The Love Story of Liz & Dick Through Photos

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One of the most passionate but stormy love stories of all time, the on and off relationship between Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton have captivated people through the years – the kind of love that can be both destructive and beautiful.

Taylor and Burton first met on the set of Cleopatra in the early 1960s, and immediately got smitten with each other, regardless of both being married at the time. After wrapping filming, they started their affair by taking vacation in Ischia, which later resulted in their yacht outing getting pictured and published in the media. It was said that they shared their first kiss while acting for Cleopatra, and did not bother to stop after the director had called the cut. According to the book Furious Love by Sam Kashner, in one of their early letters, Burton wrote, “I lust after your smell… and your round belly and the exquisite softness of the inside of your thighs and your baby-bottom and your giving lips and the half-hostile look in your eyes when you’re deep in rut with your little Welsh stallion.”

1962. Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor on the set of ‘Cleopatra.’ Photo by Paul Schutzer.

The stars wed on March 15, 1964 at the Ritz-Carlton in Montreal, after their divorces had been finalized, Burton from Sybil Williams and Taylor from Eddie Fisher. They starred in 11 films together, though it was often said that the roles they played did reflect their off-screen relationship, with Taylor having temper tantrums and Burton struggling with alcoholism. With their constant heated quarrels despite the passionate romance, in the end the couple decided to split following a divorce in June 1974 for the first time. However, they were unable to remain separated for long, even ending up crying in each other’s arms at a meet-up for discussing financial affairs. In October 1975, they got married for the second time in secret.

But less than a year after, the couple reportedly split again. In 1983, they suddenly announced their plan to co-star in Noel Coward’s Private Lives, though at this time both of them were in relationships with other people. Due to the fact that neither was legally attached and the theme of the play, the media immediately formed a speculation that they might get married for the third time. However, she began missing performances, which made Burton so angry that he flew to Las Vegas to wed his assistant Sally Hay. In response, Taylor announced her engagement to Victor Luna, whom she never married.

On August 5, 1984, Burton died from a brain hemorrhage. Taylor fainted when informed of his death. Shortly before his passing, Burton wrote a letter to her, which was the only one she kept private, although she claimed that he wanted to give their relationship another chance. “Attentive, loving – that was Richard,” Taylor said in Furious Love. “From those first moments in Rome we were always madly and powerfully in love. We had more time but not enough.” In an interview in 2010, a year before her death, she said, “I was a fool to marry so often. If I had my time over again, I would never do that. The truth is now I don’t give a damn about most of those men. Richard is the only one I truly loved and still care about. I shall miss him until the day I die.”

Below are some photos capturing their passionate but turbulent romance through the years:

1962. Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor and Taylor’s daughter, Liza, on the set of ‘Cleopatra.’ Photo by Paul Schutzer.

1962. Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor and Taylor’s daughter, Liza, on the set of ‘Cleopatra.’ Photo by Paul Schutzer.

1962. Richard Burton & Elizabeth Taylor, in costume, chatting on set during filming of ‘Cleopatra.’ Photo by Paul Schutzer.
March 1963. Richard Burton and Liz Taylor smoking cigarette during a gala for the release of the film ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ at the Theatre des Champs-Elysees in Paris.

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