Richard Burton Biography

Birthday: 1925-11-10
Place of Birth: Pontrhydyfen, Wales
Height: 5' 10" (1.78 m)
Wiki Biography: Probably more frequently remembered for his turbulent personal life and multiple marriages, Richard Burton was nonetheless one of the great British actors of the post-WWII period. The young Richard Jenkins was the son of a Welsh coal miner, and he received a scholarship to Oxford University to study acting and made his first stage appearance in the early 1940s. His first film appearances were in non-descript movies such as Women of Dolwyn (1949), Waterfront Women (1950) and Green Grow the Rushes (1951). Then he started to get noticed by producers and audiences with his lead in My Cousin Rachel (1952), The Robe (1953) and Alexander the Great (1956), added to this he was also spending considerable time in stage productions, both in the UK and USA, often to splendid reviews. The late 1950s was an exciting and inventive time in UK cinema, often referred to as the "British New Wave", and Burton was right in the thick of things, and showcased a sensational performance in Look Back in Anger (1959). He also appeared with a cavalcade of international stars in the WW2 magnum opus The Longest Day (1962), and then onto arguably his most "notorious" role as that of "Marc Antony" opposite Elizabeth Taylor in the hugely expensive Cleopatra (1963). This was, of course, the film that kick-started their fiery and passionate romance (plus two marriages), and the two of them appeared in several productions over the next few years including The V.I.P.s (1963), The Sandpiper (1965), the dynamic Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966) and The Taming of the Shrew (1967). However, Burton was often better when he was off on his own giving higher caliber performances, such as those in Becket (1964), the brilliant thriller The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1965) and alongside Clint Eastwood in the actioner Where Eagles Dare (1968). His audience appeal began to decline somewhat during the early 1970s as fans turned to younger, more virile male stars, however Burton was superb in Anne of the Thousand Days (1969), he put on a reasonable show in Raid on Rommel (1971), was over the top in Bluebeard (1972), and wildly miscast in the ludicrous The Assassination of Trotsky (1972). By 1975, quality male lead roles were definitely going to other stars, and Burton found himself appearing in some movies of dubious quality, just to pay the bills, including Klansman (1974), Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977) and The Medusa Touch (1978). However in 1978, he appeared with fellow UK acting icons Richard Harris and Roger Moore in The Wild Geese (1978) about mercenaries in South Africa, and whilst the film had a modest initial run, over the past twenty five years it has picked up quite a cult following! His two last great performances were as the sinister "O'Brien" in 1984 (1984), and in the TV mini series "Ellis Island" (1984). He passed away on August 5th, 1984 in Celigny, Switzerland from a cerebral hemorrhage. Burton was an avid fan of Shakespeare, poetry and reading, having once said "home is where the books are".

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Movies Title Appeared As Year Genre
The Robe Marcellus Gallio 1953
The Desert Rats 1953 Romance, 0
My Cousin Rachel Philip Ashley 1954 Mystery, Romance, Drama
The Rains of Ranchipur Dr.Safti 1955
Prince of Players 1955 Drama
Alexander the Great Alexander 1956 0, 0, 0, Biography
Look Back in Anger Jimmy Porter 1959 Drama
The Longest Day 1962 0, Romance, 0
Cleopatra Mark Antony 1963 Drama, History
The Night of the Iguana Rev. Dr. T. Lawrence Shannon 1964 0
Becket Thomas Becket 1964 Drama, History
The Spy Who Came in from the Cold Alec Leamas 1965 0
The Sandpiper 1965 Drama
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? George 1966 0
The Taming of the Shrew Petruchio 1967 0, Biography
The Comedians 1967
Where Eagles Dare 1968 0, 0, 0
Staircase 1969 Comedy, Drama
Anne of the Thousand Days King Henry VIII 1969 Drama, History
Villain Vic Dakin 1971
The Assassination of Trotsky Leon Trotsky 1972 Drama, History
The Klansman Breck Stancill 1974
Equus Martin Dysart 1977
Exorcist II: The Heretic Father Philip Lamont 1977 Horror, Mystery, Thriller
The Medusa Touch John Morlar 1978 Game Show, Sport
Circle of Two 1980
Nineteen Eighty-Four O'Brien 1984 Drama, Romance
Absolution Father Goddard 2015 Game Show, 0