Richard Burton’s secret diaries reveal raw passion for Liz Taylor
London: Legendary actor Richard Burton’s secret diaries paints a more intimate, gentle and thoughtful picture of his love for Elizabeth Taylor - their life together and their two stormy marriages.
The diaries cover his life from the age of 14 until just before his death in 1984 at the age of 58.
He describes Taylor as a “wildly exciting lover-mistress” who was “beautiful beyond the dreams of pornography.”
The 450,000 handwritten words are recorded in pocket books, desk diaries and on loose paper, the Daily Express reported.
Burton, who was married five times and had four children, kept his diaries religiously.
His never-before-seen thoughts and reflections tell of “watching his weight, watching his drinking, or watching other men watch his Elizabeth.”
At other times he boasts of his achievements and talks of his unfulfilled potential.
Burton was born the 12th of 13 children into a Welsh mining family.
He met Taylor on the set of the film Cleopatra in 1963. The attraction was instan¬taneous and they launched into a whirlwind romance, marrying a year later.
They divorced in 1974 but wed again just a year later. That marriage only lasted a year.
Entries from November 1968 read: “I have been inordinately lucky all my life but the greatest luck of all has been Elizabeth.
“She has turned me into a model man but not a prig, she is a wildly exciting lover-mistress, she is shy and witty, she is nobody’s fool. She is a brilliant actress, she is beautiful beyond the dreams of pornography, she can be arrogant and willful, she is clement and loving.
“She is Sunday’s child, she can tolerate my impossibilities and my drunkenness, she is an ache in the stomach when I am away from her and she loves me. She is the prospectus that can never be entirely catalogued, an almanac for poor Richard. And I shall love her forever,” he wrote.
Even after the pair’s second divorce the passion lived on. Burton, who compared marriage to Taylor with living on the edge of a volcano, wrote to her: “I love you, lovely woman. If anybody hurts you just send me a line saying something like ‘Need’ or ‘Necessary’ or just the one magic word ‘Elizabeth’ and I will be there faster than sound. You must know how much I love you. You must know of course how badly I treat you. But the fundamental and most vicious, swinish, murderous and unchangeable fact is that we totally misunderstand each other.”
It is said that one of Burton’s last acts was to write to Taylor, who died last year aged 79. The contents have never been revealed but she hinted he sought a reconciliation.
The diaries, given to Swansea University by Burton’s last wife Sally and edited by Professor Chris Williams, are to published later this year.