Russian-born film and stage actor Yul Brynner was best known for his portrayal of King Mongkut of Siam in the musical, 'The King and I.' He won two 'Tony Awards' and an 'Academy Award' for the film adaptation. It is interesting to note that he played the character 4,625 times on stage. His second film appearance was the film version of 'The King and I' (1956). The film proved a huge success.
He was as much famous for his bald head as for his performances. He maintained the bald look as a personal trademark after displaying the same look for his role in 'The King and I,' in 1951.
In 1956, he starred as Ramesses II in 'The Ten Commandments,' which was directed by Cecil B. DeMille, and played General Bounine in the film, 'Anastasia' (1956), Chris Adams in 'The Magnificent Seven' (1960) and its first sequel, 'Return of the Seven,' and the android, "The Gunslinger," in 'Westworld' (1973) and its sequel, 'Futureworld' (1976).
'The Magnificent Seven' proved unsuccessful in its initial release in the US, but became hugely popular in Europe.
In 1957, he appeared in the MGM production, 'The Brothers Karamazov' (1957), which was a commercial success. The 1958 film, 'The Buccaneer' (1958) was not so successful. In 1959, he appeared in another unsuccessful film, ' The Journey.' Another 1959 film, 'The Sound and the Fury,' also proved unsuccessful. The 1959 film, ' Solomon and Sheba,' however, proved to be a big hit.
He also tried comedy with 'Once More, with Feeling!' (1960) and 'Surprise Package' (1960), both directed by Stanley Donen, but the films didn't do well at the box office. Thereafter, he made a cameo in 'Testament of Orpheus' (1960).
He appeared in ‘Escape from Zahrain’ (1962), and ‘Taras Bulba’ (1962) but both films proved commercial failures. Some of his other unsuccessful films of the period were 'Kings of the Sun' (1963), 'Flight from Ashiya' (1963), 'Invitation to a Gunfighter' (1964), and 'Morituri' (1965).
‘Return of the Seven’ (1966) was his first hit in a number of years. Brynner appeared in a Yugoslav film, 'Battle of Neretva' (1969). Hde reprised his most famous part in the TV series, 'Anna and the King' (1972).
Brynner tasted success after a series of unsuccessful ventures with 'Westworld' (1973). It was followed by 'The Ultimate Warrior' (1975) and 'Futureworld' (1976).
Thereafter, he returned to Broadway in 'Home Sweet Homer,' but the musical proved a disaster. His last film was an Italian action film 'Death Rage' (1976).