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Richard Burton's native Wales is courting Hollywood

March 01, 2013|By Richard Verrier
  • The late Richard Burton gets a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The star was unveiled Friday as part of the 50th anniversary celebrations for the movie "Cleopatra" and is located beside that of costar Elizabeth Taylor.
The late Richard Burton gets a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The star… (ROBYN BECK / AFP/Getty Images )

As legendary actor Richard Burton was honored this week with a posthumous star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, his native Wales took full advantage of the occasion to shine a spotlight on itself.

“Richard Burton is part of a proud history of the Welsh in Hollywood,” Edwina Hart, business minister for the Welsh government, said in a statement. “He has inspired a new generation of actors, performers and filmmakers from Wales, who are now benefiting from our world class infrastructure and government support.”

Following the unveiling of Burton’s star Friday, the Welsh government and the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama hosted a reception at the Roosevelt Hotel to highlight the country’s potential as a location for television and drama production.

HOLLYWOOD WALK OF FAME: Richard Burton

The outreach comes as the British government is about to roll out a new 25% tax break, to take effect April 1, for high-end television production.  The measure is the latest push by the U.K. government to sell itself as a film destination. Since 2007,  Britain has attracted $8.31 billion of investment into 825 British films, which have received about $1.2 billion in tax relief.

Film industry officials in the U.K. estimate the incentives could result in approximately $529 million per year of additional investment in British television drama production, boosting the U.K. economy by about $1.5 billion.

Two hours from London, Wales has attracted such major productions as "The Dark Knight Rises," "Snow White and the Huntsman,"  "Captain America,"  "Clash of the Titans" and "Robin Hood."  Several TV shows from BBC producer Julie Gardner also filmed in Wales, including "Doctor Who" and "Sherlock."

“The Welsh Government can also offer flexible funding support for television production and property development,” Hart added. “The Wales Screen Commission provides information on locations, crew and costs that are approximately 20 percent less than in London.”

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