Furious Love: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, and the Marriage of the Century

Furious Love: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, and the Marriage of the Century

Sam Kashner

Language: English

Pages: 544

ISBN: 0061562858

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


From veteran entertainment reporter Sam Kashner and biographer Nancy Schoenberger comes the definitive account of the greatest Hollywood love story ever told—the romance of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. Kashner has interviewed Elizabeth Taylor numerous times and is the only journalist given access to her extensive collection of personal letters and journals, and he and Schoenberger have also interviewed the Burton family at length, including Burton’s actress daughter Kate. This is truly an authorized and singularly informed biography of these two larger-than-life stars, and of their glamorous, volatile, and audacious relationship.

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party, Elizabeth and Richard sat with the grown-ups—director George Cukor, the Gregory Pecks, and the Otis Chandlers, who owned the Los Angeles Times. Since he couldn’t wash away his disappointment with a stiff drink, Richard turned to Elizabeth and asked her for some of her “pink pills,” the Seconals she often took for back pain, which he tossed back at dinner. It seemed to do the trick, getting him through the toughest part of the evening. (Richard later wrote, “They certainly eased the

was touched by his stepson’s odd tribute of following in his footsteps—in reverse!—he didn’t show it. Instead, it angered him. “I made it up and the boy’s trying to make it down,” he said, utterly bewildered. “I try not to interfere, but I still get goddamned mad. When I think what it took to climb out!” Burton was hard on Michael, feeling that he didn’t quite realize what a gifted actress his mother was, that her success was based only on her beauty. To add to his crankiness, Burton, at

been a reprise of their Hamlet tour, with large crowds greeting them, many waving copies of Kitty Kelley’s scathing biography of Elizabeth, The Last Star, for Elizabeth to autograph. The opening in New York on May 9, 1983, “was a circus,” Brook Williams recalled. Crowds filled the streets around the theater, waiting for a sight of Elizabeth, who showed up with her pet parrot on her shoulder, which she kept in her dressing room and later took to bringing onstage with her in the final scene. The

learned his skills from his father, Bruno Bozzacchi, a famous restorer of priceless manuscripts and photographs in Italy at a kind of “hospital for books,” called Patologia del Libro. (Among other things, Gianni’s father worked on such treasures as the letters of Machiavelli and Leonardo da Vinci.) But Gianni decided early on that he did not want to live his life in a darkroom. He now works primarily as a film producer and photographer. (“I don’t have to retouch anymore,” he says, “because I know

of the Iguana. He would later add two emerald-and-diamond bracelets to the set (sometimes called “The Grand Duchess Vladimir Suite”), also from Bulgari, whose shop they had discovered in Rome at the beginning of their great affair. The 33.19-carat, oblong Krupp diamond took Elizabeth’s breath away. It had been owned by Vera Krupp, wife of the German arms manufacturer. Elizabeth took special delight in that, saying, “I thought how perfect it would be if a nice Jewish girl like me were to own it.”

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