( b. Jul 11, 1920 Vladivostok, USSR - d. Oct 10, 1985 New York, New York, USA ) Male
Brynner became most identified with his role as the Siamese monarch in The King and I in a way that few performers ever have been linked with a character.
After a stint supporting himself as a singer and guitarist, Mr. Brynner joined a French acting troupe in 1934. He came to the United States in 1941 and, barely fluent in English, learned his first role - Fabian, in a touring company of Twelfth Night - from a dictionary.
Mr. Brynner gave 4,625 performances as the King of Siam over the course of 30 years, taking his final curtain call at the Broadway Theater on June 30 this year as the orchestra and audience serenaded him with ''Auld Lang Syne.'' Mr. Brynner won an Oscar as best actor for his role in the 1956 film of the musical.
''I doubt a more ideal King could have been found than Yul Brynner,'' John Mason Brown of the Saturday Review wrote of the original production in 1951. Thirty-three years later, reviewing the opening night of Mr. Brynner's farewell engagement on Broadway in December 1984, Frank Rich wrote in The New York Times: ''Yul Brynner's performance in The King and I - the longest-running theatrical star-turn of our time - can no longer be regarded as a feat of acting or even endurance. After 30-odd years of on-and-off barnstorming, Mr. Brynner is, quite simply, The King. Man and role have long since merged into a fixed image that is as much a part of our collective consciousness as the Statue of Liberty.''
Source: The New York Times obituary
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