Richard Burton

Dame Elizabeth Taylor: Actress whose life and career made her the last

Since the late 1960s the nebulous concept of stardom has been subjected to a systematic inflation of values. In a routine television series, for instance, the status of some obscurely minor supporting performer is frequently aggrandised into that of "guest star"; many of the freakish menagerie of hangers-on who peopled Andy Warhol's Factory-produced psychodramas complacently styled themselves "superstars"; and Barry Humphries' alter ego, the redoubtable Edna Everage, has risen almost imperceptibly from the humble rank of "housewife" to that of "megastar".

Richard Burton: In from the cold

Richard Burton wasn't just another over-hyped hellraiser with a tawdry love life and a legacy of lousy movies. Look again at the star who brought beauty to the screen, says Geoffrey Macnab