Richard Burton: St David's Day Hollywood Walk of Fame star
- 15 February 2013
- From the section Wales
Richard Burton's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame is to be unveiled on Wales' national day next to Elizabeth Taylor's, the movie legend he married twice.
The Welsh actor's star will be placed on Hollywood Boulevard on 1 March, St David's Day.
It follows a Western Mail campaign and coincides with the 50th anniversary of the Burton-Taylor film Cleopatra.
More than 2,400 entertainers already have a Walk of Fame pavement star.
Other Welsh celebrities already honoured are actors Ray Milland and Sir Anthony Hopkins, along with singer Sir Tom Jones, but until now Burton has been conspicuous by his absence.
Now Burton, from the village of Pontrhydyfen, near Port Talbot, will join them after the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce announced he will receive a posthumous star.
Welsh business academic Prof Dylan Jones-Evans, who has led the campaign on behalf of the Western Mail, said he was delighted.
"We wanted to make it slightly iconic because it is the 50th anniversary of Cleopatra in 2013.
"Also, if Burton was to have his star on Hollywood way every living Welshman and woman would want to see that happen on St David's Day," he said.
Hilary Boulding, principal of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, which has named a theatre in the actor's honour, added: "He was - and remains - one of Wales' most famous sons.
"We're proud to be the home of the Richard Burton Theatre, helping to inspire a new generation of actors."
Anna Martinez, from the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, said she had found the perfect location for the Richard Burton star, next to Elizabeth Taylor.
"They had a long and loving relationship for many years and were married a couple of times, so we thought it was fitting to put them together," she said.
Los Angeles-based reporter Gita Amar said people in America remembered the actor for the film Cleopatra, and his often tempestuous relationship with Taylor.
"He's not known for his portrayal of Winston Churchill, which a lot of people thought was one of his best performances, so it's quite interesting that although he never got the Oscar this is the time he's getting a star on the walk of fame.
"There is currently a nostalgia for the actors of old Hollywood," she added.
Burton, the Oxford-educated son of a miner, was a distinguished Shakespearean actor when he met Taylor, who was already a Hollywood star.
They went on to become one of the world's most famous couples, both on and off camera, and starred together in nine further films, including The Taming Of The Shrew and Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?
Their first 10-year marriage ended in divorce in 1974, and they married again the following year in Botswana, but it lasted only until the following summer. Burton married five times in all.
He was nominated for an Oscar seven times, but failed to win. In August 1984 he died from a cerebral haemorrhage - as his father had done before him.
A BBC film has just been announced looking at the Burton-Taylor relationship through their 1983 stage production together Private Lives, a year before his death.
Dominic West will play Burton, while Helena Bonham-Carter is to portray Taylor, who died in 2011.