Richard Burton star unveiled on Hollywood Walk of Fame
A star honouring actor Richard Burton has been unveiled on the Hollywood Walk of Fame next to one for Elizabeth Taylor, whom he married twice.
The couple’s adopted daughter Maria and Welsh actor Michael Sheen attended the ceremony on Hollywood Boulevard on St David’s Day.
Burton, who died in 1984, aged 58, starred alongside Taylor in 11 films.
The unveiling was also timed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the couple’s film Cleopatra.
Burton, the Oxford-educated son of a miner, was a distinguished Shakespearean actor when he met Taylor on the set of the historical epic.
They went on to become one of the world’s most famous couples, both on and off camera, and starred together in films, including The Taming Of The Shrew and Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?
Their first 10-year marriage ended in divorce in 1974. They married again the following year in Botswana, but it lasted only until the following summer. Burton was married five times in all.
Born Richard Jenkins, Burton grew up in the village of Pontrhydyfen, near Port Talbot. He died from a cerebral haemorrhage, as his father had done before him.
The unveiling of the star – the 2,491st pavement plaque installed on the Walk of Fame – comes after the Western Mail newspaper started a campaign for Burton to be recognised.
Speaking at the unveiling, Sheen recalled the awe he felt when Burton and Taylor visited the village where he grew up.
“The same beach that I built my boyhood sand castles and learned to flailingly swim, it was that same beach, that one legendary day, Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor descended from the heavens, like gods from Olympus, in a helicopter … and landed on those sands,” Sheen said.
“They stepped out swathed in luxurious fur coats – it was the ’70s – and walked among us for too short a time.”