Yul Brynner

Easter weekend - and our local TV stations always show “Ben-Hur” and the “Ten Commandments”. The latter features Charlton Heston and Yul Brynner. Brynner also starred in “The King and I” on Broadway - taking part in over 4,000 performances.

Has anyone performed in more Broadway performances than that?

George Lee Andrews did 9,382 performances of Phantom of the Opera. I am not 100% sure he had the same role the entire time, but I think he played Monsieur André the entire time.

Then one day, they did not renew his contract for no apparent reason.

This New York Times article from 2011, shortly after they let Andrews go, notes:

So, yeah, pretty much no particularly good reason.

The article also notes that the actor who replaced Andrews in the role was Andrews’ son-in-law.

I can’t answer your question about number of performances, but I do want to say that I was privileged to see Yul Brynner perform the role of the King, when “The King and I” came through Toronto in about 1984 or 1985. He was old, and not in the best of health, but he gave it his all, and turned in a great performance.

Yul Brynner died of lung cancer on October 10, 1985, at New York Hospital at the age of 65. His last performance, a few months before his death, marked the 4,625th time he had played the role of the King.

Brynner was also in the movie version of The King and I, opposite Deborah Kerr. I remember he did an anti-smoking PSA shortly before his death that continued to be shown long afterwards.

Yul Brynner, Eli Wallach and a lot of other stars were in the Magnificent 7. It’s one of the best Westerns from the 1960’s.

Brynner was a incredible actor. I’ll never forget his role as Pharaoh in 10 Commandments.

His performance in Westworld gave me nightmares.

Arnold Schwarzenegger said he modeled his Terminator performance on Yul Brynner in Westworld.

The guy was 68 years old and had been in the show for 23 years.

My guess is that the quality of his performances had started to deteriorate drastically.

Probably he was getting too old to carry on, things weren’t going to improve, he ignored suggestions that he might like to retire, and so they eased him out while trying not to hurt his feelings too much. Just a reasonable assumption.

I always wondered how effective that “from beyond the grave” message was. I never smoked, but it sure stuck with me!

My dad took me to see Taras Bulba around Christmas 1962, in Joliet IL. I thought then it would be really cool to be a Cossack!

He was also Dmitri in The Brothers Karamazov and a KGB officer in The Journey. These were some of his best roles.

I adored Yul Brynner in any role he did, just stunning in The Ten Commandments. And I never pass up a chance to watch The King and I… What charisma!

“So let it be written … so let it be done!”

A great cameo with Roman Polanski:


Ditto, same time, in San Jose. One article said he insisted the backstage areas be carpeted before signing the roadshow contract. Although, as King, he had slippers on, most of the rest of the court were barefooted and he wanted them comfortable when they were not onstage.

Me three. I saw him on that tour when it came through San Antonio. In fact, after I saw him once, I went back later in the week and saw him again, though I could ill afford the tickets. Sat in about the 10th row both times. I figured I wouldn’t get another chance and I was right. He died the following year. He was fantastic, with incredible charisma and stage presence.

OH, YES! :kissing_heart:

At first I thought he was waving a Canadian flag… :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

For some reason, I first read that as Waterworld.