In this June 15, 1962 file photo, Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor arrive at a motor launch in the small town Porto d'Ischia, on the isle of Ischia in the Gulf of Naples, Italy for the shooting of some scenes of "Cleopatra". Photo: Girolamo

London - Elizabeth Taylor was "beautiful beyond the dreams of pornography", according to Richard Burton's diaries.

The actor's private writings are to be published later this year, and extracts reveal his intimate thoughts about Elizabeth, whom he was married to twice, from 1964 to 1974 and from 1975 to 1976.

An entry from November 1968 reads: "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.

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

"Richard - who died in 1984 aged 58 - catalogued his life meticulously, from the age of 14, leaving pocket books, desk diaries and scraps of paper with his thoughts on them. His works were donated to Swansea University by his last wife, Sally.

Even after their second divorce, the passion between Liz - who passed away last year aged 79 - lived on, with Richard writing to pledge his devotion to her.

In another extract he says: "Love you, lovely woman. If anybody hurts you just send me a line saying something like 'Need' or 'Necessary' or just the one magic word 'Elizabeth' and I will be there faster than sound. You must know how much I love you."

Richard's memoirs also include references to the famous people he met during his life as an actor, including Warren Beatty, Robert Redford, Franco Zeffirelli, Aristotle Onassis and the Duke of Windsor. - Bang Showibz