Thursday, June 30, 2011


Here is a wonderful period robe worn by the legendary Richard Burton in the 1956 United Artists picture “Alexander the Great”. Costumes for the film were designed by David Ffolkes.

This full-length light brown woollen robe with powder blue silk lining is adorned with embroidered aqua sunbursts and depictions of lions.

The following photos show the detail in the embroidery.

Below is the original 1956 trailer to the film. You can see the costume at 1:02 in a scene opposite Claire Bloom.

He originally worked on the stage and in cinema while in the United Kingdom.

He will be remembered for his roles in the film Cleopatra (1963) opposite Elizabeth Taylor and where they first met. Other films together included The VIPs and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Other memorable film appearances include My Cousin Rachel opposite Olivia de Havilland and The Robe with Jean Simmons.

Burton had great critical success both on stage and in film.

Burton was nominated seven times for an Acadamy Award, six for best actor. He never won. He will be remembered also for the very public romance and twice marriage to Elizabeth Taylor.

Burton was married five times and he had four children.

Burton died suddenly at the age of 58 from a brain haemorrhage. He was plagued with illness issues for most of his life. At one time he was highest paid actor in Hollywood.

He will always be remembered as one of the greatest.


  1. Richard Burton was one of the finest actors of the 20th Century, in my opinion. In my favorite of his performances he seemed the embodiment of a deep and troubled soul - I'm thinking particularly of his portrayals in "The Spy Who Came in from the Cold" (also with Claire Bloom) and "The Night of the Iguana."
    The robe from "Alexander the Great" is exquisite. Beautifully embroidered in such lovely colors. It's a wonder Burton didn't ask if he could keep it.

  2. I agree that he was certainly one of the best if not the best in terms of emotion in his roles!

    The costume is quite amazing and the photos dont do it justice....

    A lot of performers did have it in their contracts to keep their costumes after the films completed. Glad this wasn't one of them :) thanks again!

  3. This robe is in your possession? What does it feel like to the touch? It looks to be in excellent condition - is that so? How did you come to acquire it?

  4. Hi again! Yes! I only post items in my possession. I it is excellent condition with only few moth holes as to be expected. It feels a soft wool. Would have been very comfortable to wear but for the hot lights I expect!

    It was an eBay purchase! There are treasures out there if you look :)

  5. Fabulous find from one of Burton's stellar performances! The detail of the robe is amazing so thanks for giving us a closeup of it. I think I would be tempted to try it on and walk around in it though.

    Another item worthy of a sidebar mention and link over at my place.

    I can't wait to see what's next.
    Page at MyLoveOfHollywood