Elizabeth Taylor Richard Burton Puerto Vallarta home. Puerto Vallarta: Elizabeth Taylor tribute. Why Puerto Vallarta is what it is today. Her much publicized personal life included eight marriages and several life-threatening illnesses. From the mid-1980s, Taylor championed HIV and AIDS programs; she co-founded the American Foundation for AIDS Research in 1985, and the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation in 1993. She received the Presidential Citizens Medal, the Legion of Honour, the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award and a Life Achievement Award from the American Film Institute, who named her seventh on their list of the “Greatest American Screen Legends”. Taylor died of congestive heart failure in March 2011 at the age of 79, having suffered many years of ill health. Puerto Vallarta, It was a romance that will long be remembered… I am referring to Liz and Dick, as their fans, and admirer’s would refer to them. Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton had a long, and somewhat torrid romance, which ended in divorce, not once but twice.
The minute I found out from a taxi driver that Casa Kimberley was open for tours, I knew I had to climb the hill behind the church, and have a look.
I could feel their presence the moment I walked into the beautiful villa. It is located up the hill, In a section of town called” Gringo Gulch.” The home has the most breath taking view’s of the Bay of Banderas, and the city of Puerto Vallarta.
Casa Kimberley was bought by Richard as a gift for Elizabeth 32 birthday… The couple had fallen in love with Puerto Vallarta when Richard Burton, accompanied by Elizabeth Taylor, came to shoot a film, “The Night Of The Iguana.” Casa Kimberley was actually one of the first homes they shared as a married couple. They lived in Puerto Vallarta for many years.I am sure there was some truth to the stories that still circulate today,of the couples tempestuous argument’s. Which as a rule would lead to Richard being band from the Casa, and sent packing across the pink bridge, that spans the street below, to the pool house across the road…
But the lovely woman I interviewed in the sun lit kitchen, gave a softer picture of the Burton’s life in Puerto Vallarta.
Yes, there are many long lived tale’s of the goings on at the Casa Kimberly. However, I got a somewhat different story from the daughter of the Burton’s house keeper. This lovely woman had grown up in Casa Kimberly, due to mother being the Burton’s housekeeper, for the entire time the Burton’s lived in Puerto Vallarta. After her mothers death, she took the position of watching over the Casa Kimberley, in Ms. Taylor’s absence.
She hoped to remain anonymous, and I will respect her request. I felt all she said rang true…
She talked of Liz and Dick bringing a young Mexican boy into their home, who’s mother had died . They did not adopt the child as their own, but loved him as if he were their own…She also spoke of the Burton’s founding an orphanage in Puerto Vallarta, “The Elizabeth Taylor Orphanage.” She claimed Liz would walk into town with her mother, with a small donkey, to shop for food.
I asked about the fight’s, one hears about? ” “They were very much in love, married people fight.” “You could always see they loved each other, just how they looked at one another.”
I asked, did either ever come back after the divorce? She claimed Liz had returned for a couple visit’s, the last being after Richard’s death. “She could not even spend the night in the casa. The memories were to painful”.
Richard Burton died in 1984. Casa Kimberley was sold by Elizabeth in 1990. Rumor has it that the money from the sale was donated to Aids research.
It’s very clear that the people of Puerto Vallarta have great admiration for the Burton’s. I have been visiting Puerto Vallarta for many years now, since that interview with the housekeepers daughter. I make it a point to visit Casa Kimberley each time I come to town.
For a while the Casa Kimberley was a Bed And Breakfast, and continued to have daily tours. There was a wonderful colorful gentleman, that gave guided tour’s, and would guide visitors’ through the casa. He would supply guests’ with wonderful stories of the Burton’s time in Puerto Vallarta.
When I last visited Casa Kimberley in the winter of 2010, I found it vacant, in sad disrepair… There was a pad lock on the entry door, and one could see, the casa had been vacant for some time? This so sadened me…
As I stood outside the Casa Kimberly, and pondered it’s sad condition, I could almost hear the echoes of voice’s, and Elizabeth’s hardy laugh coming from this now quite home. Voices from long ago. A hearty Welchman shouting, a soft sultry sigh… If wall’s could talk, the wall’s at Casa Kimberley would surely remind any passer by – this was once the home of star crossed lovers, Elizaberth and Dick Burton…