Yul Brynner

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Yul Brynner
Yul Brynner Anna and the King television 1972.JPG
Yul Brynner in 1972
Yuliy Borisovich Briner

(1920-07-11)July 11, 1920
DiedOctober 10, 1985(1985-10-10) (aged 65)
Resting placeSaint-Michel-de-Bois-Aubry Russian Orthodox Monastery (near Luzé, France)
NationalityFlag of Switzerland.svg   Switzerland
Flag of the United States.svg  United States
Years active1941–1985
Virginia Gilmore
(m. 1944;div. 1960)

Doris Kleiner
(m. 1960;div. 1967)

Jacqueline Thion de la Chaume
(m. 1971;div. 1981)

Kathy Lee
(m. 1983;his death 1985)

Yul Brynner (born Yuliy Borisovich Briner, Russian : Юлий Борисович Бринер; July 11, 1920 – October 10, 1985) [1] was a Russian-American film and stage actor. [2]

Russian language East Slavic language

Russian is an East Slavic language, which is official in the Russian Federation, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, as well as being widely used throughout Eastern Europe, the Baltic states, the Caucasus and Central Asia. It was the de facto language of the Soviet Union until its dissolution on 25 December 1991. Although nearly three decades have passed since the breakup of the Soviet Union, Russian is used in official capacity or in public life in all the post-Soviet nation-states, as well as in Israel and Mongolia.


Brynner was best known for his portrayal of King Mongkut of Siam in the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical The King and I , for which he won two Tony Awards and an Academy Award for the film version. He played the role 4,625 times on stage. He also starred as Ramesses II in the Cecil B. DeMille epic The Ten Commandments (1956), and played General Bounine in the film Anastasia (also 1956), the gunman Chris Adams in The Magnificent Seven (1960) and its first sequel Return of the Seven , and the android "The Gunslinger" in Westworld (1973) and its sequel Futureworld (1976). [3]

King class of male monarch

King, or king regnant, is the title given to a male monarch in a variety of contexts. The female equivalent is queen regnant, while the title of queen on its own usually refers to the consort of a king.

Mongkut Thai king

Mongkut, also known as King Rama IV, reigning title Phra Chom Klao Chao Yu Hua, was the fourth monarch of Siam (Thailand) under the House of Chakri, ruling from 1851 to 1868.

Thailand Constitutional monarchy in Southeast Asia

Thailand, officially the Kingdom of Thailand and formerly known as Siam, is a country at the centre of the Southeast Asian Indochinese peninsula composed of 76 provinces. At 513,120 km2 (198,120 sq mi) and over 68 million people, Thailand is the world's 50th largest country by total area and the 21st-most-populous country. The capital and largest city is Bangkok, a special administrative area. Thailand is bordered to the north by Myanmar and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the west by the Andaman Sea and the southern extremity of Myanmar. Its maritime boundaries include Vietnam in the Gulf of Thailand to the southeast, and Indonesia and India on the Andaman Sea to the southwest. Although nominally a constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy, the most recent coup in 2014 established a de facto military dictatorship.

Brynner was known for his shaved head, which he maintained as a personal trademark long after adopting it in 1951 for his role in The King and I. Earlier, he was a model and television director, and later a photographer and the author of two books.[ citation needed ]

Early life

Yul Brynner was born Yuliy Borisovich Briner on July 11, 1920 [4] [5] in the city of Vladivostok in the Far Eastern Republic, a puppet state controlled by Soviet Russia before being merged into the wider USSR two years later. [6] He enjoyed telling tall tales and exaggerating his background and early life for the press, claiming that he was born "Taidje Khan" of a Mongol father and Roma mother, on the Russian island of Sakhalin. [7] In reality of Swiss-German, Russian, and partial Buryat ancestry, he was born at home in a four-story residence at 15 Aleutskaya Street, Vladivostok. He had an elder sister, Vera. [8] He occasionally referred to himself as Julius Briner, [1] Jules Bryner or Youl Bryner. [4] The 1989 biography by his son, Rock Brynner, clarified some of these issues. [7]

Vladivostok City in Primorsky Krai, Russia

Vladivostok is a city and the administrative centre of Far Eastern Federal District and Primorsky Krai, Russia, located around the Golden Horn Bay, not far from Russia's borders with China and North Korea. The population of the city as of 2018 was 604,901, up from 592,034 recorded in the 2010 Russian census. Harbin in China is about 515 kilometres (320 mi) away, while Sapporo in Japan is about 775 kilometres (482 mi) east across the Sea of Japan.

