Iconic Actor

Header Photo: Iconic image (among a host of iconic images) of Yul Brynner from Westworld, 1973.
© Warner Home Video.

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Yul Brynner ~ Biography (1915 - 1985)

"Just call me a nice, clean-cut Mongolian boy."
- Yul Brynner

The most famous bald man...ever!

Yul Brynner born Taidje Khan on the 7th July 1915 in Vladivostock, Czarist Russia (now Vladivostock, Russia). Son of Boris Bryner, a Swiss-Mongolian engineer and inventor, and Marousia Blagavidova, the daughter of a Russian doctor. Named Yul after his grandfather Jules Bryner. Yul's father abandons the family, so his mother takes Yul and his sister Vera to Harbin, China, where they attend a school run by the YMCA.

Yul's mother takes her children to Paris. Her son is sent to the exclusive Lycée Moncelle, but his attendance is spotty. He drops out and becomes a musician, playing guitar in the nightclubs among the Russian gypsies who give him his first real sense of family. He meets luminaries such as Jean Cocteau and becomes an apprentice at the Theatre des Mathurins. He works as a trapeze artists with the famed Cirque d'Hiver company.

Yul Brynner travels to the U.S . to study with acting teacher Michael Chekhov and tours the country with Chekhov's theatrical troupe. He also debuts in New York as Fabian in Twelfth Night (billed as Youl Bryner). Finds work on TV and on Broadway in the next few years.

Marries Virginia Gilmore.

Birth of son Yul 'Rock' Brynner II on the 23rd December.

Yul Brynner makes film debut in Port of New York. He still has hair!

Mary Martin recommends him for the part the King in Rodgers and Hammerstein's musical The King and I. Brynner becomes an immediate sensation in the role. Wins a Tony.

Film version of The King and I. Wins the Oscar for Best Actor. Becomes one of only eight actors to win an Oscar and Tony for the same role. Also stars in Anastasia and The Ten Commandments.

Birth of daughter Lark, who is born out of wedlock and raised by her mother. Stars in The Brothers Karamazov and The Buccaneer.

Birth of daughter Victoria Brynner, in November.

Busy year for Yul Brynner as he stars in The Journey, The Sound and the Fury and Solomon and Sheba.

Divorces Virginia Gilmore. Marries Doris Kleiner. Stars in Magnificent Seven, Once More, with Feeling and Surprise Package.

Stars in Escape From Zahrain and Taras Bulba.

Stars in Kings of the Sun.

Stars in Flight From Ashiya and Invitation to a Gunfighter.

Stars in Saboteur: Code Name Morituri.

Stars in Cast a Giant Shadow, Return of the Seven and Triple Cross.


Divorces Doris Kleiner. Stars in The Double Man and The Long Duel.

Stars in Villa Rides.

Stars in The Madwoman of Chaillot and The Magic Christian (cameo).

Stars in The Battle of Neretva.

Stars in Adios Sabata, Catlow, The Light at the Edge of the World and Romance of a Horsethief. Marries Jacqueline de Croisset.

Stars in Fuzz.

Stars in Westworld and The Serpent.

Yul Brynner, Westworld - 1973

Adopts daughter Mia Brynner.

Adopts daughter Melody Brynner.

Stars in Futureworld.

Divorces Jacqueline de Croisset.

Marries Kathy Lee.

Dies of lung cancer on the 10th October in New York, New York, USA. Dies the same day as Orson Welles. Buried in the grounds of Abbey Saint-Michel de Bois Aubry, not far from the village of Luzé, France. Leaves a powerful public service announcement denouncing smoking as the cause, which is broadcast after his death.

Yul Brynner ~ Westworld

An advertisement extols the virtues of Delos, a vacation resort where, for $1000 a day, guests can experience Medievalworld, Romanworld or Westworld, recreations of historical periods precise to the smallest detail and peopled by robots almost indistinguishable from human beings. As Peter Martin (Richard Benjamin) and John Blane (James Brolin) travel towards Delos, an orientation film promises them that Westworld is a place of lawless violence, a society of guns and actions. Once arrived, Peter and John receive directions from a woman. Nervously, Peter wonders whether their guide was a robot. John tells him that the only way of telling the Delos robots from humans is their hands, which have not yet been perfected.

After being correctly outfitted for the American west of the 1880s, Peter and John are taken to Westworld in a Wells Fargo stagecoach. At the hotel, the two are shown to their room by a man whom Peter cannot believe is a robot, until John offers him a tip in order to give Peter a look at his hands. Peter is at first unimpressed with their surroundings. John tells him that Westworld is about authenticity, not comfort.

