South West Wales

Richard Burton's French dictionary given to school

(l-r) Jayne Simonson, Dyffryn School library, Professor Hywel Francis, Professor Angela John and Katrina Burton, head of English at Dyffryn Image copyright Matthew Evanson
Image caption (l-r) Jayne Simonson, of Dyffryn School library, Prof Hywel Francis, Prof Angela John and Katrina Burton, head of English at Dyffryn Lower School

Richard Burton's widow has given a French dictionary used by the late actor to his old school in Port Talbot.

Sally Burton donated the book - complete with the Hollywood star's handwritten notes - to Dyffryn Lower School's library.

Professor Hywel Francis, of Swansea University, presented it on her behalf.

It came after this year's annual Richard Burton lecture by historian Prof Angela John, about how teachers have nurtured the town's acting talent.

Speaking at the school, she said: "John Gielgud said that Burton came from nowhere. He didn't come from nowhere. He came from an extremely rich cultural background in Port Talbot - the town of stars and steel, and the actors' capital of Wales."

She also pointed to Port Talbot's influence on screen stars Michael Sheen and Anthony Hopkins.

Burton - who was born Richard Walter Jenkins in Pontrhydyfen, Neath Port Talbot - died in 1984, aged 58.

His career on stage and screen saw him win Bafta, Golden Globe and Tony Awards, with seven Academy Award nominations.

Swansea University's Richard Burton Centre organises the annual lecture, with this year's event coming 90 years since the actor's birth.

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