Yul Brynner

A Biography

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About the Book

Known as the bald cowboy in The Magnificent Seven and the sexy, charismatic male lead in The King and I, Yul Brynner was a Hollywood paragon of masculinity. Beyond his distinctive appearance and distinguished acting career was a life of intrigue and concocted tales surrounding his youth. Born Youl Bryner in Russia, he played gypsy guitar and worked as a trapeze clown until a severe injury motivated him to pursue his interest in theater. This biography takes readers through Brynner’s formative years in Russia, France and China and describes his journey from sweeping stages in Parisian theaters to a versatile career in theater, television and film, reaching a stardom that began and ended with the classic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical The King and I. With accounts of his personal and professional successes and failures, the book includes his four marriages, his numerous and notorious affairs with such stars as Judy Garland, Joan Crawford and Ingrid Bergman, and his 1985 death from lung cancer. A filmography details his movies and plays, and appendices outline his work in documentaries, music and soundtracks, radio programs and television.

About the Author(s)

Michelangelo Capua is the author of several McFarland biographies of Hollywood film stars. He lives in London.

Bibliographic Details

Michelangelo Capua

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 208
Bibliographic Info: 42 photos, filmography, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2006
pISBN: 978-0-7864-2461-0
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8035-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vi
A Note on Yul Brynner’s Name      viii
Introduction      1

1. Past Imperfect      3
2. Gypsy King      10
3. Television Debut      25
4. I’m the King! Etc., Etc., Etc.      30
5. Dietrich and Crawford      42
6. Cecil B. DeMille      49
7. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood      56
8. A Bastard with a Heart of Gold      75
9. The Magnificent Seven      93
10. Surprise Flops      108
11. Terrible Choices      123
12. Westworld      136
13. Long Live the King!      145

Filmography      161
Stage Appearances      172
Documentaries, Music and Soundtracks, Radio Programs and Television Appearances      175
Brynner as Director      177
Notes      179
Bibliography      187
Index      195

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “a must read…a treasure trove…one of the best star biographies I’ve read in years”—Canyon News
  • “provides some fascinating insights into Bryner’s difficult and rebarbarative personality”—DVD Choices
  • “provides some fascinating insights into Brynner’s difficult and rebarbative personality”—Crime Time