In diaries set to be published this fall, Richard Burton calls Elizabeth Taylor, whom he married twice during a tumultuous love affair that spanned 13 years, "beautiful beyond the dreams of pornography" and his "greatest luck of all."
Details of the passionate love affair between Burton and Elizabeth Taylor will be laid bare when the actor's journals are published in October. Burton details his passion for Taylor, writing in November 1968 of how the actress, then one of the biggest stars in the world, had shaped him as a man.
"I have been inordinately lucky all my life but the greatest luck of all has been Elizabeth," he wrote. "She has turned me into a model man but not a prig, she is a wildly exciting lover-mistress, she is shy and witty, she is nobody's fool.
"She is a brilliant actress, she is beautiful beyond the dreams of pornography, she can be arrogant and willful, she is clement and loving. She is Sunday's child, she can tolerate my impossibilities and my drunkenness, she is an ache in the stomach when I am away from her and she loves me."
The actors, who starred together as Mark Antony and the title character in the classic 1963 film "Cleopatra," and later as a bitter aging couple in the 1966 film adaptation of "Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf?" were married twice, from 1964 to 1974 and then again from 1975 to 1976.
In a 1969 entry into the journals that were left to Sally Hay, whom Burton married in 1983, he writes on Taylor's beauty while hinting at the cracks that were forming in their relationship.
"I awoke this morning at about 7 o'clock. I stared at Elizabeth for a long time. I held her hand and kissed her very gently. Probably no woman sleeps with such childish beauty as my adorable difficult fractious intolerant wife," he wrote.
Burton, who was married five times and had four children, was nominated seven times for an Academy Award, but never won. The Welshman's reputation as a heavy drinker was notorious, as was his status as a womanizer, particularly with his leading ladies.
"The Richard Burton Diaries" pulls from 400,000 words in pocketbooks, desk diaries and loose paper, the BBC reported, all written before Burton died in 1984 at the age of 58. The book, which was edited by Swansea University professor Christopher Williams in Wales, is said to give a comprehensive portrait of the man.
"The words reveal somebody who is reflective and thoughtful and someone who engaged intellectually with the world around him," Williams told Britain's Daily Telegraph. "It's not just the ale-and-women kind of image."