Far Eastern Republic former country

The Far Eastern Republic, sometimes called the Chita Republic, was a nominally independent state that existed from April 1920 to November 1922 in the easternmost part of the Russian Far East. Although theoretically independent, it largely came under the control of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (RSFSR), which envisaged it as a buffer state between the RSFSR and the territories occupied by Japan during the Russian Civil War of 1917-1922. Its first president was Alexander Krasnoshchyokov.

Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic Republic in the USSR (1922–1991) and sovereign state (1917–1922 and 1990–1991)

The Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, previously known as the Russian Soviet Republic and the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic, as well as being unofficially known as the Russian Federation, Soviet Russia, or simply Russia, was an independent state from 1917 to 1922, and afterwards the largest, most populous and most economically developed of the 15 Soviet socialist republics of the Soviet Union (USSR) from 1922 to 1990, then a sovereign part of the Soviet Union with priority of Russian laws over Union-level legislation in 1990 and 1991, during the last two years of the existence of the USSR. The Russian Republic comprised sixteen smaller constituent units of autonomous republics, five autonomous oblasts, ten autonomous okrugs, six krais and forty oblasts. Russians formed the largest ethnic group. The capital of the Russian SFSR was Moscow and the other major urban centers included Leningrad, Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg, Nizhny Novgorod and Samara.

Brynner's photo upon emigrating to the United States Yul brynner immigration portrait and seal.jpg
Brynner's photo upon emigrating to the United States

His father, Boris Yuliyevich Briner, was a mining engineer and inventor, of Swiss-German and Russian descent. The actor's grandfather, Jules Briner, was a Swiss citizen who moved to Vladivostok in the 1870s and established a successful import/export company. [9] Brynner's paternal grandmother, Natalya Yosifovna Kurkutova, was a native of Irkutsk and a Eurasian of part Buryat ancestry. Brynner's mother, Marousia Dimitrievna (née Blagovidova), hailed from the Russian intelligentsia and studied to be an actress and singer. Brynner felt a strong personal connection to the Romani people; in 1977, Brynner was named honorary president of the International Romani Union, a title that he kept until his death. [10] [11]

Mining engineering engineering discipline that involves the practice, the theory, the science, the technology, and applicatIon of extracting and processing minerals from a naturally occurring environment

Mining engineering is an engineering discipline that applies science and technology to the extraction of minerals from the earth. Mining engineering is associated with many other disciplines, such as mineral processing, Exploration, Excavation, geology, and metallurgy, geotechnical engineering and surveying. A mining engineer may manage any phase of mining operations – from exploration and discovery of the mineral resource, through feasibility study, mine design, development of plans, production and operations to mine closure.

Irkutsk City in eastern Russia

Irkutsk is the administrative center of Irkutsk Oblast, Russia, and one of the largest cities in Siberia.

A Eurasian is a person of mixed Asian and European ancestry.

Boris Briner's work required extensive travel, and in 1923, he fell in love with an actress, Katya Kornukova, at the Moscow Art Theatre, and soon after abandoned his family. Yul's mother took his elder sister, Vera (January 17, 1916 – December 13, 1967), and him to Harbin, China, where they attended a school run by the YMCA.[ citation needed ]

Moscow Art Theatre theatre company

The Moscow Art Theatre is a theatre company in Moscow. It was founded in 1898 by the seminal Russian theatre practitioner Konstantin Stanislavski, together with the playwright and director Vladimir Nemirovich-Danchenko. It was conceived as a venue for naturalistic theatre, in contrast to the melodramas that were Russia's dominant form of theatre at the time. The theatre, the first to regularly put on shows implementing Stanislavski's system, proved hugely influential in the acting world and in the development of modern American theatre and drama.

Harbin Prefecture-level & Sub-provincial city in Heilongjiang, Peoples Republic of China

Harbin is the capital of Heilongjiang province, and largest city in the northeastern region of the People's Republic of China. Holding sub-provincial administrative status, Harbin has direct jurisdiction over nine metropolitan districts, two county-level cities and seven counties. Harbin is the eighth most populous Chinese city according to the 2010 census, the built-up area had 5,282,093 inhabitants, while the total population of the sub-provincial city was up to 10,635,971. Harbin serves as a key political, economic, scientific, cultural, and communications hub in Northeast China, as well as an important industrial base of the nation.

