Yul Brynner will forever be associated with his Oscar-winning role in The King and I in 1956, a role he had created on Broadway five years earlier and which also brought him a Tony Award. He began his professional career in a French circus, where he sailed through the air on a trapeze. The enigmatic Brynner was fluent in Russian and French, and he drew upon his language skills during WWII on the radio for Voice of America. He took up acting during the '40s and by 1946, he landed in his first Broadway production, Lute Song. Later in life, Brynner returned to the stage to re-create his role as the autocratic Siamese king, a role that ended shortly before he passed away in 1985 as the result of lung cancer. The actor wed four times: His first and longest marriage was to actress Virginia Gilmore, in 1940. They divorced in 1960, and the actor wed Doris Kleiner that same year. The couple divorced in 1967. Brynner married Jacqueline de Croisset in 1971, and the couple divorced after ten years. In 1983, he married Kathy Lee, and the marriage lasted until his death.
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