The British actor Richard Burton finally received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame next to that of his two-time wife, Elizabeth Taylor, on Friday, nearly 30 years after his death.
Welsh-born Burton, who died in 1984 from a cerebral haemorrhage at age 58, received the career honour as part of the 50th anniversary of the ancient Egypt movie drama Cleopatra, in which he and his co-star Taylor began their storied and tumultuous love affair.
The couple’s adopted daughter, Maria Burton, accepted the honour of the iconic terrazzo and brass star along Hollywood Boulevard.
The actor and fellow Welshman Michael Sheen spoke at the unveiling and recalled the awe he felt when Burton and Taylor, one of Hollywood’s most famous couples, visited the village where Sheen grew up.
“The same beach that I built my boyhood sand castles [on] and learnt to failingly swim – it was that same beach, that one legendary day, Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor descended from the heavens, like gods from Olympus, in a helicopter ... and landed on those sands,” Sheen said. “They stepped out swathed in luxurious fur coats – it was the 1970s – and walked among us for too short a time.”
Burton, whose star is the 2,941st installed, starred in 11 films with Taylor. The two wed for the first time in 1964 and divorced in 1974. They remarried the following year, but that marriage lasted just nine months.
The couple’s love affair during the filming of 1964’s Cleopatra was made into the television movie Liz & Dick, starring Lindsay Lohan, last year.