China Country in East Asia

China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia and the world's most populous country, with a population of around 1.404 billion. Covering approximately 9,600,000 square kilometers (3,700,000 sq mi), it is the third- or fourth-largest country by total area. Governed by the Communist Party of China, the state exercises jurisdiction over 22 provinces, five autonomous regions, four direct-controlled municipalities, and the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau.

In 1932, fearing a war between China and Japan, she took them to Paris. [9] Brynner played his guitar in Russian nightclubs in Paris, sometimes accompanying his sister, playing Russian and Roma songs. He trained as a trapeze acrobat and worked in a French circus troupe for five years, [12] but after sustaining a back injury, he turned to acting. [9] [13] In 1938, his mother was diagnosed with leukemia, and they briefly moved back to Harbin. [9]

In 1940, speaking little English, he and his mother emigrated to the United States aboard the President Cleveland, arriving in New York City on October 25, 1940, where his sister already lived. [4] [9] Vera, a singer, starred in The Consul on Broadway in 1950 [14] and appeared on television in the title role of Carmen . She later taught voice in New York. [15]


World War II

During World War II, Brynner worked as a French-speaking radio announcer and commentator for the US Office of War Information, broadcasting to occupied France. [16] At the same time, he studied acting in Connecticut with the Russian teacher Michael Chekhov.[ citation needed ]


Brynner's first Broadway performance was a small part in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night in December 1941. Brynner found little acting work during the next few years, [9] but among other acting stints, he co-starred in a 1946 production of Lute Song with Mary Martin. He also did some modelling work and was photographed nude by George Platt Lynes. [17]

Brynner's first marriage was to actress Virginia Gilmore in 1944, and soon after he began working as a director at the new CBS television studios, directing Studio One , among other shows. He made his film debut in Port of New York released in November 1949. [18]

The King and I

Brynner with Gertrude Lawrence in the original production of The King and I (1951) Lawrence Brynner.jpg
Brynner with Gertrude Lawrence in the original production of The King and I (1951)

The next year, at the urging of Martin, he auditioned for Rodgers and Hammerstein's new musical in New York. He recalled that, as he was finding success as a director on television, he was reluctant to go back on the stage. Once he read the script, however, he was fascinated by the character of the King and was eager to perform in the project. [19]

His role as King Mongkut in The King and I (4,625 times on stage) became his best known role. He appeared in the original 1951 production and later touring productions, as well as a 1977 Broadway revival, a London production in 1979, and another Broadway revival in 1985. He won Tony Awards for both the first and the last of these Broadway productions. He reprised the role in the 1956 film version, for which he won an Academy Award as Best Actor and in Anna and the King , a short-lived TV version on CBS in 1972. Brynner is one of only ten people who have won both a Tony and an Academy Award for the same role. [20] His connection to the story and the role of King Mongkut is so deep that he was mentioned in the song "One Night in Bangkok", from the 1984 musical Chess, the second act of which is set in Bangkok.[ citation needed ]

In 1951, Brynner shaved his head for his role in The King and I. [21] [22] Following the huge success of the Broadway production and subsequent film, Brynner continued to shave his head for the rest of his life, though he wore a wig for certain roles. Brynner's shaven head was unusual at the time, and his striking appearance helped to give him an exotic appeal. [23] Some fans shaved off their hair to imitate him, [24] and a shaven head was often referred to as the "Yul Brynner look". [25] [26] [27] Brynner reprised his "Shall We Dance?" segment with Patricia Morison on the TV special General Foods 25th Anniversary Show: A Salute to Rodgers and Hammerstein , broadcast March 28, 1954 on all four American TV networks of the time.[ citation needed ]

Film stardom

Drawing of Brynner by Nicholas Volpe after he won an Oscar for The King and I (1956) Yul Brynner 1956 drawing.jpg
Drawing of Brynner by Nicholas Volpe after he won an Oscar for The King and I (1956)

Brynner's second motion picture was the film version of The King and I (1956) with Deborah Kerr. It was a huge success critically and commercially. [28]

Brynner as Ramesses II in The Ten Commandments Yul Brynner in The Ten Commandments film trailer.jpg
Brynner as Ramesses II in The Ten Commandments

