Richard Burton was a Welsh screen actor, who was at one time the highest-paid actor in Hollywood. His prominent film roles include Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, The Night of the Iguana, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, My Cousin Rachel, Becket, Anne of the Thousand Days, and The Taming of the Shrew. 
In a 1969 journal entry, Burton wrote the following, which was reprinted in The Denver Post: "The more I read about man and his maniacal ruthlessness and his murderous envious scatological soul, the more I realize that he will never change. Our stupidity is immortal, nothing will change it. The same mistakes, the same prejudices, the same injustice, the same lusts wheel endlessly around the parade ground of the centuries. Immutable and ineluctable. I wish I could believe in a god of some kind but I simply cannot."