"In 1957, for the first time since meeting Claire Bloom — with whom he was still having an affair — he fell in love, with his co-star in the Broadway comedy Time Remembered. Susan Strasberg, then just 19, was strikingly beautiful and similar in appearance to Bloom.
Immediately smitten, she kept Burton on a string for months before eventually inviting him into her bed. Even the arrival of his wife and baby daughter, Kate, failed to deter the lovers.
‘He surpassed all my childhood
fantasies when he laid his passion at my feet,’ said Strasberg. And Sybil? As always, she refused to believe anything was going on.
After Burton returned to the UK, Strasberg was distraught, taking to her bed for days on end with one of his old T-shirts. Some months later, she flew out to see him, and headed straight for the set where he was filming Look Back In Anger, with co-stars Claire Bloom and Mary Ure.
Burton was having the time of his life: not only was he back with his darling Bloom, but he was also sleeping with Ure — the wife of the playwright John Osborne — not to mention his own wife. But even he had to question whether he could manage a fourth lover.
As soon as Strasberg arrived at his dressing-room, she flung herself into his arms for a passionate kiss. Moments later, Bloom skipped through the door.
For almost five seconds, the two women simply looked at each other in shock. The incorrigible Burton, however, was merely bemused: he’d never realised, he admitted later, just how similar his lovers were in looks.Eventually, Bloom screamed: ‘F*** off, the pair of you’, and stormed off. Strasberg flew off the next day, but not before she’d contemplated throwing herself off Waterloo Bridge.