The boy from PontrydyfenWritten by: Yuchtar
Published: WED - Unofficial homepage
Date: Wednesday, January 17, 2001 Born 10 November 1925, in Pontrydyfen, Wales; he was the twelfth of 13 children born to Edith and Richard Walter Jenkins. Richard Walter Jenkins, Jr. was adopted by his teacher Philip Burton actually, as Philip Burton was 20 days short of being 21 years older than the boy he wanted to adopt, a full adoption was not legally possible, but Burton was made his ward and Richard's surname was legally changed.
As a RAF cadet, he gained admission to Exeter College, Oxford to take the "University Short Course" for six months before commissioning in the RAF. He left Oxford in 1944 - as one of 12 prize winning cadets - and was commissioned as a navigator - his inadequate eyesight having disqualified him from being a pilot.
His first professional acting job was with Welsh playwright Emlyn Williams (on stage just before going to Oxford and into the RAF - and in Williams' film version of The Last Days of Dolwyn after the war.) Everyone who knew him - at school as a youngster, at Oxford, in the RAF - all agree that there was something "bigger than life" about Richard Burton. When that aura came across on stage or on film, it could be electrifying.
Where Eagles Dare
Richard Burton felt his box office draw wasn,t what it could be, so, in an effort to boost his career - and influenced by the hugely successful film The Guns of Navarone, Burton asked Alistair MacLean, author of The Guns of Navarone, to write a WWII action adventure screenplay specifically for him. Six weeks later, the script for Where Eagles Dare was presented to Richard Burton. The film was a huge success in 1968, due partly to Burton,s ability to play the soldier (something he always carried off with great aplomb), and partly to the movie,s co-star, Clint Eastwood, who was America,s hottest new star at the time. And if this web site is any indication, the film remains a huge success today.