Movie legend Richard Burton has missed being named as one of Britain's ten finest actors - even though Peter Sellers and Cary Grant both made the list.

The omission of the late former husband of DAME Elizabeth Taylor from the nominations assembled by a panel of experts has angered film fans.

Welsh-born Burton, whose classic movies include CLEOPATRA and WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF?, died in 1984 following a cerebral haemorrhage.

Burton's biographer PAUL FERRIS says, "If these two jokers (Grant and Sellers) are included, then why not Burton? Nobody would notice if Cary Grant or Peter Sellers were not in the top ten.

"Who would look at this list and wonder why they were not on it? But one does think that about Burton. Without a doubt, he would genuinely think he should be entitled to a place, though he'd probably make a joke about it."

However, British film critic Barry Norman defends the panel's choice, and comments, "The quality all the top ten share, apart from talent, is staying power. Anyone can be brilliant once - very few people can be brilliant nearly all the time.

"All the nominations are versatile and gifted - not just personalities but real actors, capable of submerging themselves into any role."

The full results of the poll will be broadcast on British TV on 11 July (05).

The Official List Of Britain's Ten Finest Actor Nominees in alphabetical order is:

1. Kenneth Branagh

2. Daniel Day-Lewis

3. SIR John Gielgud

4. CARY GRANT

5. SIR Alec Guinness

6. SIR Anthony Hopkins

7. Charles Laughton

8. SIR Ian McKellen

9. SIR Laurence Olivier

10. PETER SELLERS.

04/07/2005 09:09