Burton was born Richard Jenkins in South Wales in 1925, the twelfth of thirteen children of a coal miner. and died in 1984 as a result of heavy drinking and smoking. He was one of the first working-class actors to become a film star in the 1950's, ahead of the New Wave generation that included Alan Bates, Albert Finney and Tom Courtenay. His voice is unique, a rich mix of the South Wales valleys and Shakesperian bombast, as heard here reading Under Milk Wood by Dylan Thomas.
This is Burton on a US chat show in 1980 recalling his South Wales mining background: