Burton, Harris, O'Toole and Reed: Hellraisers Inc

Wed May 21, 2008 9:38am EDT
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By Paul Majendie

LONDON (Reuters) - Richard Burton had no doubt that "God put me on this earth to raise hell."

For Peter O'Toole "Booze is the most outrageous of drugs which is why I chose it."

Richard Harris "loved the excitement of my drinking days. Life is made from memories which is a pity as I don't remember much."

Oliver Reed readily admitted "I do not live in the world of sobriety."

Critics might argue that this quartet of larger-than-life actors squandered their talent in far too many appalling movies because they were too busy chasing their drinking demons.

Not so says author Robert Sellers in "Hellraisers: The Life and Inebriated Times of Richard Burton, Richard Harris, Peter O'Toole and Oliver Reed."

"They got away with the kind of behavior that today's vapid bunch of film stars could scarcely dream of because of their mercurial acting talent and because the press and public loved them," he writes in the book, being published on May 29.

He hailed "four extraordinary lives lived extraordinarily."   Continued...

<p>Peter O' Toole was awarded an honorary Oscar for lifetime acheivement during the 75th Annual Academy Awards at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, California, March 23, 2003. OSCARSPLUS REUTERS/Lucy Nichols</p>