Given the history of animosity between the United States and Russia, a Russian who becomes an icon in one of America’s most unique industries is an unexpected notion, but that was exactly the story of Yul Brynner, who until his death in 1985 was a Hollywood -Icon was On the back of the most uncomfortable circumstances, he rode his luck and, with a bit of luck, achieved success in American entertainment before he finally passed away.
Yul Brynner’s biography
Yul’s birth name was Yuliy Borisovich Briner. He was born on July 11, 1920 in Vladivostok, now known in Russia as Primorye Krai. From an early age, he demonstrated his storytelling ability by telling exaggerated stories about his origins. He was born Boris Yuliyevich Briner and Marousia Dimitrievna.
At the age of three, Yul was abandoned by his father, who fell in love with an actress and left the family. This event started a chain of events that led Yul to America. His mother brought the rest of his family, Yul and his older sister to China. After nine years in China, the family moved to Paris, France.
Yul initially wanted to be an acrobat and split from a French circus troupe for five years until he retired from the profession due to a back injury. After the unexpected retirement, Yul began training as an actor. In 1940, Yul moved to the United States with his mother. He settled in New York with his older sister, who has been living in New York for a number of years.
When Yul came to New York he was working in the USAOffice of War Information making use of his French language ability as a radio announcer and commentator on a French language radio. While working in the office, he trained as an actor, studying with the legendary drama teacher Michael Chekhov.
After a year of studying and working at the US Office of War Information, Yul landed his first acting role in a Broadway production of Twelfth Night , a Shakespearean play. He played a small role in the play. After his Broadway debut, Yul found it difficult to get steady acting jobs.
As part of attempts to diversify, he was creative and making money and worked as a model, including being a nude model for George Platt Lynes. After a few years of pursuing acting performances on stage and failing, Yul settled on directing at the CBS television studios and fronted a show called Studio One amidst other shows on the network.
His defining work would come in 1951. At the behest of his girlfriend, Mary Martin, he auditioned for the role of King in the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical. He was cast as King Mongkut in 1951.
He performed the role 4,625 times on stage, winning Tony Awards for first and last production of the musical. When the musical was adapted into a movie in 1956, Yul played the same role and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance. He won.
While spending the majority of his career as King Mongkut, Yul had a film career that cemented his greatness. After winning an Oscar for his second appearance in a film, he also appeared in other films such as The Ten Commandments, Anastasia, The Brothers Karamazov, Solomon, and Sheba.
Yul Brynner’s film career got him started in boxing success in the office and was inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1960. His other lifetime achievement awards include the unveiling of a statue of him in Yul Brynner Park in Vladivostok, Russia.
spouse and children
During his exotic life, Brynner married four times. His first marriage was to an actress, Virginia Gilmore. Their marriage lasted from 1944 to 1960. The marriage produced a unique child, Yul “Rock” Brynner, who was born in 1946. The child is currently a historian and university lecturer in New York and Connecticut. Yul has been romantically involved with other women, most notably Marlene Dietrich and Monique Watteau.
He married his second wife, Doris Kleine, in 1960, and the two shared another child, Victoria Brynner, who was born in 1962. His third marriage was to Jacqueline Thion de la Chaume. The marriage lasted from 1971 to 1981 and although they never had a biological child of their own, the couple adopted two children. His last marriage shortly before his death was to Kathy Lee, a Malaysian ballerina. The couple were married for two years before his death.
His third biological child was not married – a daughter he had from his relationship with Frankie Tilden.
Yul Brynner’s Death – When and How Did He Die?
Yul Brynner died on October 10, 1985. He died of lung cancer resulting from a smoking habit he had developed since he was twelve. At his death, he created a public service announcement urging smokers to quit.