.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Richard Burton


I hung out with Richard Burton for a while and he told me dozens of stories and "confessions" that have not been published anywhere elseWhile shooting 'Circle of Two' in Toronto, I met him him at the 22 he invited me to lunch with him and  I was his drinking buddy for the rest of movie we got to gether 3 or 4 times a week over 3 months and again when he came back to do Camalot and he told me dozens of jokes and stories and a few confessions all of which I wrote down at the time and have shaped into stories   called 'Lunch with Richard".
I am now living in Louisbourg Cape Breton island. Being out of the loop I am having difficulty selling my story. I wonder if I could interest cbc in my endevours.

 he recounts a couple of young actor stories one about Ralph Richardson and one about himself.

here is that example

I was on that same sort of circuit myself early in my career, I was playing one of the summer theaters and the Lord and Lady invited me out to the local Manor for the weekend. I meet the Butler at the door and he sniffs down his nose at me and shows me to my room.
I didn't pay too much attention at the time but I knew vaguely that it was in the old part of the manor, it was a long narrow room, painted white with a four poster at the far end with a night table and a lamp. I was to find out later that there was no electricity in this part of the manor.There was also a fireplace and near the door an ornate antique writing desk with a fresh bouquet of flowers in a vase.So the Butler starts to open my bag and offers to help me dress for dinner but I don't want him to see my poor belongings so I got him out of there and put on my old threadbare theater tux and went down for cocktails before dinner.
We had dinner, it was pleasant enough. I of course already had a taste for fine liquor in those days and not a lot of money to buy it so I was delighted to find the Manor had a well stocked bar and a fine collection of single malt whiskies and I got right in to it.
I must have drank A TOTAL OF three bottles by the time I tottered off to bed about twelve and fell into deep sleep.
Well, after all that Scotch I wake up in the middle of the night totally dehydrated and absolutely parched.
I must have a drink of water, and it's then that I realize there is no electricity in this old part of the mansion, that I don't have a match for the lamp and I don't know where the loo is, and its pitch black as well.
I am absolutely dying of thirst after drinking all that scotch and I must have a drink, of anything.
I am lying there feeling very miserable When I remember the vase of flowers. Ah water!
So I get out of bed and feel my way from the night table to the window and pat my way down the wall, past the fireplace down the wall I feel around blindly for the desk and the flowers.
Only in the dark I tip it all over and I can feel the water dripping everywhere, so I push and pat the water on to the floor and since I can't see anything I must give up and head back to bed.
I feel my way along the wall and past the fireplace, then I pat my way along the wall until I feel for the night table and crawl back into bed. I pull the sheets over me and lay there very miserable until first light and then to my horror I see it wasn't the flowers I knocked over.
I had knocked over a huge writing horn full of ink and the ink was everywhere, over the desk and the floor then there were my hand prints all over the wall across the mantelpiece, then all along the wall again across to the night table and all over the bed clothes. The mess was everywhere, it was hopeless.What could I do? I was thoroughly embarrassed. How can you possibly explain it?
I packed my things hitchhiked back to town and then caught the next bus to London.
We all wait for it.
You can see the Lord telling his guests the next weekend. "We had this actor chap over last weekend, you know he dipped his hands in ink and printed his hand prints all up and down the walls of his bedroom wiped them off on the bed sheets and then disappeared into the night"
"Strange people these actor chaps."
Long pause. twittish
"Strange people these actor chaps."
Again Richard tipped his glass and drained it in his unusual manner while we cheered his tale.
It is hard to describe how well he told them.
The stories were completely new to me and the perfection of the voice and timing were awesomeI believe The Voice could read his laundry list to thunderous applause.

Patrons keep sending bottles of wine to the table and the more he drinks the more he reveals
There are stories about broadway and Hume Cronyn. Stories of friends in wales, Stories of Elizabeth etc. there are confessions and predictions and even his finances. I guarantee dozens of tales that have never been heard before.

We are left with a more complete understanding of Richard Burton as a master entertainer a very ordinary man at heart who thorelly enjoyed his life

No comments:

Post a Comment

Ronnie Prophet

 n 1976 Ronnie Prophet played the Horseshoe in Toronto for a week. I got to have a beer and swap stories with him most days. We had a few ...