Cecil B. de Mille hired him for The Ten Commandments (1956) to play Ramesses II opposite Charlton Heston after seeing him in the stage version of The King and I, telling Brynner backstage that he was the only person for the role. [29] He rounded out his year with Anastasia (1956) co-starring with Ingrid Bergman under the direction of Anatole Litvak. Both films were big hits and Brynner became one of the most in-demand stars in Hollywood [ citation needed ]

MGM cast him as one of The Brothers Karamazov (1958), which was another commercial success. Less so was The Buccaneer (1958) in which Brynner played Jean Lafitte; he co-starred with Heston and the film was produced by De Mille but directed by Anthony Quinn.[ citation needed ]

MGM used Brynner again in The Journey (1959), opposite Kerr under the direction of Litvak, but the film lost money. So too did The Sound and the Fury (1959) based on the novel by William Faulkner with Joanne Woodward.[ citation needed ]

However Brynner then received an offer to replace Tyrone Power who had died during the making of Solomon and Sheba (1959) with Gina Lollobrigida. The movie was a huge hit. It did mean though that a proposed Brynner film about Spartacus had to be postponed. When the Kirk Douglas film Spartacus (1960) came out, Brynner elected not to make his own version. [30]

Brynner tried comedy with two films directed by Stanley Donen: Once More, with Feeling! (1960) and Surprise Package (1960) but public response was underwhelming. He made a cameo in Testament of Orpheus (1960).[ citation needed ]

The Magnificent Seven

Although the public received him well in The Magnificent Seven (1960) a Western adaptation of Seven Samurai for The Mirisch Company, the picture proved a disappointment upon its initial release in the U.S. However, it was hugely popular in Europe and has had enduring popularity. Its ultimate success led to Brynner signing a three-picture deal with the Mirisches. [31] He made a cameo in Goodbye Again (1961).[ citation needed ]

Films 1962–1969

Brynner focused on action films. He did Escape from Zahrain (1962) with Ronald Neame as director and Taras Bulba (1962) with Tony Curtis for J. Lee Thompson. Both films were commercial disappointments; Taras Bulba was popular but failed to recoup its large cost.[ citation needed ]

The first film under his three-picture deal with Mirisch was Flight from Ashiya (1963) with George Chakiris. It was followed by Kings of the Sun (1963), also with Chakiris, directed by Thompson. Neither film was particularly popular; nor was Invitation to a Gunfighter (1964), a Western. Morituri (1965), opposite Marlon Brando, failed to reverse the series of unsuccessful movies. He had cameos in Cast a Giant Shadow (1966) and The Poppy Is Also a Flower (1966). [3]

Brynner enjoyed a hit with Return of the Seven (1966), reprising his role from the original. Less popular was Triple Cross (1966), a war movie with Christopher Plummer; The Double Man (1967), a spy thriller; The Long Duel (1967), an Imperial adventure tale opposite Trevor Howard; Villa Rides (1968), a Western; and The File of the Golden Goose (1969). [3]

Brynner went to Yugoslavia to appear in a war film, Battle of Neretva (1969). He supported Katharine Hepburn in the big budget flop The Madwoman of Chaillot (1969). Brynner appeared in drag (as a torch singer) in an unbilled role in the Peter Sellers comedy The Magic Christian (1969). [32]

Later films

Brynner went to Italy to make a Spaghetti Western, Adiós, Sabata (1970) and supported Kirk Douglas in The Light at the Edge of the World (1971). He remained in lead roles for Romance of a Horsethief (1971) and a Western Catlow (1971). [3]

Brynner had a small role in Fuzz (1972) [3] then reprised his most famous part in the TV series Anna and the King (1972) which ran for 12 episodes.[ citation needed ]

After Night Flight from Moscow (1973) in Europe, Brynner created one of his iconic roles in the cult hit film Westworld (1973) as a killer robot. His next two films were variations on this performance: The Ultimate Warrior (1975) and Futureworld (1976). [3]

Brynner returned to Broadway in Home Sweet Homer , a notorious flop musical. His final movie was Death Rage (1976), an Italian action film.[ citation needed ]

Photographer, author and musician

In addition to his work as a director and performer, Brynner was an active photographer and wrote two books. His daughter Victoria put together Yul Brynner: Photographer ( ISBN   0-8109-3144-3), a collection of his photographs of family, friends, and fellow actors, as well as those he took while serving as a UN special consultant on refugees. [33] [34] [35]

Brynner wrote Bring Forth the Children: A Journey to the Forgotten People of Europe and the Middle East (1960), with photographs by himself and Magnum photographer Inge Morath, and The Yul Brynner Cookbook: Food Fit for the King and You (1983 ISBN   0-8128-2882-8).

