By Kate Madley
Seven-times Oscar nominated Welshman, Richard Burton, will join the Hollywood Walk of Fame as a star in his honour is to be unveiled on St. David’s Day.
The ceremony, announced today by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, follows a Western Mail campaign and the support of Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.
Burton’s posthumous star will be placed next to Elizabeth Taylor’s tribute, the movie marvel he famously married twice.
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, who helped reach the $30,000 (around £20,000) fundraising target, will release a 50th anniversary Blu-ray edition of Cleopatra, the film that brought the two movie marvels together.
The ceremony will be attended by Burton’s daughters, Kate and Maria, and Hollywood stars like Michael Sheen.
“I’m sure the people of Wales will be thrilled that Richard Burton is receiving this accolade on the most special day for the Welsh nation, St. David’s Day,” said Professor Dylan Jones-Evans, who led the campaign on behalf of the Western Mail.
“We want to thank everyone in Wales who has donated and are delighted that Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment has agreed to partner with us as part of the 50th anniversary of Cleopatra.
“This public recognition for Burton’s work will not only help raise the profile of Wales internationally, but will also help to raise funds to provide scholarships in the legendary actor’s name to support young Welsh College of Music & Drama.”
Currently there are over 2,400 entertainers who have a tribute on the Walk of Fame. Now, Burton will join other Welsh celebrities such as Sir Anthony Hopkins, Ray Milland and Sir Tom Jones.
“It’s a very sweet tribute to him,” said Kate Burton, Richard’s eldest daughter, who lives in LA.
“When you look at the list of people who already have stars it’s everyone from my stepmother to the original Hollywood moguls so it’s very nice that this is now happening.”
The Welsh Government has also supported the campaign. Business Minister, Edwina Hart, said: “Events like these (the ceremony) help to raise the profile of Wales internationally and are a great platform to showcase our diverse
and dynamic creative industries sector that makes a significant contribution to the Welsh economy, creating jobs and wealth.”
Burton was born in Pontrhydyfen, near Port Talbot in 1925. As a Hollywood star Burton appeared in My Cousin Rachel, Under Milk Wood and Cleopatra, which at the time was the most expensive film ever made, with costs reaching almost $40million.
The unveiling of the Richard Burton star will take place on March 1st at 11:30am (7:30pm British time); the live stream can be watched at www.walkoffame.com.