Richard Burton and his acting career feature prominently in Melvyn Bragg's
Book: RICH .. it takes the reader through the great man's
amazing career ... he was an astonishing talent in the line of
work he had chosen.
He was raised in Wales and his background floods his artistic
life ... from his work in the theatre stretching across to all
the other forms of entertainment.
I suppose Melvyn Bragg makes a great point on the subject
of Richard Burton's private life ... his marriages and his
addiction to drink feature strongly in this book on Burton's
Alcoholism played a desperate role in his artistic life ... but
Bragg does not say that it was caused by his artistic endeavours
or that it is due in part to his poor Welsh background.
His marriage to Elizabeth Taylor obviously turned him around
and he became like Taylor still is, a world legend in
acting and performance. There is a magical journey Melvyn
Bragg takes the reader on into the archives of Burton's
There are lovely stories about the actor's obsession with
money and how in those days he was offered meagre
sums of money for work such as ¤20 : or ¢500 a year.
I suppose in poor society it was indeed a princely sum
but compared to the big salaries he commanded in
Hollywood it was like the "dole" or what we these days
refer to as "Social Security".
He lived very well, and his first wife and he had a daughter
whom Burton loved enormously
His accent was largely covered by his chosen acting role but
Bragg makes a point of discussing that in the 1960s
Provincial accents had now received an acceptance in British
Society. It takes me to another point that in teaching
the Posh Accent is still preferred even today as I
speak ... in February 2007, but then that is teaching
I guess, not acting.
Richard Burton worked throughout his life with
poems, plays, in schools, radio for £10, £17 and £20 and one
of his well known plays is known as "The Boy with the Cart"
by Christopher Fry,... Burton appeared in this play and he
was highly acclaimed as a great success in acting.
Happy reading ... keep on reading ....