He was also an accomplished guitarist. In his early period in Europe, he often played and sang gypsy songs in Parisian nightclubs with Aliosha Dimitrievitch. He sang some of those same songs in the film The Brothers Karamazov.[ citation needed ] In 1967, Dimitrievitch and he released a record album The Gypsy and I: Yul Brynner Sings Gypsy Songs (Vanguard VSD 79265).

Personal life

Brynner married four times. The first three marriages ended in divorce. He fathered three children and adopted two. His first wife (1944–1960) was actress Virginia Gilmore with whom he had one child, Yul 'Rock' Brynner (born December 23, 1946). His father nicknamed him "Rock" when he was six years old in honor of boxer Rocky Graziano. He is an historian, novelist, and university history lecturer at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York and Western Connecticut State University in Danbury, Connecticut.

In 2006, Rock wrote a book about his father and his family history titled Empire and Odyssey: The Brynners in Far East Russia and Beyond. He regularly returned to Vladivostok, the city of his father's birth, for the "Pacific Meridian" Film Festival. Yul Brynner had a long affair with Marlene Dietrich, who was 19 years his senior, beginning during the first production of The King and I. [36]

In 1959, Brynner fathered a daughter, Lark Brynner, with Frankie Tilden, who was 20 years old. Lark lived with her mother and Brynner supported her financially. His second wife, from 1960 to 1967, Doris Kleiner, was a Chilean model whom he married on the set during shooting of The Magnificent Seven in 1960. They had one child, Victoria Brynner (born November 1962), whose godmother was Audrey Hepburn. [37] Belgian novelist and artist Monique Watteau was also romantically linked with Brynner, from 1961–1967. [38]

His third wife (1971–1981), Jacqueline Thion de la Chaume, a French socialite, was the widow of Philippe de Croisset (son of French playwright Francis de Croisset and a publishing executive). Brynner and Jacqueline adopted two Vietnamese children: Mia (1974) and Melody (1975). The first house Brynner owned was the Manoir de Criqueboeuf, a 16th-century manor house that Jacqueline and he purchased. [39] His third marriage broke up, reportedly due to his 1980 announcement that he would continue in the role of the King for another long tour and Broadway run, his affairs with female fans and his neglect of his wife and children. [40]

On April 4, 1983, aged 62, Brynner married his fourth and final wife, Kathy Lee (born 1957), a 26-year-old ballerina from Ipoh, Malaysia, whom he had met in a production of The King and I. They remained married for the last two years of his life. His longtime close friends Meredith A. Disney and her sons Charles Elias Disney and Daniel H. Disney attended Brynner and Lee's final performances of The King and I. [41]


Brynner, a Swiss citizen, was naturalized as a U.S. citizen after applying in 1943, at the age of 22, while living in New York as an actor and radio announcer. [4] However, in June 1965, he renounced his US citizenship at the U.S. Embassy in Berne, Switzerland, for tax reasons. He had lost his tax exemption as an American resident abroad by working too long in the United States and would have been bankrupted by his tax and penalty debts. [39]


Brynner began smoking heavily at age 12, and although his promotional photos often showed him with a cigarette in hand, he quit the habit in 1971. In September 1983, he found a lump on his vocal cords. In Los Angeles, only hours before his 4,000th performance in The King and I, he received the test results indicating that while his throat was fine, he had inoperable lung cancer. He and the national tour of the musical were forced to take a few months off while he underwent radiation therapy, which hurt his throat and made it impossible for him to sing or speak easily. [9] The tour then resumed. [42] [43]

In January 1985, nine months before his death, the tour reached New York for a farewell Broadway run. Aware he was dying, he gave an interview on Good Morning America discussing the dangers of smoking and expressing his desire to make an anti-smoking commercial. The Broadway production of The King and I ran from January 7 to June 30 of that year, with Mary Beth Peil as Anna. His last performance marked the 4,625th time he had played the role of the King. Meanwhile, Brynner and the American Cancer Society created a public service announcement using a clip from the Good Morning America interview.


