‘Furious Love’ chronicles tumultuous romance of Liz Taylor, Richard Burton
Long before Hollywood branded its torrid movie-star romances with glib tags like Bennifer (Ben Affleck/Jennifer Lopez) and Brangelina (Brad Pitt/Angelina Jolie), the tabloid headlines and Photoplay magazine spreads of the 20th century studio era were ablaze with the epic romantic antics of Liz and Dick (Lick?)
The tempestuous, on-again, off-again romance of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton is still the stuff of Hollywood legend, having earned the couple the dubious tag in their time as “the battling Burtons.”
She was a pristine beauty, a former child princess of the movie world and a notorious diva; he was a tough, hard-drinking Welshman with Shakespearean gifts and appetites. They met and fell into a steamy love affair on the set of the overstuffed 1963 epic “Cleopatra” (earning Vatican condemnation for their very public adultery) and spent the next two decades locked in a much publicized love-hate relationship that long held the world’s morbid attention.
“Furious Love: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton and the Marriage of the Century” (Harper, $27.99) is a sprawling yet intimate 512-page report on the passionate coupling that covers the highlights and lowlights of a love affair that featured grand romantic gestures (the Taj Mahal diamond), public embarrassments (his alcoholic binges and infidelities; her tantrums), a divorce and remarriage, and co-starring film roles that often cut very close to the bone (“The Taming of the Shrew” and “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”).
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