Late, great Richard Burton‘s diary is coming out, and it’s filled with lots of admiration for Liz and a whole bunch of scorn for a lot of other people.
About Lucille Ball:
“She is a monster of staggering charmlessness and monumental lack of humour…
“She is a tired old woman…
“Nineteen solid years of double takes and pratfalls and desperate upstaging and cutting out other people’s laughs if she can…”
About Genevieve Bujold:
“I think she firmly believes herself to be the legitimate heir to Rachelle and Bernhardt and Duse….
“She has all the power of a gnat. A dying one. I could whisper louder than her screams.”
And as for Laurence Olivier
“And Larry, my dear, a lord yet.
“I mean it’s absurd. He’s practically a dwarf.
“And that vulgar streak in him is shaming. As Othello, I couldn’t look at him.
“The audience could, of course, but then audiences are sheep, they believe the critics. Fools.”
Ouch. Burton also tosses off witty little digs at everyone from Maria Callas to Joey Heatherton, from Noel Coward to Elliott Gould.
I am suddenly so glad I never worked with Dick!
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on August 13, 2012