Wales

Richard Burton Hollywood Walk of Fame star unveiling

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Media captionIt also marks the 50th anniversary of the film Cleopatra, in which the pair starred and fell in love.

Richard Burton's star will be unveiled later on St David's Day on the Hollywood Walk of Fame next to that of his former wife Elizabeth Taylor.

Members of his family and fellow Welsh actor Michael Sheen will attend the ceremony on Hollywood Boulevard on Wales' national day.

It coincides with the 50th anniversary of the Burton-Taylor film Cleopatra.

The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama is attending the event following a campaign to honour Burton in the US.

Speaking from Los Angeles, college development director Lucy Stout said the event ties in with a visit to promote Wales' creative industries with the Welsh government.

"For a number of years we have been trying to get this done," she said referring to Burton's star.

"It starts from the talent you have in Richard Burton but we know that Welsh talent has continued after him.

"For the college it will be all about promoting the fact we are training and nurturing the rising generation of performers, designers, technical and managers."

Image caption Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor on the set of Cleopatra

She said it was the support of 20th Century Fox that has finally led to the star being unveiled, coinciding with its re-release of Cleopatra, the film in which Burton and Taylor met, to marks its 50th anniversary.

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Media captionRichard Burton's star will be placed next to the star of his former wife Elizabeth Taylor

Burton's daughters Kate and Maria will help unveil the 2,491st star at 6336 Hollywood Boulevard in the category of motion pictures.

Other Welsh celebrities already honoured are actors Ray Milland and Sir Anthony Hopkins, along with singer Sir Tom Jones.

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.

Image caption Burton and Taylor went on to become one of the world's most famous couples

Burton from the village of Pontrhydyfen, near Port Talbot, 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.

Ana Martinez, producer of the Hollywood walk of fame ceremonies, said Burton was an icon in the US as well as Wales, where the Western Mail newspaper led the campaign to get his star on the Walk of Fame from 2011.

She said it had taken years to unveil Burton's star as people had been slow to nominate him, although she conceded that the process is lengthy.

Someone other than the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce has to fund the star and pay for the ceremony, costing $30,000 (£19,700).

Te event is due to be streamed live on walkoffame.com from 19:30 GMT on Friday.

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