Richard Burton Eviscerates His Costars From Beyond

Categories: Gossip


Late, great Richard Burton's diary is coming out, and it's filled with lots of admiration for Liz and a whole bunch of scorn for a lot of other people.

About Lucille Ball:

"She is a monster of staggering charmlessness and monumental lack of humour...

"She is a tired old woman...

"Nineteen solid years of double takes and pratfalls and desperate upstaging and cutting out other people's laughs if she can..."

About Genevieve Bujold:

"I think she firmly believes herself to be the legitimate heir to Rachelle and Bernhardt and Duse....

"She has all the power of a gnat. A dying one. I could whisper louder than her screams."

And as for Laurence Olivier

"And Larry, my dear, a lord yet.

"I mean it's absurd. He's practically a dwarf.

"And that vulgar streak in him is shaming. As Othello, I couldn't look at him.

"The audience could, of course, but then audiences are sheep, they believe the critics. Fools."

Ouch. Burton also tosses off witty little digs at everyone from Maria Callas to Joey Heatherton, from Noel Coward to Elliott Gould.

I am suddenly so glad I never worked with Dick!

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exackerly 1 Like

Why did these take so long to get published? He died like 30 years ago. Did they have to wait for everyone he dissed to be dead as well?


Burton's Lucille Ball bitchin' is well-known. It was in Melvyn Bragg's 1988 bio of Burton with BIG chunks from Dick's  diary, including the rather tasteless account of Liz's gushing blood from her "bum" right after the Lucy show.


Anything in there about the famous gents of the British theater who had their way with the young Dickie Bird whilst giving him a boost, as it were, up the ladder?


One bio of a famous screen queen by two veteran Hollywood publicists notes that "for once, there was no gossip" about the sexpot when she co-starred with Burton, saying "she wasn't exactly his type, although certain stories at the time said that anything, as long as it was breathing, was Burton's 'type.' '"



Used2BMelinda9 1 Like

Thanks, Michael! I can't wait to read it - love diaries where the author is bitchy.


Richard played the first "angry young man" in British film in the 1959 film Look Back In Anger. That image always suited him well. 

musto moderator editor

PS: I read a book about Lucy that said she cracked down on Burton to give his lines a little more punch and to be funny, because he was going in a mumbly, serious direction that could have been a comedy killer. But obviously he found her a monster.



 Lucy was mean to Liz in the rehearsals, Liz liked to save up for when the cameras rolled, but Lucy was a tough taskmaster, snapping her fingers under Liz's face as she said her lines asking "Is she speaking??"


 @musto Well, she was notoriously monstrous to Vivian Vance.


by the way,  clint eastwood endorses romney.


 @latenitebump So does Chuck Norris, no doubt. Washed up action stars gotta stick together.


you can see his uncut dick clearly when he comes out of the water in briefs in "Night of the Iguana."

bwaybill 1 Like

You mean Maria Callas and Joey Heatherton are two different people?