Feature

Richard Burton’s angry widow

Sally Burton has grown sick of hearing Elizabeth Taylor described as the love of Richard Burton's life.

Don’t mention the name Elizabeth Taylor to Sally Burton, said Christopher Wilson in the London Telegraph. In the 27 years since the death of her husband, actor Richard Burton, Sally has grown sick of hearing Taylor described as the love of his life. “I get pissed off with all the talk of a great love story,” says Burton’s fourth and final wife. “Yes they were in love, but they got divorced twice—that means their marriage didn’t work.”

Sally, 63, is especially angered by claims made in a recent book that Burton wrote a love letter to Taylor on his deathbed. “There was no letter,” she says. And she should know: She was nursing Burton when he died of a brain hemorrhage in 1984. Sally believes the writers made up the letter—which has never been seen in public—to help sell their book. “The public [knows] what’s going on.”

Sally finds these efforts to hype Burton’s romance with Taylor all the more painful because while Taylor married twice more after Burton, Sally stayed single. Burton was her one-and-only. “I’ve found it difficult. But the world hasn’t realized that, and I just don’t know why,” she says, her voice trailing away in a wave of emotion. “My love for him has never diminished.”

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