Yul Brynner

Born Jul 11, 1920

Yul Brynner was an American stage and film actor. He was best known for his portrayal of Mongkut, king of Siam, in the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical The King and I, for which he won an Academy Award for Best Actor for the film version; he also played the role more than 4,500 times onstage. He is also remembered as Rameses II in the 1956 Cecil B. DeMille blockbuster The Ten Commandments, General Bounine in Anastasia and Chris Adams in The Magnificent Seven.… Read More

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1920 Birth Yul Brynner was born Yuliy Borisovich Briner in 1920. … Read More
1923 2 Years Old 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. … Read More


1938 17 Years Old In 1938, his mother was diagnosed with leukemia, and they briefly moved back to Harbin.
1940 19 Years Old In 1940, speaking little English, he and his mother emigrated to the United States aboard the, arriving in New York City on October 25, 1940, where his sister already lived. … Read More


1941 20 Years Old Brynner’s first Broadway performance was a small part in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night in December 1941. … Read More
1944 23 Years Old 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.
1949 28 Years Old In 1949, he made his film debut in Port of New York. … Read More


1951 30 Years Old 1 More Event
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. … Read More
1954 33 Years Old 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.
1956 35 Years Old Brynner launched his mainstream film career in 1956 and quickly became a star after appearing as Rameses II in The Ten Commandments. … Read More
1959 39 Years Old In 1959, Brynner fathered a daughter, Lark Brynner, with Frankie Tilden, who was 20 years old. … Read More


1960 40 Years Old 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. … Read More
1961 41 Years Old Belgian novelist and artist Monique Watteau was also romantically linked with Brynner, from 1961–67. … Read More
1965 45 Years Old Brynner, a Swiss citizen, was naturalized as a US citizen, but in June 1965, he renounced his citizenship at the US Embassy in Berne, Switzerland, for tax reasons. … Read More


1971 51 Years Old 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.
1977 57 Years Old Brynner's mother, Marousia Dimitrievna (née Blagovidova), came from the Russian intelligentsia and studied to be an actress and singer. Brynner felt a strong personal connection to the Romani people; in 1977, Yul Brynner was named honorary president of the International Romani Union, an office that he kept until his death.


1980 60 Years Old His 1980 announcement that he would continue in the role of the King for another long tour and Broadway run, together with his affairs with female fans and his neglect of his wife and children, purportedly broke up this marriage.
1983 63 Years Old 1 More Event
On April 4, 1983, aged 62, Brynner married his fourth and last wife, Kathy Lee (born 1957), a 24-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 (1983–85) of his life.
1985 65 Years Old 1 More Event
Brynner died of lung cancer on October 10, 1985, in New York City. … Read More
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