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Yul Brynner

Mostly Credited As: Yul Brynner
Sometimes Credited As: Yul Brinner
Yul Bryner
Taidje Khan

Birth Name: Yul Borisovich Bryner
Date Of Birth: July 11, 1920 (Age 65)
Country Of Birth: Russia
Birth Place: Vladivostok
Date Of Death: October 10, 1985
Cause Of Death: lung cancer (New York, NY)
Height: 5' 8" (1.72 m)

Yul Brynner

Yul Brynner was born the son of Boris Bryner, a Swiss-Mongolian engineer and inventor, and Marousia Blagavidova, the daughter of a Russian doctor. He was born in their hometown of Vladivostok on July 11, 1920, and named Yul after his grandfather Jules Bryner. When Yul's father abandoned the family, his mother took Yul and his sister Vera to Harbin, China, where they attended a school run by the YMCA.

In 1934, Yul's mother, Marousia took her children to Paris. Her son was sent to the exclusive Lycée Moncelle, but his attendance was spotty. He dropped out and became a musician, playing guitar in the nightclubs among the Russian gypsies who gave him his first real sense of family. He met luminaries such as Jean Cocteau and became an apprentice at the Theatre des Mathurins. He worked as a trapeze artists with the famed Cirque d'Hiver company. Brynner took up acting after a serious accident curtailed his circus career. He then moved the U.S . in 1941 to study with acting teacher Michael Chekhov and toured the country with Chekhov's theatrical troupe. That same year he debuted in New York as Fabian in Twelfth Night (billed as Youl Bryner). Ironiucally, he failed a screen test at Universal in 1947 because he looked "too oriental"

After working in a very early TV series, "Mr. Jones and His Neighbors", he played on Broadway in Lute Song, with 'Mary Martin', winning awards and mild acclaim. He and his wife, actress Virginia Gilmore, starred in the first TV talk show, "Mr. and Mrs." Brynner then joined CBS as a television director. He made his film debut in Port of New York (1949). Two years later, Mary Martin recommended him for the part he would always be known for, the King in Rodgers and Hammerstein's musical The King and I. Brynner became an immediate sensation in the role, repeating it for film and winning the Oscar for Best Actor. For the next two decades, he maintained a starring film career despite exotic nature of his persona, performing in a wide range of roles from Egyptian pharoahs to Western gunfighters, almost all with the same shaven head and indefinable accent.

Outside of his film work, Brynner was also an accomplished photographer, and many of his pictures appeared in major magazine spreads or were used as official studio production stills.

In 1972, the actor agreed to re-create his King and I role in an expensive weekly TV series, Anna and the King. But it lasted all of eight weeks. Brynner's last major film role was in the sci-fi thriller Westworld (1973) as a murderously malfunctioning robot, dressed in Western garb reminiscent of the actor's wardrobe in 1960's The Magnificent Seven. In 1977, Brynner embarked upon a stage revival of The King and I, that was adored by audiences all over the country.

On October 10, 1985, at age 65, Brynner died in a New York hospital -- still insisting that his public not know the severity of his condition until after his death, although he had recorded a dramatic public-service announcement to be broadcast afterward that blamed the illness on smoking.

