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Hollywood star honoured thanks to daily’s campaign

Film icon Richard Burton will finally be honoured with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame following a campaign by a UK regional daily.

The Western Mail launched a campaign to raise $30,000 (around £20,000) to get the Welsh-born movie star a tribute on the famous boulevard.

It will be placed next to that of his on- and off-screen love Elizabeth Taylor, who he notoriously married twice.

The star will be unveiled on St David’s Day, March 1.

Mail business columnist Prof Dylan Jones-Evans led the campaign on behalf of the paper.

He said: “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.

“This public recognition for Richard Burton’s body of 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 talent at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama.”

The Western Mail celebrated the success with a five page spread, which included reactions from Burton’s relatives and Hollywood star Michael Sheen who helped the paper launch the campaign two years ago.

The front page of the Western Mail, with four further pages of coverage inside celebrating victory for the A Star for Burton Appeal Fund

The target was reached thanks to support from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, which is releasing a 50th anniversary Blu-ray edition of Cleopatra, the movie which famously brought Burton and Taylor together, this year.

Burton’s daughters, Kate and Maria, will gather alongside Hollywood stars like Michael Sheen for the event, which will also form part of the milestone anniversary celebrations for Cleopatra.

The unveiling of Burton’s star will take place at 7.30pm British time and will be streamed live online.

The A Star For Burton Appeal Fund campaign was launched in 2011 as the Wales vs England Six Nations opening match.

Half of the money raised must go towards installation and maintenance costs, with the rest being put towards creating scholarships for future students of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, where a new theatre was named in Burton’s honour.

Oxford-educated coalminer’s son Burton started out as a Shakespearean stage actor, but soon became a Hollywood favourite and earned seven Oscar nominations during his career.

He and Taylor met on the set of Cleopatra and went on to become one of the silver screen’s most famous couples, starring together in nine further films including The Taming Of The Shrew and Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?.

Their first ten-year marriage ended in divorce in 1974. They tied the knot for a second time the following year in Botswana, but it lasted only until the following summer.

The full piece in the Western Mail can be found here.