Richard Burton was born in a small village in South Wales, the son of a coal miner. From these humble beginnings, he rose to the highest pinnacles of fame. In a career spanning just over 30 years, he conquered all the main centres of the theatre and cinema world–the Old Vic in London, Stratford upon Avon, Hollywood and Broadway.
After his performances in the Shakespearian dramas – Henry V and Othello in the mid 1950’s there had never been any doubt, as Kenneth Hurren wrote in The Guardian, “that Burton was potentially the greatest actor of his generation.” His brilliant career was cut short on August 5, 1984, when he died of a cerebral haemorrhage in a Geneva hospital, at a relatively early age of 58.
He died with one cherished ambition unfulfilled. It had been his intention to play King Lear, a major Shakespearian role, in New York.
It had been his intention to play King Lear, a major Shakespearian role, in New York.