Yul Brynner - Updated Jun 2024

Updated On June 3, 2024
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Yul Brynner

Yul Brynner was a famous actor who appeared in films such as “The King and I,” “The Ten Commandments,” and “The Magnificent Seven.” Yul Brynner appeared in the 1956 film adaptation of the play after more than three years and 1,246 performances, winning an Academy Award for Best Actor. After that, he returned to the stage for another 3,379 theatrical appearances.

Early Life

Yuliy Borisovich Briner best known as Yul Brynner was born on 11 July 1920, in Vladivostok, Far Eastern Republic (present-day Primorsky Krai, Russia).  Moreover, he was a citizen of Russia and his zodiac sign is Cancer.

He had a mixed ethnicity of Swiss-Russian, Russian Americans, and Mongolian-Russian. Moreover, he was the son of Boris Yuliyevich Briner (father), and Marussia Dimitrievna (mother).

Talking about his siblings, he has a younger sister whose name is Vera Brynner. His father’s extramarital affair forced him to leave his children to his mother, who moved them to Harbin, China.

Yul Brynner

Caption: Yul Brynner posing for a photo (Source: Encyclopedia Britannica)

He acquired formal schooling in a YMCA-run school there. In 1932, his mother relocated her family to Paris, France, fearing a conflict between Japan and China. Yul developed a musical interest in France and began playing guitar in Russian nightclubs.

He studied as a trapeze acrobat and worked for three years in a French circus before suffering a back ailment that caused him to leave and pursue a new vocation.

He began acting as a result of this. In 1940, he and his mother immigrated to the United States and settled in New York City.

Health Issues and Death

He was a strong smoker who began smoking when he was 12 years old. However, he stopped smoking in the year 1971. He was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer 12 years later.

To address the same, he got radiation therapy. On October 10, 1985, in New York City, he died of lung cancer at the age of 65 years old. His lifeless bones were interred in the Russian Orthodox monastery of Saint-Michel-de-Bois-Aubry in Luzé France.

Yul Brynner – Net Worth 2024

Being a multi-talented person and working for a long period in the movie industry, he has earned a huge sum of money. At the time of his death, his net worth was estimated around $10 million.


Yul Brynner has earned some recognition and awards in his career. For his role as ‘King Mongkut’ in ‘The King and I,’ he received a ‘Tony Award’ in the category of ‘Best Featured Actor in a Musical’ in 1952.

He got a special ‘Tony Award’ for his 4,625 appearances in ‘The King and I.’ For his role as ‘King Mongkut’ in the film adaptation of ‘The King and I,’ he won an ‘Academy Award’ for ‘Best Actor’ in 1956.

He was also named one of the ‘Top 10 Stars of the Year’ for the next two years. At 6162 Hollywood Blvd., he was honored with a star on the ‘Hollywood Walk of Fame.’

Relationship Status

Yul Brynner was married four times throughout his life. From 1944 through 1960, he was married to actress Virginia Gilmore. They had a son, Rock Yul Brynner, together.

He had a daughter with Frankie Tilden in 1959. He married Doris Kleiner in 1960. Until 1967, the unison lasted seven years. Victoria Brynner, their daughter, was born to them. The next year, he married Jacqueline Thion de la Chaume.

From 1971 to 1981, he was married to her. Mia and Melody are the two children they adopted. In 1983, he married Kathy Lee. Until he died in 1985, they were married for two years. Yul Brynner was not a part of the controversy nor got into rumors till his death.

Professional Career

Early career

During ‘World War II,’ he began working for the ‘Office of War Information,’ broadcasting propaganda to occupied France as a French-speaking radio broadcaster and commentator. In the meantime, he received acting training from Russian acting teacher Michael Chekhov.

Following that, he embarked on a nationwide tour with Chekhov’s theater company. He made his stage debut in Shakespeare’s ‘Twelfth Night,’ playing a minor role.

Later, he appeared in the TV series ‘Mister Jones and His Neighbors,’ followed by Mary Martin in the 1946 production of ‘Lute Song’. He did some modeling work in addition to acting.

Yul Brynner

Caption: Yul in the film Th 7 Mercenaries (Source: silence)

Acting and direction

At the new CBS television studios, he tried his hand at directing. He also starred in the first television talk show, ‘Mr. and Mrs.,’ which aired in the United States. With the film ‘Port of New York,’ he made his big-screen debut in 1949.

He turned down acting offers because he already had a great career as a television director. In 1947, he auditioned for the role of ‘King Mongkut’ in the Rodgers and Hammerstein Broadway musical ‘The King and I,’ at Mary Martin’s suggestion.

He gained extensive critical and popular praise for his portrayal of ‘King Mongkut of Siam.’ He performed the role 4,625 times on stage during his career.

He also appeared in the 1977 Broadway revival, 1979 London production, and 1985 Broadway revival of the play. In 1956, he reprised his role as ‘King Mongkut’ in the film adaptation, as well as in a CBS television adaptation in 1972.

Following the box office success of ‘The King & I,’ he has been cast in a number more films. With parts in films like ‘The Ten Commandments and ‘Anastasia,’ he rose to the status of a superstar.

His outstanding acting talents and seductive accent gained his roles in several other films, including the Biblical epic ‘Solomon and Sheba,’ in which he played ‘Solomon,’ ‘The Magnificent Seven,’ ‘Taras Bulba,’ and ‘Kings of the Sun.’

‘Morituri,’ in which he co-starred with Marlon Brando, ‘The Madwoman of Chaillot,’ in which he co-starred with Katherine Hepburn, and the film adaptation of ‘The Brothers Karamazov,’ in which he co-starred with Lee J Cobb.

He performed the eponymous character in the film ‘The Ultimate Warrior’ near the conclusion of his acting career, followed by ‘Death Rage’ in 1976, which was his final film.

As a photographer, writer, and songs

He didn’t only limit himself to acting and directing; he also dabbled in photography, writing, and music.

‘Bring Forth the Children: A Journey to the Forgotten People of Europe and the Middle East,’ and ‘The Yul Brynner Cookbook Food Fit for the King and You,’ were among the publications he wrote throughout his lifetime.

He had taken the photographs for the publications. He recorded three songs for the film ‘The Brothers Karamazov’ as a guitarist. ‘The Gypsy and I Yul Brynner Sings Gypsy Songs’ was his first album, released in 1967.

Body Measurements

Yul Brynner was 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighs around 74 kg. Moreover, he had blue eyes and blad hair. Besides that, there is no more information regarding his other body measurements.

Yul Brynner – Social Media

The multi-talented actor is no longer in the world. So, Yul Brynner is not active on any kind of social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.