Was it the new nose that did the trick? Once, he showed up in a new sports car, yelling: Deliriously in love, she ignored them all.
They married in Dublin in December Instead of a reception, they had a pub crawl. Peter O'Toole in the starring role in the film Lawrence of Arabia. Mid-way through rehearsals for The Merchant Of Venice, in which he played Shylock, she gave birth to their first daughter, Kate. Her husband turned up at the maternity ward with several other inebriated actors to serenade the new arrival.
Later, he got so drunk with his father that both were found spread-eagled on the floor the following day. At one after-show party, he held court on a throne, with a pedal bin on either side of him — one full of beer, the other of hard liquor — into which he alternately scooped a pint mug.
Once, his friend Roy Kinnear remembered, he downed a bottle of whisky without pausing for breath. Inevitably, his work suffered. He could also be savagely hurtful. At one point, she could take it no longer and left him. O'Toole starring alongside with ex-wife Sian Phillips in the film Murphey's War O'Toole, pictured with Sian Phillips three days after the birth of their daughter Pat in O'Toole was known to have fallen asleep in the middle of stage performances.
Professionally, her husband was proving to be the hit of the season. But there was even better to come: While drunk, he had rammed the back of a squad car. Wisely, the director of Lawrence Of Arabia, David Lean, assigned a minder to his new star while shooting in the deserts of Jordan — thus ensuring that he was usually fit to work. On days off, his co-star Omar Sharif flew with him by private plane to Beirut — then the sin city of the East. It turned out they were in a nunnery.
Following world-wide acclaim for his performance, he became an international star, with a four-storey Georgian house in Hampstead and a collection of cars that included a Daimler, a Rolls-Royce, a Chevrolet and a Mini Cooper. O'Toole was known to disappear for days at a time during his marriage to Phillips. There was a Bonnard painting in the bedroom, a Picasso in the hallway and a Jacob Epstein bust — on which their daughter Kate hung her knickers.
Sometimes he disappeared for days at a time. The notorious boozer, O'Toole, launched his return to the London stage at the Coach and Horses She grew increasingly concerned when he played the lead role in Hamlet — directed by Laurence Olivier — at the National Theatre, and refused to alter his ingrained habits.
Never once, he revealed, did his opponent stick to the agreed moves. It was certainly never dull. Once, she was cast by director Herbert Ross to play a flamboyant actress in his remake of Goodbye, Mr.
However, he refused point-blank to rehearse with his wife, preferring to sit alone on set some distance away. Was he envious of her talent — or simply determined to keep her under his thumb? Either way, by the early Seventies his career was in trouble. Elizabeth Taylor had put paid to that, after finding them lying on the floor, both drunk as lords as they fondly embraced each other and sang Happy Birthday. The next time they saw each other, Burton said in a meek voice: Even after increasing health problems, forced him to stop drinking in , he could never quite forgive her.
There was another disturbing change: She was immediately suspicious, having recently found a love letter among his correspondence. They continued to live together, but the arguments escalated. Eventually, in , she moved out, though ironically her affair had ended.
Dazed and unsure of her future, she felt it would have been cruel to uproot the girls from their local schools and comfortable lifestyle. She felt too defeated to contest the decision in court. The joint bank account was closed, her allowance stopped, her medical insurance cancelled; it was a complete severing. After the divorce in , their paths rarely crossed again. In spite of his own affairs, not to mention his other outrageous behaviour, he felt betrayed.
Within months of her departure, her rival, Malinche, had moved into the marital home. And yet, in a sense, she understood. Even after 20 years of putting up with his bad behaviour and occasional cruelty, she could still say: