75 Facts About Yul Brynner


Yuliy Borisovich Briner, known professionally as Yul Brynner, was a Russian-born actor.


Yul Brynner was best known for his portrayal of King Mongkut in the Rodgers and Hammerstein stage musical The King and I, for which he won two Tony Awards, and later an Academy Award for Best Actor for the film adaptation.


Yul Brynner played the role 4,625 times on stage and became known for his shaved head, which he maintained as a personal trademark long after adopting it for The King and I Considered one of the first Russian-American film stars, he was honored with a ceremony to put his handprints in front of Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood in 1956, and received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1960.


In 1956, Brynner received the National Board of Review Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of Rameses II in the Cecil B DeMille epic The Ten Commandments and General Bounine in Anastasia.


Yul Brynner was well known as the gunman Chris Adams in The Magnificent Seven and its first sequel Return of the Seven, along with roles as the android "The Gunslinger" in Westworld, and its sequel, Futureworld.


Yul Brynner was born Yuliy Borisovich Briner on July 11,1920, in the city of Vladivostok.


Yul Brynner had Swiss-German, Russian, Buryat and purported Romani ancestry.


Yul Brynner was born at his parents' home, a four-story house on 15 Aleutskaya Street, Vladivostok into a wealthy Swiss-Russian family of landowners and silver mining developers in Siberia and the Far East.


Later in his life, Brynner humorously 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.


Yul Brynner occasionally referred to himself as Julius Briner, Jules Bryner or Youl Bryner.


The 1989 biography by his son, Rock Yul Brynner, clarified some of these issues.


Yul Brynner's paternal grandmother, Natalya Yosifovna Kurkutova, was a native of Irkutsk and a Eurasian of partial Buryat ancestry.


Yul Brynner felt a strong personal connection to the Romani people and in 1977 he was named honorary president of the International Romani Union, a title that he kept until his death.


In 1924, Yul Brynner's father divorced his mother and continued to support her and his children.


Yul Brynner's father adopted a girl, because his new wife was childless, and many years later, after the death of his father, Brynner would take his adopted sister into his care.


Yul Brynner studied music under the guidance of his elder sister, Vera, who was a classically trained opera singer.


At that time, Yul Brynner was a student at a lyceum in Paris, where he studied French.


One day, while buying opium from a local dealer, Yul Brynner met Jean Cocteau and the two became lifelong friends.


Seventeen-year-old Yul Brynner became a drug addict and the family tried to help him treat the illness.


Yul Brynner spent a year in Lausanne, Switzerland treating his drug addiction at a Swiss clinic for drug addicts and at Lausanne University Hospital under the generous patronage of his aunt Vera Dmitrievna Blagovidova-Briner, his mother's sister.


Yul Brynner's aunt Vera Dmitrievna was a physician trained at a medical school in Saint Petersburg, Russia, before the revolution, and later practiced in China and Switzerland.


Yul Brynner never used illicit drugs again in his life, though he became addicted to cigarette smoking which gradually deteriorated his lungs and negatively impacted his health much later in his life.


In 1938 Yul Brynner's mother was diagnosed with leukemia, and the two briefly moved back to China seeking help from his father, who continued supporting them.


In Harbin, Yul Brynner's father had a lucrative trade business and lived with his second wife, actress Katerina Ivanovna Kornakova, who was a former member of the Moscow Art Theatre.


Yul Brynner was excited and impressed with the new experience, enabling him to act on a much higher level than his work as a circus acrobat.


Yul Brynner took the letter of recommendation from his stepmother and accepted money and blessings from his father.


Yul Brynner worked for the Voice of America, broadcasting in Russian to the Soviet Union during WWII.


Yul Brynner was introduced to Michael Chekhov on the recommendation from his father's second wife, actress Katerina Ivanovna Kornakova who was a former acting partner of Chekhov at the Moscow Art Theatre.


In 1941, Yul Brynner performed as a singer and guitar player at the "Blue Angel" club in New York.


Yul Brynner was 40, Brynner was 21; it was a mutually beneficial relationship, and the two became lifelong friends.


In 1941, Yul Brynner made his stage debut in Broadway production of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night that premiered on the 2nd of December 1941.


Soon Yul Brynner found a job as a radio commentator delivering war propaganda in French and Russian at the Voice of America radio station.


Yul Brynner had little acting work during the next few years but among other acting stints he co-starred in a 1946 production of Lute Song with Mary Martin.


Yul Brynner did some modeling work and was photographed nude by George Platt Lynes.


Yul Brynner made his film debut in Port of New York, released in November 1949.


The next year, at the urging of Martin, Yul Brynner auditioned for Rodgers and Hammerstein's new musical in New York.


Yul Brynner recalled that, as he was finding success as a director on television, he was reluctant to go back on the stage.


Yul Brynner 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.


Yul Brynner won the Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical for the first of these Broadway productions and a special Tony for the last.


Yul Brynner 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.


Yul Brynner is one of only ten people who have won both a Tony and an Academy Award for the same role.


In 1951 Brynner shaved his head for his role in The King and I 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.


Yul Brynner rounded out his year with Anastasia, co-starring with Ingrid Bergman under the direction of Anatole Litvak.


Less so was The Buccaneer, in which Yul Brynner played Jean Lafitte; he co-starred with Heston and the film was produced by De Mille and directed by Anthony Quinn.


However, Yul Brynner then received an offer to replace Tyrone Power, who had died during the making of Solomon and Sheba with Gina Lollobrigida.


Yul Brynner did Escape from Zahrain, with Ronald Neame as director, and Taras Bulba, with Tony Curtis for J Lee Thompson.


Yul Brynner had cameos in Cast a Giant Shadow and The Poppy Is Also a Flower.


Yul Brynner enjoyed a hit with Return of the Seven, reprising his role from the original.


Yul Brynner went to Yugoslavia to star in a war film, Battle of Neretva.


Yul Brynner supported Katharine Hepburn in the big-budget flop The Madwoman of Chaillot.


Yul Brynner appeared in drag in an unbilled role in the Peter Sellers comedy The Magic Christian.


Yul Brynner went to Italy to make a Spaghetti Western, Adios, Sabata and supported Kirk Douglas in The Light at the Edge of the World.


Yul Brynner remained in lead roles for Romance of a Horsethief and a Western Catlow.


Yul Brynner had a small role in Fuzz then reprised his most famous part in the TV series Anna and the King which ran for 13 episodes.


Yul Brynner returned to Broadway in Home Sweet Homer, a notorious flop musical.


Yul Brynner had stayed too long in the United States meaning he would be bankrupted by his tax and penalty debts imposed by the Internal Revenue Service.


Yul Brynner regularly returned to Vladivostok, the city of his father's birth, for the "Pacific Meridian" Film Festival.


In September 1983, Yul Brynner suffered a sore throat, his voice changed and doctors found a lump on his vocal cords.


Aware he was dying, Yul Brynner gave an interview on Good Morning America discussing the dangers of smoking and expressing his desire to make an anti-smoking commercial.


Yul Brynner sang some of those same songs in the film The Brothers Karamazov.


Yul Brynner married four times, his first three marriages ending in divorce.


Yul Brynner was nicknamed "Rock" when he was six years old in honor of boxer Rocky Graziano.


Yul Brynner is a historian, novelist, and university history lecturer at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York and Western Connecticut State University in Danbury, Connecticut.


In 1959, Yul Brynner fathered a daughter, Lark Yul Brynner, with Frankie Tilden, who was 20 years old.


Lark lived with her mother and Yul Brynner supported her financially.


Yul Brynner's second wife, from 1960 to 1967, Doris Kleiner is a Chilean model whom he married on the set during shooting of The Magnificent Seven in 1960.


Yul Brynner died of lung cancer on October 10,1985, at New York Hospital at the age of 65.


Yul Brynner was cremated and his ashes were buried in the grounds of the Saint-Michel-de-Bois-Aubry Orthodox monastery, near Luze, between Tours and Poitiers in France.


Yul Brynner used the announcement to express his desire to make an anti-smoking commercial after discovering he had cancer, and his death was imminent.


On September 28,2012, a 2.4-m-tall statue was inaugurated at Yul Brynner Park, in front of the home where Brynner was born at Aleutskaya St No 15 in Vladivostok, Russia.


In 1956, Yul Brynner imprinted his hands and feet into the concrete pavement in front of the Graumann's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, California.


In 1960, Yul Brynner was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6162 Hollywood Boulevard.


Yul Brynner spent many years living, studying, and working in France, and his last will stated his wish to be buried there.


Yul Brynner's resting place at Abbaye royale Saint-Michel de Bois-Aubry has a memorial mention dedicated to him.


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