Brynner died of lung cancer on October 10, 1985, in New York City at the age of 65. [44] [45] A few days after his death, the recorded anti-cigarette public service announcement was shown on all the major US television networks and in many other countries. In it, he expressed his desire to make an anti-smoking commercial after discovering how sick he was, and that his death was imminent. He then looked directly into the camera for 30 seconds and said, "Now that I'm gone, I tell you: Don't smoke. Whatever you do, just don't smoke. If I could take back that smoking, we wouldn't be talking about any cancer. I'm convinced of that." His year of birth, in one version of the commercial, was incorrectly given as 1915. [46]

His body was buried in the grounds of the Saint-Michel-de-Bois-Aubry Orthodox monastery, near Luzé, between Tours and Poitiers in France (47.009N, 0.486E). [47]


Statue of Brynner in front of his birthplace in Vladivostok, Russia Yul Brynner Park, Vladivostok, Russia.jpg
Statue of Brynner in front of his birthplace in Vladivostok, Russia

On September 28, 2012, a 2.4-m-tall statue was inaugurated at Yul Brynner Park, in front of the home where he was born at Aleutskaya St. No. 15 in Vladivostok, Russia. Created by local sculptor Alexei Bokiy, the monument was carved in granite from China. The grounds for the park were donated by the city of Vladivostok, which also paid additional costs. Vladivostok Mayor Igor Pushkariov, US Consul General Sylvia Curran, and Yul's son, Rock Brynner, participated in the ceremony, along with hundreds of local residents. [48]



1949 Port of New York Paul Vicola
1956 The King and I King Mongkut of Siam Academy Award for Best Actor
National Board of Review Award for Best Actor (also for Anastasia and The Ten Commandments )
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
Nominated—New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor
The Ten Commandments Ramesses National Board of Review Award for Best Actor (also for The King and I and Anastasia )
Anastasia General Sergei Pavlovich Bounine National Board of Review Award for Best Actor (also for The King and I and The Ten Commandments )
1958 The Brothers Karamazov Dmitri Karamazov
The Buccaneer Jean Lafitte
1959 The Journey Major Surov
The Sound and the Fury Jason Compson
Solomon and Sheba Solomon
1960 Once More, with Feeling! Victor Fabian
Testament of Orpheus L'huissier / Court usherUncredited
Surprise Package Nico March
The Magnificent Seven Chris Larabee AdamsNominated—Laurel Award for Top Action Performance
1961 Goodbye Again Extra in nightclub sceneUncredited
1962 Escape from Zahrain Sharif
Taras Bulba Taras Bulba
1963 Kings of the Sun Chief Black Eagle
1964 Flight from Ashiya Sgt. Mike Takashima
Invitation to a Gunfighter Jules Gaspard d'Estaing
1965 Morituri Captain Mueller
1966 Cast a Giant Shadow Asher Gonen
The Poppy Is Also a Flower Colonel Salem(also titled Danger Grows Wild)
Return of the Seven Chris
Triple Cross Baron Von Grunen
1967 The Double Man Dan Slater / Kalmer
The Long Duel Sultan
1968 Villa Rides Pancho Villa
1969 The File of the Golden Goose Peter Novak
Battle of Neretva Vlado (Vladimir Smirnov)
The Madwoman of Chaillot The Chairman
The Magic Christian Transvestite Cabaret SingerUncredited
1970 Adiós, Sabata Sabata / Indio Black
1971 The Light at the Edge of the World Jonathan Kongre
Romance of a Horsethief Captain Stoloff
Catlow Catlow
1972 Fuzz The Deaf Man
1972 Anna and the King King Mongkut of Siam TV series, 13 episodes
1973 Night Flight from Moscow Col. Alexei Vlassov
Westworld The Gunslinger
1975 The Ultimate Warrior Carson
1976 Futureworld The Gunslinger
Death Rage Peter Marciani(final film role)

Short subjects

Box office ranking

At the height of his career Yul Brynner was voted by exhibitors as among the most popular stars at the box office:

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Ursula Eileen Patricia Augusta Fraser Morison was an American stage, television and film actress of the Golden Age of Hollywood and mezzo-soprano singer. She made her feature film debut in 1939 after several years on the stage, and amongst her most renowned were The Fallen Sparrow, Dressed to Kill opposite Basil Rathbone and the screen adaptation of The Song of Bernadette. She was lauded as a beauty with large blue eyes and extremely long, dark hair. During this period of her career, she was often cast as the femme fatale or "other woman". It was only when she returned to the Broadway stage that she achieved her greatest success as the lead in the original production of Cole Porter's Kiss Me, Kate and subsequently in The King and I.

