Monday, 13 August 2012

Going for a Burton

Melvyn Bragg presented a radio programme about Richard Burton on Saturday night based on diaries he was given access to when writing Burton's biography which are about to be published.

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:

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