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Famous Like Me > Actor > B > Yul Brynner

Profile of Yul Brynner on Famous Like Me

Name: Yul Brynner  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 7th July 1915
Place of Birth: Vladivostok, Russian Empire (now Vladivostok, Russia)
Profession: Actor
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia
Yul Brynner

Yul Brynner (July 7, 1915 – October 10, 1985) was a Russian Hollywood and Broadway actor.


Born Yul Borisovich Bryner in Vladivostok, Russia he appeared in many movies and stage productions in the United States. His mother, Marousia Blagоvidova, was the daughter of a Russian doctor of Jewish heritage (who had converted to Christianity) and his father, Boris Bryner, was an engineer and inventor of Swiss and Mongolian ancestry. He was named Yul after his paternal grandfather, Jules Bryner.

Brynner's early life was exotic, but he made it out to be even more exotic than it actually was, for example, claiming that he was born Taidje Khan of part-Japanese parentage on the Russian island of Sakhalin. A biography published by his son in 1989 clarified these issues.

After Boris Bryner abandoned his family, his mother took Yul and his sister, Vera Bryner, to Harbin, China, where they attended a school run by the YMCA, and in 1934 she took them to Paris, France. Early in his career he was photographed by George Platt Lynes.

Brynner's best-known role was that of King Mongkut of Siam in both the stage and film versions of the musical The King and I, for which he won an Academy Award as Best Actor. He is one of only seven people who have won both a Tony Award and an Academy Award (Oscar) for the same role.

He made an immediate impact upon first starring in films in 1956, appearing not only in The King and I that year, but also in major roles in The Ten Commandments and Anastasia. He later starred in such films as Solomon and Sheba (1959), The Magnificent Seven (1960), and Westworld (1973).

Brynner died on October 10, 1985 (the same day as Orson Welles) in New York City at the age of 70. The cause of death was lung cancer brought on by smoking. In January 1985, nine months before his death, he gave an interview on Good Morning America, expressing his desire to make an anti-smoking commercial. A clip from that interview was made into just such a commercial by the American Cancer Society, and released after his death.

Yul Brynner is interred in the cemetery at the Saint-Michel-de-Bois-Aubry monastery in Luze, near Poitiers, Vienne, France.

He has a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6162 Hollywood Blvd, and his childhood home is now a museum in Vladivostok.


    • Yul loved taking photographs. His daughter Victoria put together a book of his photographs of of family, friends, and fellow actors, as well as those he took while serving as a UN special consultant on refugees. The book is titled "Yul Brynner: Photographer"
    • he published two books in his lifetime. "Bring forth the children;: A journey to the forgotten people of Europe and the Middle East" in 1960 and "The Yul Brynner Cookbook: Food Fit for the King and You" in 1983.
    • he adopted two daughters from Vietnam
    • he married Doris Kleiner on the set during shooting of The Magnificent Seven in 1960.
    • his first wife Virginia was an actress
    • his second wife Doris was a Chilean model
    • his fourth wife Kathy Lee was an Asian dancer in The King and I shows.


    • Kathy Lee (1983 - 10 October 1985) (his death)
    • Jacqueline de Croisset (1971 - 1981) (divorced) 2 children
    • Doris Kleiner (1960 - 1967) (divorced) 1 child
    • Virginia Gilmore (1944 - 1960) (divorced) 1 child


    • Yul Brynner II (b. 23 December 1946), nicknamed when he was six "Rock" by his father in honor of boxer Rocky Graziano, who won the middleweight title in 1947. Rock is a historian, novelist and University history lecturer.. His mother was Virginia.
    • Lark Brynner was born out of wedlock and raised by her mother (b. 1958)
    • Victoria Brynner (b. Nov-1962), with wife Doris
    • Mia Brynner (adopted 1974, born in Vietnam), with wife Jacqueline
    • Melody Brynner (adopted 1975, born in Vietnam), with wife Jacqueline


  • Port of New York (1949)
  • The King and I (1956)
  • The Ten Commandments (1956)
  • Anastasia (1956)
  • The Brothers Karamazov (1958)
  • The Buccaneer (1958)
  • The Journey (1959)
  • The Sound and the Fury (1959)
  • Solomon and Sheba (1959)
  • Once More, with Feeling! (1960)
  • The Testament of Orpheus (1960)
  • Surprise Package (1960)
  • The Magnificent Seven (1960)
  • Goodbye Again (1961)
  • Escape from Zahrain (1962)
  • Taras Bulba (1962)
  • Kings of the Sun (1963)
  • Flight from Ashiya (1964)
  • Invitation to a Gunfighter (1964)
  • Morituri (1965)
  • Cast a Giant Shadow (1966)
  • The Poppy Is Also a Flower (1966)
  • Return of the Seven (1966)
  • Triple Cross (1967)
  • The Double Man (1967)
  • The Long Duel (1967)
  • Villa Rides (1968)
  • The Battle of Neretva (1968)
  • The File of the Golden Goose (1969)
  • The Madwoman of Chaillot (1969)
  • The Magic Christian (1969) (Cameo)
  • Adios Sabata (1971)
  • The Light at the Edge of the World (1971)
  • Romance of a Horsethief (1971)
  • Catlow (1971)
  • Fuzz (1972)
  • On Location with Westworld (1973) (short subject)
  • The Serpent (1973)
  • Westworld (1973)
  • The Ultimate Warrior (1975)
  • Death Rage (1976)
  • Futureworld (1976)
  • Lost in the Revolution (1980) (short subject) (narrator)

External Links

  • Yul Brynner at the Internet Movie Database
  • More on his 1985 Good Morning America interview
  • Classic Movies (1939 - 1969): Yul Brynner
  • mini-site by his son about the family history

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Yul Brynner