Sunday, June 6, 2010


Richard Burton,(10 November 1925 – 5 August 1984) was a Welsh actor. He was nominated seven times for an Academy Award (without success) and was at one time the highest-paid actor in Hollywood. He remains closely associated in the public consciousness with his second wife, actress Elizabeth Taylor; the couple's turbulent relationship was rarely out of the news.

Few are aware that he suffered from mild Haemophilia.

Hemophilia is a bleeding disorder in which clotting factors in the blood are missing, causing individuals with hemophilia to bleed for longer periods of time. Internal bleeding can also be a problem. There are two types of hemophilia, depending on the clotting factor that's missing: hemophilia A, in which factor VIII is missing, and hemophilia B, in which factor IX is missing. Hemophilia is mostly found in males; females with the gene, which is on the X chromosome, are generally carriers. While in most cases hemophilia is inherited, in some cases it does occur without a previous family history.

In Elizabeth(book), it is revealed that in n May 1964, Richard was upset after being booed as the lead in Hamlet on Broadway. He began drinking heavily and then argued with Elizabeth, who was watching a Peter Sellers movie on television. During their argument, Richard kicked the television screen with his bare foot and cut a toe to the bone. The blood flow wouldn't stop for an hour. At the hospital, Richard received a dozen stitches. There, Elizabeth discovered that Richard suffered from mild hemophilia, a condition he had known about since childhood, as four of the Jenkins brothers had "the disease of kings."

As a precaution, Richard began using an electric razor to avoid nicks while shaving, and Elizabeth ensured that a supply of vitamin K was available for his hemophilia. When Elizabeth learned that there were "more than a hundred thousand sufferers in the United States alone," she and Richard contacted the National Hemophilia Foundation for ways to raise funds for public awareness. In June 1964 the couple established the Richard Burton Haemophilia Fund, with Elizabeth as chair. For raising hundreds of thousands of dollars, the fund was recognized in the June 17, 1964, issue of the United States House of Representatives Congressional Record, and in the June 27, 1964, issue of the British Medical Journal.1.

Richard Burton had more pressing medical problems than his hemophilia. Drinking and smoking adversely affected his liver and lungs, and he also suffered from epilepsy and acne. He blamed his arthritis on neck and back injuries from playing rugby as a youth, and on the "weak Jenkins bones." . For some reason, perhaps the for fear of being stigmatized, the role of hemophilia in Richard Burton's life never reached center stage.

He died of a brain hemorrhage in 1984.

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