Richard Burton given a star next to Liz Taylor on Hollywood Walk Of Fame

 

Screen star Richard Burton is to be given a posthumous place on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame almost three decades after his death - next to Elizabeth Taylor, the movie siren he married twice.

The Welsh actor will be given the accolade on March 1 - St David's Day - in a ceremony which will be part of celebrations to commemorate the 50th anniversary of movie epic Cleopatra, in which the two stars shared a screen for the first time.

Burton's star on the Walk Of Fame in Los Angeles was confirmed today by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. It follows a campaign by the Western Mail, the national newspaper of Wales, led by Welsh business academic Professor Dylan Jones-Evans to secure recognition for the film great.

The relationship between Taylor and Burton began as they worked on Cleopatra, by which point Oxford-educated, coal miner's son Burton was best known as a distinguished Shakespearean stage actor.

They went on to become one of the world's most celebrated couples, starring together in nine further films, including The Taming Of The Shrew and Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?.

Their first ten-year marriage ended in divorce in 1974, but they tied the knot once more the following year in Botswana but it lasted only until the following summer.

A BBC film was announced this week looking at their relationship through their 1983 stage production together Private Lives, just a year before Burton's death. Dominic West will play Burton, while Helena Bonham-Carter is to portray Taylor, who died in 2011.

Prof Jones-Evans said: "I am also sure all the people of Wales will be thrilled that he is receiving this accolade on the most special day for the Welsh nation, St David's Day.

"This public recognition for Richard Burton's body of work will not only help raise the profile of Wales internationally, but will also help to raise funds to provide scholarships in the legendary actor's name to support young Welsh talent at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama."

The college's principal Hilary Boulding said: "He was - and remains - one of Wales's most famous sons. We're proud to be the home of the Richard Burton Theatre, helping to inspire a new generation of actors."

The anniversary of the film will also be marked with its release on Blu-ray disc for the first time later this year.

PA

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