The two visit the saloon, where Peter unthinkingly orders a martini. John interrupts, changing the order to whiskey, telling his friend that he must get into the spirit of the place. At that moment a Gunslinger (Yul Brynner) dressed all in black approaches, speaking insultingly to Peter. As Peter hesitates, John goads him into action, and a moment later, the other occupants of the saloon scatter as Peter and the Gunslinger go for their guns. Peter shoots first, blasting a bloody hole through his adversary. After a stunned moment, he fires twice more, and the Gunslinger falls, apparently dead. As two men drag the body away, John must reassure Peter that the "dead" man was only a robot.

Later, back in their room, Peter asks John how he can be sure that an opponent is a robot. John explains that the guns in Westworld have a heat sensor, and will only fire at things with no body temperature. Over dinner, the men hear of another saloon run by a woman called Miss Carrie (Majel Barrett). There, John pushes Peter into the company of a girl called Arlette (Linda Scott). Peter is extremely nervous, but allows himself to be led to an upstairs room, where he and Arlette have sex.

That night, as the guests sleep, technicians enter the streets of Westworld, collecting the "dead" bodies and putting the town back together. Damaged robots are taken to a huge repair centre, where electronics experts work through the night to restore their functions. The centre’s supervisor (Alan Oppenheimer) is disturbed to hear that one robot has a central malfunction. Reporting to his superiors, the supervisor points out the recent sharp increase in serious robot malfunctions, a phenomenon that seems to be spreading through the resort. He recommends shutting Delos down for a time, and finally it is agreed that no more guests will be taken in until the problem is overcome.

yul brynner in westworld
A trio of Yul Brynners in Westworld - never have enough

The next morning, while Peter is down the hall in the bath, John hears a knock at the bedroom door. He opens it to be confronted by the Gunslinger, who holds him at gunpoint. In the corridor, Peter hears voices. He bursts into the room, gun at the ready, and blasts the Gunslinger, who falls through the window and into the street, "dead" again. To Peter’s dismay, he soon finds himself in jail, set to stand trial before a hanging judge.

Peter’s incarceration does not last long, however, as John organises an explosive jailbreak, "killing" the town’s sheriff in the process. The two men ride into the hills surrounding the town, laughing delightedly at being "desperadoes". As they discuss what to do next, a rattlesnake glides towards them. John shoots at it, but misses. The next moment, the snake launches itself towards him, biting him on the arm. Although the robot snake is soon "killed", John is left staring at his bleeding arm, repeating numbly that such things are not supposed to happen...

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    Yul Brynner ~ Photo Gallery

    Yul Brynner, 1957Yul Brynner, 1957The Magnificent Seven, Yul Brynner, 1960The Magnificent Seven, Yul Brynner, 1960
    Yul BrynnerYul BrynnerYul BrynnerYul Brynner
    Yul BrynnerYul BrynnerYul Brynner, 1957The Brothers Karamazov, Yul Brynner, 1958
    Yul BrynnerIngrid Bergman and Yul Brynner filming Anastasia at Elstree Studios, July 1956Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor and Yul Brynner at the Italian Oscars, August 1966Yul Brynner Hugging a Gypsy Boy, On Set of The Return of the Seven
    The Magnificent Seven, with Steve McQueen, James Coburn, Yul Brynner, and Charles Bronson, 1960Yul BrynnerYul BrynnerYul Brynner
    Yul BrynnerYul BrynnerYul BrynnerThe Magnificent Seven, Steve McQueen, Yul Brynner, Eli Wallach, 1960
    The King and I, Yul Brynner, Deborah Kerr, 1956The King and I, Yul Brynner, Deborah Kerr, 1956The Journey, Yul Brynner, Deborah Kerr, 1959The Buccaneer, Charlton Heston, Yul Brynner, 1958
    Anastasia, Yul Brynner, Ingrid Bergman, 1956The Ten Commandments, Yul Brynner, 1956Yul Brynner, 1950sEscape from Zahrain, Yul Brynner, 1962
    Yul BrynnerYul Brynner in Make Up and Costume for Role in Revival of The King and IActor Yul Brynner in Costume and Makeup for Role in Broadway Revival of Musical The King and IActors Yul Brynner and Wife Kathy in Make Up and Costume for the Musical The King and I
    Actors Yul Brynner and Deborah Kerr in a Scene from the Film The King and I


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    Yul Brynner ~ Film Posters

    You won't be surprised to know but the company with the most varied of Yul Brynner repro. film posters is amazon. There are a vast array of his posters there - far, far more than here.

    They come in various sizes and usually work out to be less than $10 per poster which I don't think is too bad. You get an unusual and beautiful item to hang on your walls and I bet your friends won't have it.

    Here, occasionally, you will find an original poster from the time of the release of the movie. They are obviously far more expensive but if you have the money they are worth it as they are works of art in their own right.

    Yul Brynner Film Posters available @ amazon.com.

    Yul Brynner Dvds available @ amazon.com.


    Yul Brynner: Biography >> Gallery >> Film Poster Gallery >> Magnificient Seven >> Triple Cross >> Westworld >> Advertise >> Books and Dvds available @ amazon.com

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