Vanity Fair, July 2010

Vanity Fair has done it again and published another intriguing article that fans of classic films are sure to want to read.  This time around, they’re shedding new light on the biggest Hollywood mega-couple of all time: Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton.  Their adulterous affair was so sordid and scandalous that it was condemned by both the Vatican and in the U.S. House of Representatives.  Everything about them was obscenely over the top and extravagant, from their movies such as Cleopatra to the gifts Richard loved to shower upon Elizabeth, most notably the infamous 69-carat diamond now known as the Burton-Taylor Diamond.  On screen, the two of them became so powerful that at one time, it was believed that 50% of money earned by the American film industry was brought in by movies starring them together and separately.  However, between Richard’s drinking problem and media pressure, their relationship eventually collapsed under its own weight.

Unfortunately, the article isn’t available on the Vanity Fair website, but if you’re a fan of Taylor, Burton, or Liz and Dick the couple, then you’re going to want to take a trip to the newsstand to pick up this issue.  The article outlines the life and times of the infamous couple from their first meeting and the beginnings of their affair while shooting Cleopatra through the last letter Richard ever wrote to Elizabeth.  What makes this article so unique and fascinating is the fact that it features excerpts from Burton’s own diaries as well as some of the countless letters he wrote to Elizabeth both during and after their marriages.  This marks the first time Elizabeth Taylor has made any of these letters available to the public.  The letters reveal just how much Richard truly worshiped and adored Elizabeth, even long after they were divorced.  Without a doubt, they were the love of each others lives.  We don’t get to actually read the last letter Richard wrote to Elizabeth, but the story behind it is very touching.  It was written and sent just days before Richard died of a cerebral hemorrhage.  He wrote to tell her that the times he was happiest were the times he was with her and asked if there was a chance that they might get back together again.  Elizabeth didn’t receive the letter until after she returned from his memorial service in London.  To this day, she keeps that letter next to her bed and considers it her most treasured possession.  The article is a great read, it’s just too bad Elizabeth Taylor has to share the cover with the mention of an article about Twilight.