Elizabeth Taylor Allegedly ‘Destroyed’ Richard Burton as a Classical Actor, Claims Author

A new book, ‘Erotic Vagrancy: Everything about Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor’, delves into the complex relationship between Hollywood’s most captivating couple. Written by Roger Lewis and scheduled for release on 26th March, the book promises a comprehensive exploration of their tumultuous yet undeniably glamorous lives.

Lewis, known for his meticulous research, takes a deep dive into their story across more than 600 pages. He examines not only their iconic on-screen collaborations, but also their fiery breakups, the extravagant lifestyle they shared, and the unique dynamic that fueled their passionate connection.

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Elizabeth Taylor
Image Courtesy: Yahoo

The book sheds light on a controversial perspective. Lewis argues that Elizabeth Taylor, despite her flourishing film career, may have inadvertently hindered Richard Burton’s path as a classical actor. Burton, a renowned stage performer in the 1950s, was seen as a potential successor to the legendary Laurence Olivier. 

However, Lewis suggests that their tumultuous relationship and Hollywood lifestyle diverted Burton from that trajectory. “By meeting Elizabeth Taylor, that destroyed him as a classical actor,” Lewis proposes. He acknowledges Burton’s enduring screen presence but argues that his classical aspirations might have been sidelined.

Elizabeth Taylor
Image Courtesy: People

Interestingly, Lewis suggests Taylor thrived professionally during their marriage. While she began her career as a child actress in films like ‘National Velvet’, her later roles solidified her stardom. Movies like ‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’ and ‘Butterfield 8’, the latter of which earned her a ‘Best Actress’ Oscar, cemented her place in Hollywood history.

Lewis highlights their rebellious spirit as another defining aspect of their relationship. The book’s title, ‘Erotic Vagrancy’, derives from a scathing condemnation by the Vatican. In 1962, the Vatican newspaper publicly denounced Taylor and Burton’s relationship, a bold move that only seemed to fuel their defiance and unconventional lifestyle.

-Sushmita Sarkar