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Richard Burton's innermost feelings for Elizabeth Taylor have been laid bare in newly released extracts from his diaries, which are set to be published later this year.

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The Hollywood legend wrote about the ups and downs of his relationship with Taylor, whom he wed twice, and now fans will be given a glimpse into the content of the books.

In 1968, during his first marriage to the "Cleopatra" icon, he wrote, "I have been inordinately lucky all my life but the greatest luck of all has been Elizabeth. She has turned me into a model man but not a prig, she is a wildly exciting lover-mistress, she is shy and witty, she is nobody's fool. She is a brilliant actress, she is beautiful beyond the dreams of pornography, she can be arrogant and wilful, she is clement and loving. She is Sunday's child, she can tolerate my impossibilities and my drunkenness, she is an ache in the stomach when I am away from her and she loves me."

He continued, "She is the prospectus that can never be entirely catalogued, an almanac for poor Richard. And I shall love her forever."

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Burton, a heavy drinker, also wrote about the issues the couple faced, and he detailed a particularly shameful episode involving his wife.

In August 1969, he noted, "Yesterday was another terrible day. I behaved in a way to make a banshee look kind, good and sweet. Insulting Elizabeth, drunk, periodically excusing myself rather shabbily and then starting the rough treatment all over again.

"Sometimes I am so much my father's son that I give myself occasional creeps. He had the same gift for damaging with the tongue, he had the same temporary violence, he had the same fidelity to Mam that I have to Elizabeth."

"The Richard Burton Diaries" are due to be published in October.

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