
    Last Modified 29 Mar 2002 

    Family 2 Living 
    +1. Living
    Family ID F147445  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart
    Last Modified 30 Mar 2002 

    Family 3 Living 
    Family ID F148669  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart
    Last Modified 26 Apr 2002 

    Family 4 Living 
    Family ID F147547  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart
    Last Modified 29 Mar 2002 

    Family 5 Susan Hunt 
    Marriage 1976 
    Divorce 1982 
    Family ID F147549  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart
    Last Modified 29 Mar 2002 

    Family 6 Sally Hay   d. Aft 1984 
    Marriage Aft 1982 
    Family ID F147550  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart
    Last Modified 29 Mar 2002 

  • Event Map Click to hide
    Link to Google MapsProminent People - actor - - Great Britain Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDeath - 5 Aug 1984 - Genève, Confoederatio Helvetica Link to Google Earth
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    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : City/Town       : County/Shire       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set

  • Photos Photos (Log in)Photos (Log in)

  • Notes 
    • Through much of his early career Richard Burton was dogged by the label "promising actor." Several brilliant performances, particularly in British stage productions of Shakespeare, seemed to confirm that promise. But during most of the rest of his life, critics complained the promise went unfulfilled. One thing everyone agreed on, however, was the extraordinary quality of his voice.
      Burton was a miner's son and the 12th of 13 children. In secondary school he came under the influence of teacher Phillip Burton, who helped the young man lose his Welsh accent and get into Oxford at age 16. Burton also made his stage debut at this time in Emlyn Williams's Druid's Rest (1943), taking on the surname of his mentor. With his performance in Christopher Fry's play The Lady's Not for Burning (1949), Burton had his big breakthrough. A series of minor films followed, of which the first, THE LAST DAYS OF DOLWYN (1949), written and directed by Emlyn Williams, was the best.
      Burton made his film breakthrough in 1952 with the Hollywood production, MY COUSIN RACHEL. A financial and critical success, it earned him his first of seven Oscar nominations (though Burton never won an Academy Award). His screen career continued to build with THE DESERT RATS (1953) and THE ROBE (1953), the first Cinemascope feature. The films that followed were not successful, although many feel his performance as the seething Jimmy Porter in John Osborne's LOOK BACK IN ANGER (1958) was one of Burton's best.
      Burton's career revived in 1960 with a triumphant return to the stage as King Arthur in the Lerner & Loewe Broadway hit, Camelot. While the musical was still running, he made the fateful decision to play Mark Antony in 20th Century-Fox's spectacular production of CLEOPATRA (1963). The film launched him to international stardom, as well as marking the beginning of his tempestuous, highly publicized relationship with costar Elizabeth Taylor.
      Unfortunately, the off-screen chemistry between the two rarely showed up in the films they made together. With the exception of WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF? (1966) and THE TAMING OF THE SHREW (1967), these tended to range from the lackluster (DR. FAUSTUS, 1968, THE COMEDIANS, 1967) to the downright soapy (THE SANDPIPER, 1965, BOOM!, 1968). Burton appeared in three fine films without Taylor during this decade—BECKET (1964), THE NIGHT OF THE IGUANA (1964) and THE SPY WHO CAME IN FROM THE COLD (1965)—as well as making American theatrical history in 1964 by playing the longest consecutive run of Hamlet.
      When Burton's film career hit another low ebb, he returned to Broadway in 1976 to take over the role of Dr. Dysart in Equus. The 1977 screen version garnered him another Oscar nomination but was not a box-office hit. He never did a much-awaited production of King Lear but toured a revival of Camelot in 1980 and 1981. With Taylor, he appeared in a 1983 stage production of Private Lives which was soundly trounced by the critics. His last film role was as O'Brien in a remake of George Orwell's 1984 (1984).
      When Burton died he left four ex-wives and the legend of a great talent wasted. It was, however, a life fully lived and not without its share of real triumphs. Daughter Kate Burton is a respected stage actress.

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