Yul Brynner ( Russian Yuliy Borisovich Bryner;
July 11, 1920 – October 10, 1985) was an actor of stage and film. He was best known for Mongkut, his portrayal of king of Siam in the musical The King and I. He won an Academy Award for the best Actor for the film version.
He also played the role more than 4,500 times on stage. He is also remembered as Rameses II in
the 1956 blockbuster The Ten Commandments;
General Bounine in Anastasia and Chris Adams in The Magnificent Seven.
Brynner was noted for his distinctive voice and for his shaved head, which he maintained as a personal trademark long after adopting it for his initial role in The King and I.
He was also a photographer and the author of two books. In addition to his work as a performer, Brynner was an active photographer and wrote two books.
His daughter Victoria put together Yul Brynner: Photographer a collection of his photographs of family, friends, and fellow actors, as well as those he took while serving as a UN special consultant on refugees.
Brynner wrote Bring Forth the Children: A Journey to the Forgotten People of Europe and the Middle East (1960) with photographs by himself and Inge Morath a Magnum photographer and also The Yul Brynner Cookbook: Food Fit for the King and You (1983)
A student of music from childhood, Brynner was an accomplished guitarist and singer. In his early period in Europe he often played and sang gypsy songs in Parisian nightclubs with Aliosha Dimitrievitch.
He sang some of those same songs in the film The Brothers of Karamazov. In 1967 he and Dimitrievitch released a record album The Gypsy and I: Yul Brynner Sings Gypsy Songs.