<i>The Buccaneer</i> (1958 film) 1958 film by Anthony Quinn

The Buccaneer is a 1958 pirate film made by Paramount Pictures starring Yul Brynner as Jean Lafitte, Charles Boyer and Claire Bloom. Charlton Heston played a supporting role as Andrew Jackson, the second time that Heston played Jackson, having portrayed him earlier in the 1953 film The President's Lady. The film was shot in Technicolor and VistaVision, the story takes place during the War of 1812, telling a heavily fictionalized version of how the privateer Lafitte helped in the Battle of New Orleans and how he had to choose between fighting for America or for the side most likely to win, the United Kingdom.

Dolly Haas German-born actress and singer

Dorothy Clara Louise Haas was a German-American actress and singer who played in German and American films, and often appeared in Broadway plays. Her husband was caricaturist Al Hirschfeld.

<i>The King and I</i> (1956 film) 1956 film by Walter Lang

The King and I is a 1956 American musical film made by 20th Century Fox, directed by Walter Lang and produced by Charles Brackett and Darryl F. Zanuck. The screenplay by Ernest Lehman is based on the Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II musical The King and I, based in turn on the novel Anna and the King of Siam by Margaret Landon. That novel in turn was based on memoirs written by Anna Leonowens, who became school teacher to the children of King Mongkut of Siam in the early 1860s. Leonowens' stories were autobiographical, although various elements of them have been called into question. The film stars Deborah Kerr and Yul Brynner.

Virginia Gilmore American actress

Virginia Gilmore was an American film, stage, and television actress.

<i>Anna and the King</i> (TV series) television series

Anna and the King is a television sitcom that aired Sunday nights at 7:30 pm (EST) on CBS as part of its 1972 fall lineup.

<i>Solomon and Sheba</i> 1959 film by King Vidor

Solomon and Sheba is a 1959 American epic historical romance film directed by King Vidor, shot in Technirama, and distributed by United Artists. The film dramatizes events described in The Bible—the tenth chapter of the First Kings and the ninth chapter of Second Chronicles.

Home Sweet Homer is a musical with a book by Roland Kibbee and Albert Marre, lyrics by Charles Burr and Forman Brown, and music by Mitch Leigh.

Thor Fields is an American actor and guitarist.

The King and I is a 1951 musical by Rodgers and Hammerstein.

<i>Escape from Zahrain</i> 1962 American action film directed by Ronald Neame

Escape from Zahrain is a 1962 American action film directed by Ronald Neame and starring Yul Brynner, Sal Mineo, Jack Warden, Madlyn Rhue and Anthony Caruso. The film is based on the novel Appointment in Zahrain by Michael Barrett (1960).

<i>Surprise Package</i> (film) 1960 film by Stanley Donen

Surprise Package is a 1960 American comedy film directed by Stanley Donen and starring Yul Brynner, Mitzi Gaynor, Noël Coward, Eric Pohlmann and Barry Foster. The screenplay concerns an American gangster living on a Greek island and a deposed King who hatch a plan to steal some crown jewels.

<i>The Journey</i> (1959 film) 1959 American drama film by Anatole Litvak

The Journey is a 1959 American drama film directed by Anatole Litvak. A group of Westerners tries to flee Hungary after the Soviet Union moves to crush the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. It stars Deborah Kerr, Yul Brynner, Jason Robards and Robert Morley. Deborah Kerr and Yul Brynner were paired again since they starred in The King and I in 1956, where he had an Oscar-winning performance. The Journey was shot in Metrocolor.

Yul Vazquez Cuban actor

Yul Vazquez is a Cuban-American actor and musician. He is best known for his roles in Runaway Bride (1999), Bad Boys II (2003), War of the Worlds (2005), American Gangster (2007), The A-Team (2010), Captain Phillips (2013), The Infiltrator (2016), and Midnight, Texas (2017–2018). Vazquez used to be the lead guitarist for melodic rock bands Urgent and Diving For Pearls.


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Further reading