Movie Credits

The King and I (1956) - King Mongkut of Siam
Once More, with Feeling! (1960) - Victor Fabian
Solomon and Sheba (1959) - Solomon
The Sound and the Fury (1959) - Jason Compson
The Journey (1959) - Major Surov
The Buccaneer (1958) - Jean Lafitte
The Brothers Karamazov (1958) - Dmitri Karamazov
Anastasia (1956) - General Sergei Pavlovich Bounine
The Ten Commandments (1956) - Rameses
Cast a Giant Shadow (1966) - Asher Gonen
Morituri (1965) - Capt. Rolf Mueller
Invitation to a Gunfighter (1964) - Jules Gaspard d'Estaing
Flight from Ashiya (1964) - TSgt. Mike Takashima
Kings of the Sun (1963) - Chief Black Eagle
Taras Bulba (1962) - Taras Bulba
Escape from Zahrain (1962) - Sharif
Goodbye Again (1961) (uncredited) - Extra in nightclub scene
The Magnificent Seven (1960) - Chris Adams
Surprise Package (1960) - Nico March
Poppies Are Also Flowers (1966) - Col. Salem
Return of the Seven (1966) - Chris Adams
Villa Rides (1968) - Pancho Villa
The Long Duel (1967) - Sultan
The Double Man (1967) - Dan Slater/Kalmar
Triple Cross (1966) - Baron von Grunen
The Magic Christian (1969) (uncredited) - Transvestite cabaret singer
The Madwoman of Chaillot (1969) - The Chairman
The File of the Golden Goose (1969) - Peter Novak
Bitka na Neretvi (1969) - Yvan Vlado
The Light at the Edge of the World (1971) - Jonathan Kongre
Le Serpent (1973) - Vlassov
Westworld (1973) - The Gunslinger
The Ultimate Warrior (1975) - Carson
Futureworld (1976) - The Gunslinger
Con la rabbia agli occhi (1976) - Peter Marciani

... and many more.

TV Appearances

Main cast 
Anna and the King (1972)As: King Mongkut
Episode Cast Credits 

The Ed Sullivan Show (1948) 
  Yul Brynner, The Doors 21x02: (Sep/17/1967) As Himself 
  Richard Rodgers Story Part 2 05x42: (Jun/22/1952) As Himself, [Guest Hosts]
  Humphrey Bogart / Yul Brynner / Yogi Berra / Phil Rizzuto 05x06: (Oct/14/1951) As Himself 
  Yul Brynner, Cab Calloway, Rose Marie, Pinky Lee, Tony Fontane 04x46: (Jul/29/1951) As Himself 

The Academy Awards (1953) 
  The 33rd Annual Academy Awards 09x01: (Apr/17/1961) As Presenter, [Featuring]
  The 29th Annual Academy Awards 05x01: (Mar/27/1957) As Winner: Best Actor (for 'The King and I') 

The Colgate Comedy Hour (1950) 
  SALUTE TO RODGERS & HAMMERSTEIN 06x04: (Oct/16/1955) As Himself 

Omnibus (US) (1952) 
  A Lodging for the Night 01x17: (Mar/08/1953) As Francois Villon 

Studio One (1948) 
  Flowers from a Stranger 02x23: (Feb/13/1950) As guest star 
  Flowers from a Stranger 01x15: (May/25/1949) As Dr. Nestri 
Crew Credits

Show Crew

Episode Crew

Omnibus (US) (1952) (Credited in 1 episodes from this show) 
Capital of the World 02x10 Dec/06/1953 As: Director
Danger (1950) (Credited in 1 episodes from this show) 
The Fearful One 01x02 Oct/03/1950 As: Director
Sure As Fate (1950) (Credited in 1 episodes from this show) 
Nightfall 01x01 Sep/05/1950 As: Director
Studio One (1948) (Credited in 1 episodes from this show) 
Concerning a Woman of Sin 02x08 Oct/31/1949 As: Director
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He died on the same day as Orson Welles.

His paternal grandmother was Mongolian.

His epitaph reads "Don't smoke." He smoked five packs of cigarettes a day during his lifetime.

He was an apprentice of the famed acting coach Michael Chekhov, the nephew of Anton Chekhov.

Yul was an apprentice of the famed acting coach Michael Chekhov, the nephew of Anton Chekhov.

In 1950, before Yul achieved fame, he was the director of a children's puppet show on CBS, Life with Snarky Parker, which barely lasted eight months on the air before cancellation.

Jean Cocteau: Yul Brynner must be mad to imagine that he could be Yul Brynner.

Yul Brynner: People don't know my real self and they're not about to find out.

Yul is buried in Saint Robert Churchyard, Monastery of Saint Michael, La Tourraine in France.

Yul's parents' names were Boris Bryner and Marousia Blagavidova.

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