Yul Brynner Net Worth

February 15, 2024
2 mins read

Yuliy Borisovich Briner was born on 11 July 1920, in Vladivostok, Russian Far Eastern Republic, of Swiss, German and Russian descent, and was a film and stage actor, best known for portraying King Mongkut of Siam in the musical “The King and I” on screen and stage, a role for which he won two Tony Awards. All of his efforts have helped put his net worth to where it was prior to his passing in 1985.

So how rich was Yul Brynner? As of mid-2017, sources estimate a net worth of $10 million, mostly earned through a successful career as an actor, which also included starring as Ramesses II in the blockbuster films “The Ten Commandments” and Chris Adams in “The Magnificent Seven”, but all of his achievements ensured the position of his wealth.


Yul Brynner Net Worth $10 million


After growing up in Russia, Yul’s mother took him to China after his father left the family. He attended a school run by the YMCA, and then went to Paris after threats of a China and Japan war. He played guitar in Russian nightclubs in Paris and also trained as a trapeze acrobat. After sustaining an injury, he then turned to acting. In 1940, he immigrated to the United States along with his mother.

Brynner worked as a French-speaking radio announcer for the US Office of War Information during World War II, while at the same time studying acting. He made his first Broadway performance, a small role in a production of “Twelfth Night” in 1941. He then found a little acting work, before eventually co-starring with Mary Martin in a 1946 production of “Lute Song”, meantime also doing some modelling work. He then started working as a director for the new CBS television studios, and directed many shows including “Studio One”. He made his film debut in 1949 in “Port of New York”, which led to him being recommended for the role of the King in “The King and I”.

Yul’s role as King Mongkut would become his most famous role, and he performed it 4625 times on stage throughout his career. His net worth increased significantly thanks to his performances, and he won two Tony Awards, his first during the first Broadway production and his final during his last Broadway season. He also appeared in, and is perhaps most famous for the 1956 film version which earned him an Academy Award. In 1972, he also became a part of the short-lived “Anna and the King” which aired on CBS. He is one of only eight people to have won both an Academy Award and a Tony Award for the same role. Thanks to the success of the Broadway production and film, he continued to shave his head for the rest of his life, only wearing wigs for certain roles.

Brynner also had a mainstream film career, most notably appearing in “The Ten Commandments” as Rameses II, and also in “Anastasia”, “The Magnificent Seven’, “The Brothers Karamazov”, “Westworld”, and “The Magic Christian”, all major successes.

Aside from his work in acting, he was very active in the photography industry, compiling a collection of his photographs. He also wrote two books, one a cookbook entitled “The Yul Brynner Cookbook: Food Fit for the King and You”.

For his personal life, it is known that Yul married four times. His first wife was actress Virginia Gilmore (1944-60) and they had a child. He then had another child with Frankie Tilden whom he supported financially. His second wife was model Doris Kleiner, and their marriage lasted from 1960 to 1967, and they also had a child. His third wife was socialite Jacqueline Thion de la Chaume (1971-81); their marriage ended allegedly due to affairs with female fans, as well as neglect of his wife and two adopted children from Vietnam. In 1983, Brynner married ballerina Kathy Lee and they remained together for the last two years of his life. During the last stage season of :The King and I”, he discovered a lump on his vocal cords. Tests showed that he actually had inoperable lung cancer, a result of a lifetime addiction to cigarettes – he passed away in New York City 1985. His last performance was a commercial decrying the effects of smoking, screened on TV around the world after his death!

Daniel Wanburg

As the Managing Editor at Net Worth Post, I lead a talented team in delivering compelling content on the lives and achievements of influential figures. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for storytelling, I oversee the production of insightful biographies that resonate with our audience. My role involves not only managing the editorial process but also conducting research, crafting engaging narratives, and ensuring the accuracy and quality of our publications.

At NetWorthPost, we strive to provide our readers with in-depth profiles that offer valuable insights into the worlds of business, entertainment, and beyond. Through meticulous research and captivating storytelling, we bring to light the remarkable journeys and successes of individuals who inspire and captivate us.

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