Thursday, 14 February 2013

Love...The Second Time Around - Celebrate Love Renewed - Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor - NON FICTION.

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!

Joy says:

Help me celebrate the release of Retribution by submitting your most interesting stories of people taking another shot at a relationship. 
·         There is no restriction as it pertains to form or genre. Stories can be fact or fiction. Use your imagination, make your stories attention-grabbing.
·       . 
          Somewhere in there, you must tell the reader why the couple broke up and why they feel compelled to get back together. This can be done from any of your characters’ point-of-view.  
·         The word cap is 500
·         Indicate on your blog post, by the relevant badge, whether you’re in the fact or fiction category.  

Here is my entry for Joy's bloghop:

Puerto Vallarta, Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton and Night of the Iguana…a famous love (renewed) story.

Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton in Puerto Vallarta

On the Mexican Pacific coast, surrounded by green mountains, the emerald waters of the Banderas Bay, lying beside the beach, is a beautiful and magical place, Puerto Vallarta, the scene and set for a famous love story/scandal between Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, an event that pushed this bucolic village along  the road to become a world class tourist destination.

Elizabeth Taylor (1932-2011), was on the top of her long career, the highest paid actress at the time for her lead in Cleopatra, where she met and started an affair with Richard Burton (1925-1984), the Welsh actor who played Mark Anthony. Both were married at the time and their scandalous romance, which the Vatican condemned as “erotic vagrancy”, received an incredible amount of attention from the tabloid press. Both Dick and Liz were unable to travel anywhere without being hounded and virtually attacked by mobs of fans, press and others. They were the ones that inaugurated the Beatle-like adoration and stalking fans and paparazzi (from the Italian for annoying insects).

Richard Burton & Elizabeth Taylor during the filming of the Iguana

While Huston dedicated his time to the scouting and the photographic archive of the area, Elizabeth and Richard enjoyed their romance and time in Vallarta. 

Mismaloya today, arches of the set can be seen on the hill

Houston finally decided to film “The Night of the Iguana”, on a set that he built on the southern side of Mismaloya Beach on a hill with a spectacular view of the bay, the beach, the Pacific Ocean and Los Arcos.

The movie set at Mismaloya

The Night of the Iguana sign by the highway
During the filming of the movie, Richard Burton purchased Casa Kimberley on Zaragoza Street for Elizabeth Taylor, as her 32nd birthday's present. The house can be easily spotted it by its "pink" bridge communicating both sides of the street and a crumbling plaque with the house’s name.

Liz Taylor lived in Casa Kimberley with her personal rooms on the top floor; Richard Burton lived in the house across the street and built the bridge (Lover’s Arch) linking over to his lover’s home, so he wouldn’t have to cross the street to get there. It was based on The Bridge of Sighs in the Italian city of Venice. Considering their fights, which they very much enjoyed , the bridge was also called the Reconciliation Bridge.

Lovers' Arch
Their love ended in marriage. Richard and Elizabeth got married in Montreal, Canada on March 15, 1964. They divorced after 10 years of very turbulent “wedded bliss”, replete with fights and alcohol abuse. They remarried on October 10, 1975, but divorced a little under a year later.

Tying the knot again - 10 October, 1975
Richard’s diary entries reveal why they got back together—they loved each other terribly— but his drinking is what led to a very short remarriage. 

Friday 10th [the day they remarried], Richard wrote:

We are as happy as children. We catch our breaths every so often and say with a kind of smiling wonder and delight: ‘Hey! Do you realise we are actually married?’ We must have said it scores of times. I’ve never been so happy in my life. E(lizabeth) cured me with loving, even lavish, attention. This is a far better marriage than the first.

Got shamefully sloshed.




Some information gleaned from an article by Mogens Gallarado

I hope you enjoyed this little story of one of the great, relatively recent, love affairs. Burton and Taylor couldn't live with each other or without each other. 

If you want to read more stories of Love...Renewed and help Joy Campbell celebrate the publication of Retribution, go here...

