Sunday, Lindsay Lohan will star as Taylor and Grant Bowler as Burton in the much-hyped Lifetime biopic "Liz & Dick." For those interested less in a reenactment and more in the actual details of the couple's 13-year liaison, there are Burton's newly-published diaries.
"The Richard Burton Diaries" pulls from 400,000 words in pocket notebooks, desk diaries and on loose paper, all written before Burton died in 1984 at the age of 58. Most of the entries come from the late 1960s and early '70s.
The book, edited by Swansea University professor Christopher Williams in Wales, lays bare the passionate relationship between Taylor and Burton, who first starred together in the classic 1963 film "Cleopatra," and later as a bitter aging couple in the 1966 film adaptation of "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?"
The pair were married twice, from 1964 to 1974 and 1975 to 1976. Both times they divorced. Here are five top revelations from Burton's diaries about their larger-than-life romance in the actor's own words.
|Taylor Could Hit the Bottle Hard|
January 13, 1969: For the last month, with very few exceptions, Elizabeth has gone to bed not merely sozzled or tipsy but stoned. And I mean stoned: unfocused, unable to walk straight, talking in a slow, meaningless baby voice like a demented child. The boredom, unless I'm drunk, too, of being in the presence of someone to whom you have to repeat everything twice is like a physical pain in the stomach. If it was anyone else, I'd head for the hills -- but this woman is my life.
I tried to imagine life without her but couldn't. We're bound together. Hoop-steeled. Whither thou goest. He said hopefully.
|Burton Liked to Take Stock of Liz's, Er, Assets|
March 29, 1969: Looking as critically as I could at E yesterday, I could detect no sign of ageing. The skin is as smooth and youthful and unwrinkled as ever. The breasts, despite their largeness and considerable weight, sag very slightly but no more than they did ten years ago. Her bottom is firm and round. She needs weight off her stomach.
|Their Passion Ran Deep|
May 25, 2012: Elizabeth is an eternal one-night stand. She is my private and personal bought mistress. And lascivious with it. It is impossible to tell you what is consisted in the act of love. Well, I'll tell you: E is a receiver, a perpetual returner of the ball!
|Their Notorious Fights Sometimes Got Physical|
Sept. 9, 1969: Well, I went mad, which ended up with Elizabeth smashing me around the head with her ringed fingers. If any man had done that, I'd have killed him. I still boil with fury when I think about it.
|Taylor Gave as Good as She Got|
Nov. 18, 2012: E gave me a savage mauling, coldly accusing me of virtually every sin under the sun. Drunkenness (true), mendacity (true), being boring (true), infidelity (untrue), killing myself fairly quickly (true), pride, envy, avarice (all true), being ugly (true), having once been handsome (untrue), and any other vice imaginable except homosexuality and being ungenerous.