‘Wildly exciting’ Taylor turned Burton ‘into a model man’

Legendary actor Richard Burton’s secret diaries paint 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.

Burton, who was married five times and had four children, kept his diaries religiously.

Burton met Taylor on the set of the film Cleopatra in 1963. They married a year later. They divorced in 1974 but wed again just a year later. That marriage only lasted a year.

Entries from Nov 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.”

The diaries are to published later this year.


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