And God Created Burton The Biography of Richard Burton

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2018-02-07
  • Publisher: The Myrtle Press

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And God Created Burton is the first complete biography of the man who many people regard as the greatest Welshman ever to have lived. He is the actor who conquered Hollywood like no other British actor, before or since.

His story is a sweeping family saga that started in the coalmines of South Wales, graduated to the provincial theatres of Wales to the grand theatres of London and finally Broadway and culminating in international stardom on the film sets of Hollywood. It is the tale of a man who lived every day as if it was his last.

The biography starts in with the birth of his parents and ends with his own death in 1984 at the early age of 58. It examines every detail and every facet of Burton's life. It details how one extraordinary man had three fathers, three mothers, seven brothers, six sisters and four wives, and how he loved them all. And how that same man earned US$75 million from the his 33-year career, the equivalent of US$1.5 billion in today's money, making him the highest-paid British born actor in Hollywood history.

His achievements were considered all the greater as they were accomplished in the era of such great British actors as Laurence Olivier and John Gielgud as well as great American stars such as Humphrey Bogart, Clark Gable and Cary Grant.

Burton's achievement was even more pronounced as his prowess uniquely spanned theatre, fi lm and television unlike any other actor before him. In the end, he became a genuine legend in his own lifetime and in the mid-sixties, for one year, he stood at the very pinnacle of Hollywood as the world's most bankable actor. He also loved and lost some the most beautiful and talented actresses of the era, including Elizabeth Taylor, Claire Bloom and Susan Strasberg. But he could have achieved even more if it had not been for his addiction to alcohol, a fate inherited from his father and which stayed with him right to the end of his days, eventually killing him and tarnishing an otherwise extraordinary career.

Author Biography

And God Created Burton is Tom Rubython's first biography of an actor. He wanted to make sure that he wrote a complete biography that covered every facet of the actor's life as well as all of his music. Rubython is a former magazine and newspaper editor spanning the worlds of sport and business. For over 30 years he worked in business magazines editing, amongst others, BusinessAge, EuroBusiness and Spectator Business. Then he moved to sport, editing F1 Magazine, BusinessF1 and SportsPro before becoming a full-time biography writer. He wrote his first book in 1995, and there have been more than 20 since. He is best known for his motor racing biographies including Life of Senna, which has sold more than 250,000 copies across the world, and Shunt, the story of James Hunt, which has sold more than 70,000 copies. More recently, he also wrote White Music, the story of the life of Barry White, and Boy Plunger, the biography of legendary share trader Jesse Livermore.

Rubython specialises in non-fiction storytelling and is passionate and methodical about the process of writing and researching the definitive biography. He starts with a determination to tell the full story of a person's life, emphasising what is important and de-emphasising what is not, the two skills he believes are the crucial tools of any biographer.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Death – the inevitable outcome – 1984

Chapter 2 Perfect mother, imperfect father – 1899 to 1924

Chapter 3 One birth, one death – 1925 to 1927

Chapter 4 My sister, my mother – 1927 to 1931

Chapter 5 Less than perfect schooldays – 1931

Chapter 6 The fateful meeting as two paths cross – 1943

Chapter 7 A triumphant return to school and on to Oxford – 1942 to 1944

Chapter 8 Navigating the RAF – 1944 to 1947

Chapter 9 Metamorphosis – boy to young actor – 1948

Chapter 10 Wedding No. 1 to Sybil – suddenly a wife – 1949

Chapter 11 Making it as an actor 1947 – 1951

Chapter 12 Family Life with Sybil

Chapter 13 Identical lovers – Claire Bloom and Susan Strasberg

Chapter 14 The summer of '51 – conquering Stratford – 1951

Chapter 15 Sudden transition to Hollywood star – 1951

Chapter 16 Oscar nomination is the catapult to fame – 1952

Chapter 17 Established as Britain's highest paid actor – 1952 to 1962

Chapter 18 Switzerland and tax exile – 1956

Chapter 19 Recreating Camelot for Broadway – 1960

Chapter 20 Cleopatra changes everyone's life – 1961

Chapter 21 The end of Sybil – 1962

Chapter 22 ‘Hamlet' on Broadway – Rescued from mediocrity – 1964

Chapter 23 Wedding No. 2 to Elizabeth Taylor – 1964

Chapter 24 The Dick and Liz Show – 1965

Chapter 25 Hollywood superstar – 1963 to 1973

Chapter 26 Alcohol takes hold – the long descent into oblivion – 1967

Chapter 27 Fabulous wealth, terrible tragedy – 1968

Chapter 28 The Turkey shoot – 1971 to 1974

Chapter 29 Schism with Liz and divorce No. 2 – 1974

Chapter 30 Briefly a single man again – 1974 to 1975

Chapter 31 Remarriage: Wedding No. 3 to Liz Taylor – 1975

Chapter 32 Blinding flash of reality – Suzy arrives in the snow – 1976

Chapter 33 Financial ruin – Liz takes the lot – 1976

Chapter 34 Springtime in New York – Suzy takes her bow – 1976

Chapter 35 Burton buys a new wife from a racing driver – 1976

Chapter 36 Wedding No. 4 – this is now Dick and Suzy – 1976

Chapter 37 Life with Suzy

Chapter 38 Millions beckon for ‘The Wild Geese' – 1978

Chapter 39 Medical catastrophe as the alcohol extracts its price – 1981

Chapter 40 Divorce No. 4 from Suzy – 1981

Chapter 41 Sally's arrival sparks a personal revival – 1982

Chapter 42 Wedding No. 5 to Sally – The final recount – 1983

Chapter 43 The final performance – With Kate on Ellis island – 1984

Chapter 44 The final curtain – a premature goodbye – 1984

Chapter 45 Life after Richard – 1984 to 2011

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