Hellraisers: The Life and Inebriated Times of Richard Burton, Richard Harris, Peter O'Toole, and Oliver Reed
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ON SCREEN THEY WERE STARS.
"A portrait of four profoundly flawed yet awesome leading men, as well as a window into a time when glamour was sacrosanct and when stardom was achieved rather than manufactured." ―Playboy
"As the colorful anecdotes collected in this book make clear, some stars are born rather than made."―New York Post
"Sellers's outrageously entertaining history proves that today's celebrities don't have much on Richard Burton, Peter O'Toole, Richard Harris, and Oliver Reed."―The Daily Beast
"Hellraisers takes us back to the glory days of stage and screen actors Peter O'Toole, Richard Burton, Richard Harris, and Oliver Reed."―Connecticut News
OFF SCREEN THEY WERE LEGENDS!
"So wonderfully captures the wanton belligerence of both binging and stardom you almost feel the guys themselves are telling the tales."―GQ
"Like the rejuvenating martinis and blurry haze of cigarettes in Mad Men, Robert Sellers's nostalgic Hellraisers . . . amounts to an unapologetic celebration of the plastered and the damned."―The Wall Street Journal
"A rowdy collection of greatest hits."―The New York Times
"An incredibly entertaining series of anecdotes, interspersed with unpretentious and conversational interviews―all about drinking."―Los Angeles Times
"The most outrageous film book of the season, by far."―The Buffalo News
THE BOOZY BIOGRAPHY OF THE FOUR GREATEST ACTORS TO EVER WALK―OR STAGGER―INTO A PUB.
bed with a stewardess and immediately downing one of those mini airline-size bottles of scotch. A whole case of little bottles had been prepared, each one emptied of liquor, washed and re-filled with coloured water, but somehow a real bottle slipped through and when O’Toole drank from it during a take it made him so ill he had to leave the set for several hours. In the end he enjoyed the filming immensely, but for one strange incident that occurred during a scene in which a crowd of extras
of any kind – that’s why I’ve got two ex-wives. It scares me.’ It was Harris’s 11-year-old granddaughter who begged him to reconsider, threatening never to talk to him again if he refused the role. ‘What could I do?’ moaned Harris. ‘I wasn’t going to let her down.’ The film was a box office phenomenon and Harris became something of a hero to the young cast and a whole new generation of cinema goers. So it was with great satisfaction that he turned up for work on the sequel the following year,
alleges he drinks regularly to excess and when he is drunk he goes berserk with whoever is in sight, and she is the victim.’ When the court agreed to the injunction Harris was devastated. Later he came to accept the situation. ‘I gave Liz hell and I’m glad she gave me the boot. Life is strewn with compromises and scars. In Elizabeth’s and my case we needed more Band-aids than most people.’ After their divorce Elizabeth sent Harris a bird in a silver cage, with the message: ‘Here’s one bird that
on the floor, fondly embracing each other and singing ‘Happy Birthday’. They had been there since lunchtime. Burton was furious at being interrupted and it took a number of staff to carry him to his suite. Priggen was certain the actor would be in no state to work the following day. Yet, the next morning Burton gave what many considered to be his best performance and best day’s work during the whole shoot. Burton’s next turkey, Bluebeard (1972), a tale of a lecherous aristocrat who can’t keep
trouble here? I’m not drinking and still the comas. What’s wrong? I want it sorted out.’ Asked if he ever took drugs Harris replied, ‘No, never touch the stuff.’ The doctor was confused, unable to pinpoint the problem, so asked what Harris took in place of alcohol. ‘Oh I use that white stuff, up me nose. I smoke some weed, that kind of thing. But I never take drugs. I wouldn’t be caught dead taking sleeping pills or aspirin or any of that muck.’ The comas – and sometimes fits – continued. One in