Brynner, Yul

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Brynner, Yul Gender: M
Yuliy Borisovich Bryner
born on 11 July 1920 at 06:15 (= 06:15 AM )
Place Vladivostok, Russian Federation, 43n10, 131e56
Timezone LMT m131e56 (is local mean time)
Data source
From memory
Rodden Rating A
Collector: Shaw, Victoria
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_cancol.18.gif 18°16' s_mo.18.gif s_taucol.18.gif 09°38 Asc.s_leocol.18.gif 07°54'

Portrait of Yul Brynner 
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Yul Brynner
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Russian-American actor who was dynamic, slightly mysterious and famous for his shaven head and piercing gaze. The son of a Mongolian mining engineer and a gypsy mother who died at his birth, he spent his first eight years in China. He was then sent to live with his maternal grandmother in Paris, but she died soon after. He attended school in Paris for a while but dropped out at 13 to join the circus, performing as an acrobat and clown. After an injury on the high trapeze, he turned to the stage. An early bout with TB also limited his gymnastic activities, so he moved into the performance of Russian and Gypsy songs in clubs. He learned English to go along with his ability to speak Russian, French, Japanese and Hungarian.

In 1941, Brynner moved to the U.S. His New York stage debut was in February 1946 on Broadway, playing opposite Mary Martin in "Lute Song." After 142 performances, Brynner took the show on tour. In 1948 he returned to New York, settling into the role of actor, director and producer in the fledgling TV industry, ultimately directing episodes of "Studio One," one of the more successful live anthology shows of the '50s. A knowledgeable photographer, he directed TV from 1946-1947.

He fell in love with the script of "The King and I" when Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein offered him the role. The opening in New Haven, CT, February 1951, was a disaster. The show was nearly five hours long and had only conflict between the King and Anna, without the tenderness and attraction that was added later to the script. With the book cut and sweetened, they opened in New York on 3/29/1951. It was a first-night hit. Brynner won a Tony in 1952 and an Oscar for the 1956 movie version.

A non-conformist, he was one of a kind and unique. It was for his audition for "The King And I" that he first shaved his head. His first starring movie was "The 10 Commandments." The films "Anastasia," "The King And I" and "Commandments" were all done in an 18-month period. For the film version of "The King And I," he repeated his charismatic stage performance.

Brynner resumed his role as the King of Siam on 5/03/1977 until the end of his life, with a last performance on 6/30/1979, reaching a total of 4,625 times that he had played the role in 26 years.

Brynner made a second marriage in 1960; their one daughter, Victoria, was born in their home in Switzerland in 1962. During his third marriage, he adopted two Asian girls. His fourth wife, Kathy Lee, was an Asian dancer in the show.

A five-pack a day smoker, he was diagnosed with lung cancer in 1983 and given three months to live. He underwent radiation treatment in Hanover, Germany. After spending two months in a clinic for treatment that included a controversial vitamin A-based diet of spinach, carrot juice, green leafy vegetables, pineapple juice extracts and chemicals, he declared that he was cured.

A fighter to the end, he died on 10/10/1985, 1:00 AM, New York.

Link to Wikipedia biography


  • associate relationship with Lawrence, Gertrude (born 4 July 1898). Notes: Co-star in "The King and I"


  • Family : Change residence 1941 (Moved to U.S.)
  • Work : New Career 1946 (TV director)
  • Work : New Career February 1946 (Stage debut in The Lute Song)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : New Job 1949 (Film debut)
  • Health : Change in Appearance 1951 (Shaved head for role as The King)
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 29 March 1951 (Opening of The King and I, immediate hit)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Family : Change in family responsibilities 1962 (Daughter born)
  • Work : Retired 30 June 1979 (Final performance as The King, played 4,625 times)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.

Source Notes

Vic Shaw quotes him on the set of "Westworld"


  • Traits : Body : Hair (Shaved head a trademark)
  • Traits : Mind : Education limited (School dropout at 13)
  • Traits : Personality : Eccentric (Non-conformist)
  • Traits : Personality : Unique
  • Diagnoses : Major Diseases : Cancer (Terminal lung cancer, heavy smoker)
  • Diagnoses : Major Diseases : Tuberculosis (As a kid)
  • Family : Childhood : Family traumatic event (Mom died when he was born)
  • Family : Relationship : Number of Marriages (Three)
  • Family : Parenting : Foster, Step, or Adopted Kids (Two Asian girls adopted)
  • Lifestyle : Home : Expatriate (Russia and U.S.)
  • Vocation : Beauty : Sex-symbol
  • Vocation : Entertainment : Actor/ Actress
  • Vocation : Entertainment : Circus/ Animal acts (Acrobat and clown)
  • Vocation : Entertainment : Live Stage (Legitimate theater all his life along with film)
  • Vocation : Entertain/Music : Vocalist/ Pop, Rock, etc. (Russian and Gypsy songs)
  • Vocation : Entertain/Business : Director (TV)
  • Notable : Awards : Oscar (Best Actor)
  • Notable : Famous : Top 5% of Profession
  • Notable : Book Collection : Occult/ Misc. Collection