Wednesday, February 2, 2011
A STAR FOR BURTON
This the piece that is appearing in the Western Mail today.
Please give generously.
"His raw talents combined with his famous rich voice made Richard Burton one of the world’s finest – and most famous – actors.
Now, more than a quarter of a century after his death, the celebrated Welshman is finally set to get a star in his honour on the iconic Hollywood Walk of Fame.
A major fundraising campaign is being launched at the Millennium Stadium tomorrow (4th Feb) during the Wales v England Six Nations opener in a bid to get the project off the ground.
Money raised through the “A Star For Burton” Appeal Fund will also go towards creating scholarships for future students of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, where a new theatre has been named in Burton’s honour.
Visited by more than 10 million people every year, the Hollywood Walk of Fame is a series of sidewalks in California honouring the entertainment industry. Brass stars are laid to commemorate actors, musicians, directors, producers, musical and theatrical groups, fictional characters, and others for their entertainment contributions.
The first permanent star to be unveiled was in 1960 for director Stanley Kramer and one of the latest recipients was British actor Colin Firth, whose star was unveiled last month.
Despite Burton’s incredible success both on stage and on the big screen, for which he received seven Oscar nominations, he’s yet to be recognised on the boulevard.
Now the Western Mail has teamed up with the Welsh Rugby Union and the Principality Building Society in a bid to see him commemorated posthumously.
The campaign has already received backing from major Welsh stars, including Hollywood actor Matthew Rhys, and Burton’s actress daughter Kate, who said “I am delighted to support this campaign to recognise my father’s place in Hollywood history. I’m particularly excited that the fundraising will also support scholarships at the Royal Welsh College, particularly as much of that training will centre around the new theatre that will bear his name.”
The campaign is the brainchild of Professor Dylan Jones-Evans, Director of Enterprise and Innovation at the University of Wales and Western Mail columnist.
He said: “After visiting the States a couple of years ago, we were discussing with some friends the Hollywood Walk of Fame. When we discovered that Richard Burton was not honoured it was a big shock. Along with Sir Anthony Hopkins, he's the biggest actor that Wales has produced. I felt that if Burton also had a star it would not only honour the great Welshman but also raise the profile of Wales as millions of people would see it.”
The Hollywood Walk of Fame committee is currently seeking nominations for June, when it will consider who should the new batch of stars. Around 20 are selected from the nominations, including one posthumous honour.
But those behind the nominations must pay $30,000 (around £18,000) which funds installation and maintenance costs.
The Western Mail is now launching a £40,000 fundraising drive – half of the money raised will go towards Burton’s star and the other half will support scholarships at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.
Professor Jones-Evans was keen that any additional money raised was used to help young Welsh talent.
“If Richard Burton were alive today, he would want to support young people from Wales to follow in his footsteps,” he said.
Hilary Boulding, Principal of the Cardiff-based conservatoire, said: “The college is delighted to be a part of this campaign. It seems only fitting that one of Wales’ most famous sons should also have a star on Hollywood Boulevard, while at the same time creating student scholarships in his name for future students at the college.”
The campaign will be launched at the Millennium Stadium tomorrow (February 4th) when collections will be taken at the gates for the A Star For Burton Appeal Fund. A short film about Burton will also be shown to the 72,000 rugby fans before kick off.
It was felt apt that the appeal should be launched at the Six Nations opener as passionate Welshman Burton was a massive rugby fan.
He once famously said: “I would rather have played for Wales at Cardiff Arms Park than Hamlet at the Old Vic.”
Burton was born in Pontrhydyfen, near Port Talbot, in 1925 into a working-class, Welsh-speaking
family and went on to become one of the greatest stage actors, playing everything from Hamlet to Othello, before conquering Hollywood.
His leading roles included My Cousin Rachel, Under Milk Wood and Cleopatra, when he famously met his future wife, Elizabeth Taylor.
How to donate to the A Star For Burton Appeal Fund
Cheques need to be made payable to: ‘Principality Building Society re: Star for Burton Appeal’. They should be sent to:
Linda Martin, A Star for Burton Appeal Fund, c/o Media Wales, 6 Park Street, Cardiff, CF10 1XR
You can visit any of the 64 Principality Building Society outlets across Wales and the Borders and tell a member of staff you would like to make a donation to the A Star For Burton Appeal Fund. Once again, cheques need to be made payable to: ‘Principality Building Society re: Star for Burton Appeal’.
Go to www.theBigGive.org.uk and search for Star for Burton. This will take you to the website for the campaign which will guide you on how to make an online donation.
You will need to quote the following details:
Sort code: 20-18-15
Account number: 90653535
It is important to quote the reference number when making an internet transfer.