Richard Burton

Richard Burton, was a Welsh actor. Noted for his mellifluous baritone voice, Burton established himself as a formidable Shakespearean actor in the 1950s, he gave a memorable performance of Hamlet in 1964, he was called "the natural successor to Olivier" by dramaturge Kenneth Tynan. An alcoholic, Burton's failure to live up to those expectations disappointed critics and colleagues and fuelled his legend as a great thespian wastrel. Burton never won an Oscar, he was a recipient of BAFTAs, Golden Globes, Tony Awards for Best Actor. In the mid-1960s, Burton ascended into the ranks of the top box office stars. By the late 1960s, Burton was one of the highest-paid actors in the world, receiving fees of $1 million or more plus a share of the gross receipts. Burton remained associated in the public consciousness with his second wife, actress Elizabeth Taylor; the couple's turbulent relationship was out of the news. Burton was born Richard Walter Jenkins Jr. on 10 November 1925 in a house at 2 Dan-y-bont in Pontrhydyfen, Wales.

He was the twelfth of thirteen children born to Edith Maude Jenkins. Jenkins Sr. called Daddy Ni by the family, was a coal miner, while his mother worked as a barmaid at a pub called the Miner's Arms, the place where she met and married her husband. According to biographer Melvyn Bragg, Richard is quoted saying that Daddy Ni was a "twelve-pints-a-day man" who sometimes went off on drinking and gambling sprees for weeks, that "he looked much like me", he remembered his mother to be "a strong woman" and "a religious soul with fair hair and a beautiful face". Richard was two years old when his mother died on 31 October, six days after the birth of Graham, the family's thirteenth child. Edith's death was a result of postpartum infections. According to biographer Michael Munn, Edith "was fastidiously clean", but that her exposure to the dust from the coal mines resulted in her death. Following Edith's death, Richard's elder sister Cecilia, whom he affectionately addressed as "Cis", her husband Elfed James a miner, took him under their care.

Richard lived with Cis and their two daughters and Rhianon, in their three bedroom terraced cottage on 73 Caradoc Street, Taibach, a suburban district in Port Talbot, which Bragg describes as "a tough steel town, English-speaking and grime". Richard remained forever grateful and loving to Cis throughout his life going on to say: "When my mother died she, my sister, had become my mother, more mother to me than any mother could have been... I was immensely proud of her... she felt all tragedies except her own." Daddy Ni would visit the homes of his grown daughters but was otherwise absent. Another important figure in Richard's early life was his brother, 19 years his senior. A miner and rugby union player, Ifor "ruled the household with the proverbial firm hand", he was responsible for nurturing a passion for rugby in young Richard. Although Richard played cricket and table tennis, biographer Bragg notes rugby union football to be his greatest interest. On rugby, Richard said he "would rather have played for Wales at Cardiff Arms Park than Hamlet at The Old Vic".

The Welsh rugby union centre, Bleddyn Williams believed Richard "had distinct possibilities as a player". From the age of five to eight, Richard was educated at the Eastern Primary School while he attended the Boys' segment of the same school from eight to twelve years old, he took a scholarship exam for admission into Port Talbot Secondary School in March 1937 and passed it. Biographer Hollis Alpert notes that both Daddy Ni and Ifor considered Richard's education to be "of paramount importance" and planned to send him to the University of Oxford. Richard became the first member of his family to go to secondary school, he displayed an excellent speaking and singing voice since childhood winning an eisteddfod prize as a boy soprano. During his tenure at Port Talbot Secondary School, Richard showed immense interest in reading poetry as well as English and Welsh literature, he earned pocket money by running messages, hauling horse manure, delivering newspapers. Richard wanted to repeat his success.

He chose to sing Sir Arthur Sullivan's "Orpheus with his Lute", which biographer Alpert thought "a difficult composition". He requested the help of his schoolmaster, Philip Burton, but his voice cracked during their practice sessions; this incident marked the beginning of his association with Philip. Philip recalled, "His voice was tough to begin with but with constant practice it became memorably beautiful." Richard made his first foray into theatre with a minor role in his school's production of the Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw's The Apple Cart. He decided to leave school by the end of 1941 and work as a miner as Elfed was not fit due to illness, he worked for the local wartime Co-operative committee, handing out supplies in exchange for coupons. He simultaneously considered other professions for his future, including boxing and singing, it was during this period that Richard took up smoking and drinking despite being underage. When he joined the Port Talbot Squadron 499 of the Air Training Corps section of the Royal Air Force as a cadet, he re-encountered Philip, the squadron commander.

He joined the Taibach Youth Center, a youth drama group founded by Meredith Jones and led by Leo Lloyd, a steel worker and avid amateur thespian, who taught him the fundamentals o

Greece at the Paralympics

Greece, the birthplace of the Ancient Olympic Games that hosted the inaugural 1896 Summer Olympics, did not compete in the Summer Paralympics until 1976 and in the Winter Paralympics until 2002, but since the Greeks have taken part in every edition of both events. Although the Greek delegation traditionally enters first during the parade of nations at the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games, this tradition does not apply to the Paralympics, where Greece enters within alphabetical order; the National Paralympic Committee for Greece is the Hellenic Paralympic Committee. Greek competitors have won 80 medals, 14 of which gold, Greece ranks 47th in the all-time Summer Paralympic Games. Greece's participation in the Winter Paralympics has been symbolic; the nation hosted the 2004 Summer Paralympics in Athens. The best Paralympic performance of Greece was in the 2008 Summer Games, when the nation finished 20th with 5 gold medals and 24 in total; the top medal-producing sports have been swimming and athletics, while boccia and powerlifting are the other sports that Greece has won medals in.

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Gillsburg, Mississippi

Gillsburg is an unincorporated community in Amite County, United States. The community is part of Mississippi Micropolitan Statistical Area. Gillsburg was the location of the October 20, 1977 plane crash that killed three members of the band Lynyrd Skynyrd. A rental plane carrying the band between shows from Greenville, South Carolina, to LSU in Baton Rouge, was low on fuel and crashed in a swamp in Gillsburg; the crash killed singer/songwriter Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines, vocalist Cassie Gaines, assistant road manager Dean Kilpatrick, pilot Walter McCreary, co-pilot William Gray. The other band members were injured in the crash. Gillsburg was home to the Wall family, one of the last black families to be held in peonage in the United States