Yul Brynner was the boy from Vladivostok who used his Asian good looks and natural talent to become one of the biggest Hollywood stars of the 1950's and through to his final silver screen appearance in 1976. He was in demand making the top ten box office Hollywood stars in both 1957 and 1958. His rise to fame came when he was cast as King Mongkut of Siam in The King and I in 1951 and a costume designer called Irene Sharaff insisted that he should shave his head, he reluctantly complied and the legend of The King was born. His portrayal of the King of Siam was spell binding, his authority on stage commanded the respect that only a true king could portray. His mesmerising stare was unflinching and his voice had the authority of an almighty ruler, he was simply a perfect fit for the role that was to become his signature. His career could have easily type cast Brynner as the Asian actor or the King of Siam but he broke that mould by starring in different genres of successful movies such as The Ten Commandments (1956), Anastasia (1956), The Magnificent Seven (1960), Villa Rides (1968) and Westworld (1973). He cultivated an imposing figure on screen who could deliver an air of sophistication or a scowl that demanded to be taken seriously as an inscrutable bad guy. An enigmatic lifestyle was built around the mystery of the bald man with piercing eyes who became the Hollywood lead directors could turn to deliver the star quality of on screen dominance as a pre-requisite. He was a lifelong smoker who died of lung cancer in 1985 and he left a strongly worded message to the world about the detrimental effects of smoking cigarettes. His off screen persona was just as mysterious and he fuelled that with stories and quotes that asked more questions than gave real answers, so here is my compilation of 10 of the Best Yul Brynner quotes.
- Mini Bio
- Name: Yuli Borisovich Bryner
- Born: 11th July 1920, Vladivostok, Primorskaya Oblast, Far Eastern Republic
- Died: 10th October 1985, New York City, New York, U.S.
- Occupation: Actor
- Influenced by: Russian actor Michael Chekhov
- Acting trademark: His shaved head, authoritarian voice and an unflinching deep gaze
- Famous for: Portraying the King of Siam in The King and I, he performed the role 4,625 times on stage
- Awards: He won an Oscar for Best Actor for his portrayal of the King of Siam in the 1956 movie The King and I. He also won a Tony Award in 1952 while playing the same role in the musical version of The King and I
- Trivia: When Brynner was first cast in The King and I his costume designer insisted he shave his head and although aghast at the thought he complied and the legend of Yul Brynner was subsequently borne in the role he came to dominate
"We are born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Everything in-between is a gift"
"There are very few real men in the movies these days. Yet being a real man is the most important quality an actor can offer on the screen"
"Now that I'm gone, I tell you: Don't smoke. Whatever you do, just don't smoke. If I could take back that smoking, we wouldn't be talking about any cancer. I'm convinced of that"
"They decided to make a star dressing room for the Palladium Theater, not for Yul Brynner"
"No two days are ever really alike, if we're intensely aware and searching as I think we ought to be"
"Girls have an unfair advantage over boys: If they can't get what they want by being smart, they can get it by being dumb"
"People don't know my real self, and they're not about to find out"
"Just call me a nice, clean-cut Mongolian boy"
"When you feel that you have arrived, you are dead"
"I have been offered a lot for my work, but never everything"