Liz Taylor and Richard Burton’s explosive sex and booze-fuelled rage as marriage turned toxic

Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton were Hollywood's golden couple but their marriage was fuelled by sex and booze. This week marks 46 years since their first divorce in June 1974, which was followed by a second in 1976

Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton were the most famous couple in the world after meeting on the set of Holywood epic Cleopatra and embarking on an illicit affair that captured the world’s imagination.

Liz was still married to husband number four, Eddie Fisher, when she began her passionate romance with co-star Burton, who was still married to his first wife Sybil Williams.

All eyes were on the sultry star, who had become the first woman in the world to earn $1million to play the lusty Egyptian queen opposite Burton as Mark Antony.

Their romance is believed to have started while they were filming the movie in Italy in 1962 when she was 26 and Welsh rogue Burton was 36.

They found the world’s press clamouring for a picture of them together – which they got when the pair were spotted enjoying a romantic trip on a yacht together.

Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor on the set of 1963 epic Cleopatra ( Image: Getty Images)Elizabeth Taylor’s theatre role was a bid to lure Richard Burton into third marriage

The affair caused a furore with their lusty antics even being condemned by the Vatican, with the pair being taken to task for their “erotic vagrancy”.

After filming wrapped, both Taylor and Burton got divorced – and they tied the knot in Canada in 1964 just nine days after her marriage to Fisher was officially ended.

At first, the Hollywood romance looked every inch the perfect marriage.

The pair lived a jetset lifestyle, swanning around the world and Burton lavishing his wife with diamonds, furs and designer clothes.

They also tied their personal and professional lives together by taking on more movie projects together as Liz and Dick became a valuable commodity in Hollywood.

Elizabeth played the Egyptian queen with Richard as Mark Antony ( Image: Getty)

However, behind closed doors there was a darker side to the picture-perfect romance.

Burton’s private diaries, which were published in 2012, revealed that by 1969 the marriage was fuelled by passionate sex, explosive rows, petty jealousy and worrying amounts of booze.

The writings revealed that both Burton and Taylor consumed excessive amounts of alcohol, which led them to more and more explosive confrontations.

His entry for January 1969, published in The Richard Burton Diaries, read: “For the last month, with very few exceptions, Elizabeth has gone to bed not merely sozzled or tipsy but stoned.

Elizabeth Taylor wearing a £127,000 ring which was a gift from her husband ( Image: Mirrorpix)

British film stars Elizabeth Taylor (1932 - 2011) and Richard Burton (1925 - 1984) at their first wedding.

Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton at their first wedding ( Image: Getty)

“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.”

His diary boasted of his wife’s ageless beauty, commenting on her breasts that “sag very slightly but no more than they did ten years ago” and adding: “Her bottom is firm and round.”

In May of that year, he wrote of their insatiable sex life, describing his wife as “an eternal one-night stand.”

He added: “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.

Elizabeth Taylor And Richard Burton

Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton on a movie set in 1965 ( Image: Rex)

Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton

They were the most famous couple in Hollywood ( Image: Getty)

“Well, I’ll tell you: E is a receiver, a perpetual returner of the ball!”

Burton went on to detail one of their fiery rows, claiming the argument turned violent with Taylor “smashing me around the head with her ringed fingers”.

He added: “If any man had done that, I’d have killed him. I still boil with fury when I think about it.”

The actor said the explosive rows has gone on for 15 months as the pair became more reliant on booze.

By 1972, both Burton and Taylor were said to have have had numerous affairs and they ended their marriage in June 1974.

However, the divorce didn’t last long – the pair couldn’t stay away from each other.

The pair in 1964 in the early years of their relationship ( Image: SNAP / Rex Features)

The separation went on for less than a year before they reconciled and they married for a second time in Botswana in 1975.

Burton later said of the second marriage: “She wanted to get married again. I didn’t.

“But I married her again all the same. What Liz wants, she gets… I’d actually stopped drinking by then, so I should have been sober enough to know what I was doing, but I didn’t.”

However, the second marriage once again descended into outrageous fights and drunken rages after Burton started hitting the bottle again.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button