To continue the love, RomanticFridayWriters have a love fest of a different style - fan fiction - story/poem of 1,000 words to be published between February 21 - 24.  Go here to sign up, or click on Submit in my top right-hand sidebar.


  1. Such beautiful people with deep problems, can't imagine living my life in front of camera's. Still makes you wonder, was it love or just the fantasy of it?

    Wonderful post!

  2. Yolanda is right: to be so passionate and dysfunctional in their alcohol use had to be miserable done in front of the cameras. What a lovely story you penned. Did you know their ghosts haunt Meilori's. They keep talking about going back to the replica of the Bridge of Sighs with a palace and a prison on either side. :-)

  3. What an interesting and PERFECT choice. I never knew ALL the details, because they were a bit before my time. I was just a kid and didn't really understand their turbulent and dysfunctional relationship.

    Thanks for sharing the facts Denise.

  4. That was a great tribute to the couple. I loved the pictures, and the scenery. This is my new favorite phrase “erotic vagrancy”. Man, that is so awesome.

    I hope your hubby has a fantastic Valentines date planned for you :)


  5. Perhaps if they hadn't been in the public eye so much their love might have had a better chance of surviving. Great details - I loved the bridge and all it stood for.

  6. I've always been fascinated by those kinds of turbulent relationships -- people who love each other to madness, but can't seem to make it work. Interesting read, Denise. :)

  7. oh, you actually have a piece of info on Burton and Liz over in my yesterday's post. BBC is making a series on them with Helena Bonham Carter playing Liz :)

  8. Hi, Denise,
    I enjoyed this. Didn't know most of what you shared about these two. Now, they were two people in love.

    I like the addition of pictures which brought the story to life. That's pretty cool.

  9. They really were a feisty pair. Their passion comes through in any interviews, as does sometimes their bitterness. Such a handsome couple! Great wrap up of their love affair.

  10. Hi Denise.
    A high profile love affair which is still such a hot topic today...
    I have a vague recollection of the on-again-off-again relationship between these two... and she being named as the most beautiful woman ever...
    Such a crazy and dysfunctional love match, yet intense and passionate at the same time...

  11. Now that's what you call a turbulent relationship!

  12. I was among the throngs who avidly followed the stories that came out of Mexico. At the time, like you said, Mexico wasn't a tourist destination, so their glamourous lifestyle put somewhat of a Cinderella touch on a vacation that's faded into hotels filled with Americans and Canadians looking for what they though brochures promised.

    Denise, I honestly don't know a couple that's broken up and gotten back together again. Actually, very few in my world have actually broken up (divorced). We're all kinda like, moving forward together, happy with life's cut of the cards.

    Yes, finally on that header! That guy was really nice to stick with it and find that stupid click I'd made. Once he unclicked, all fell into place. He also showed me how to navigate Apple a bit better in the larger picture. And, come to find out, a couple of things that had driven me nuts are also what drive Apple lovers nuts. So, I felt a little bit better.

    Hey, hub really enjoyed seeing pics of those kangaroo 'playing through' (as he called it) during the Australian Open. Fun stuff like that brings soft smiles. (But the underlying drought isn't. You've had/are having a tough summer, it seems.)

  13. Really interesting. It's actually sad to think that two people loved each other so much, but alcohol got in the way of them being completely happy together. :-/

  14. I never new much about Richard and Elizabeth's relationship, only that it was a turbulent one. Seems like alcohol certainly was an obstacle, but I wonder if it would have been easier for them had they not been in the limelight. Wonderful tribute. (:

  15. What a great story about Liz and Dick and Night of the Iguana and especially Casa Kimberley. . . and that BRIDGE! He really had it modeled on the Bridge of Sighs? Considering THAT bridge's naming and history, seems like he doomed their love right there. Thanks so much for a fun, informative post!

  16. Oh, I wasn't expecting that.
    I hadn't really known the full story of their affair - thanks for the trip back in time! Love the Montreal connection :-)

    His diaries must make for very interesting reading!


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