They are reproduced in their near entirety for the first time in a new collection, The Richard Burton Diaries.At more than 700 pages and spanning the years 1939 to 1983, the musings include not just innocuous details of an actor’s daily regimen (though there are a fair share of Facebook statuslike entries recalling what he had for lunch), but vivid anecdotes of life as one of Hollywood’s brightest stars and intimate details of its most intriguing marriage.Sex, booze, and gossip: here are the 13 juiciest bits. There’s the opulence, the revolving door of spouses, and swirling rumors of salacious affairs (a juicy new tell-all touts anecdotes of Taylor’s teenage sexual encounter with Ronald Reagan and a threesome with John F. But in Burton’s account, Dick and Liz lived like almost any other Dick and Jane.
Burton’s musings about Taylor, called “E” throughout the diaries, range from very husbandly (“E has bangs.
Can’t make up mind whether like or not.”) to candid (“Woke in foul temper …
then went on to a rip and tear quarrel with no holds barred.
Slept If there’s one through line of the 700 pages and four decades worth of diaries in this new book, it’s how much genuine affection Burton had for Taylor.
“I have been inordinately lucky all my life but the greatest luck of all has been Elizabeth,” he writes.
“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, Dulcis Imperatrix, 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, They loved hard, and fought harder.
For every love letter to Taylor, there’s recollection of a bitter, often drunken fight.
Throughout the relationship, and for two decades before and the decade after, Burton—celluloid icon of films including Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
The couple, who had a total of 11 spouses between them, were married for 12 years, from 1964–1976, with a brief divorce in 1974.