2. Richard Burton
The first was his excellence at portraying Shakespearean characters. The second was his turbulent romance with actress Elizabeth Taylor.
Burton first made his mark in the 1950s as a Shakespearean stage actor. Though all of his performances were amazing, it was his role as Hamlet in 1964 that really caught the attention of fans and critics alike.
However, Burton was not able to live up to the hype for long. He was initially labeled “the natural successor to Olivier,” but he failed to live up to these expectations.
One of the primary reasons that Burton was not able to achieve more success was the bottle. He was a life-long chronic alcoholic. At some points during his career, he was drinking up to three bottles of hard liquor each day, every day. His antics during this time period propelled him into the media on a regular basis. The same was true of his on-again off-again relationship with Elizabeth Taylor. The couple was rarely out of the news.
Despite the controversy surrounding Burton, he will always be remembered as one of the finest British actors of all time.