LIZ & DICK make their boozy battling in WHO’s AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF? seem a gay, mad romp!
In RICHARD BURTON’s journals the late Welsh actor wrote in January 1969 that Liz was regularly going to bed "not merely sozzled or tipsy but stoned … unfocused, unable to walk straight, talking in a slow, meaningless baby voice like a demented child.
"The boredom, unless I’m drunk, too, of being in the presence of someone to whom you have to repeat everything twice is like a physical pain in the stomach," the exasperated Burton wrote. "If it was anyone else, I’d head for the hills – but this woman is my life."
In an April 69 entry, Burton detailed yet another conflict he and Liz had.
Elizabeth "bickered back with almost masculine pride. The words used were relatively innocuous; the speaking of them contained venomous malice. I wasn't even drunk," wrote Burton, who died in 1984.
Burton, who was nominatedfor seven Oscars (though never won one), wrote in a May 22 entry of a skirmish between he and Liz while he was rehearsing for a part, and the subsequent string of events.
"I rehearsed the song I have to sing in the film. It's very pretty but difficult to learn. Elizabeth was as bare-toothed as a tigress and said: 'Surely you must know it by now!' This was delivered with sullen venom," Burton wrote. "Thereafter we played an absurd games of Musical Rooms. I refused to be in the same room as E and she with me, but we kept on running into each other. Finally, she went to bed in the spare room."
In an entry dated August 31, Burton admits he had "another terrible day – insulting Elizabeth, drunk, periodically excusing myself rather shabbily and then starting the rough treatment all over again."
Burton wrote in September Elizabeth hit him "around the head with her ringed fingers. If any man had done that, I'd have killed him. I still boil with fury when I think about it."
Perhaps the most detailed entry came in November, when Burton detailed a no-holds-barred skirmish with his legendary wife.
"This morning in the early hours, E gave me a savage mauling, coldly accusing me of virtually every sin under the sun," he wrote.
"Drunkenness (true), mendacity (true), being boring (true), infidelity (untrue), killing myself fairly quickly (true), pride envy avarice (all true), being ugly (true), having once been handsome (untrue), and any other vice imaginable except homosexuality and being ungenerousness."