Posted by Kimberly Lindbergs on November 29, 2012
Yul Brynner passed away in 1985 after battling cancer. At the time he was an accomplished performer with a Best Actor Oscar for his role in THE KING AND I (1956) and a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame. His standout roles in films such as THE TEN COMMANDMENTS (1956), ANASTASIA (1956), THE BROTHERS KARAMAZOV (1958), THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN (1960) and WESTWORLD (1973) had earned him a legion of fans but most of us were unaware that Brynner was also a skilled photographer who had been snapping pictures of his professional pals for decades.
Brynner started his acting career on stage in Europe and eventually arrived in the US where he started working for CBS television as a director. He discovered his passion for photography in 1950 while he was employed by CBS and continued to pursue his interest after snagging the leading role in THE KING AND I, which propelled him into super stardom. He also shared his passion for photography with his daughter, Victoria Brynner, and encouraged her to take up the hobby. She developed into an accomplished photographer herself and in a personal piece for the Daily Beast she wrote, “Photography was the one topic that was totally private, just ours. After his death it was generous of Kathy, his last wife, to give me all his work, my little treasure. It was 1985 and my father had died in October. I drove from Normandy to Paris with a large trunk filled with negatives and slides, not really knowing what this would all eventually mean to me. It means the world to me now. It is my link to the past and a constant reminder of who my father really was.” After making a small selection of her father’s photos available in 1992 she received an enormous amount of positive feedback and was encouraged to release more of his work.
On the 25th anniversary of Yul Brynner’s death in 2010 Victoria Brynner generously decided to publish an extensive collection of her father’s photographs to share with the public. The collection was so large that it couldn’t be contained in one book and was released as a four volume set titled Yul Brynner: A Photographic Journey. This lavish compilation of Brynner’s private photos was also part of a traveling exhibit between 2010-2012 that opened in New York, Los Angeles, London, and Paris and most recently Deauville, France.
The photos are a treasure trove of Hollywood memories that should appeal to anyone who loves classic movies but they also illustrate that Yul Brynner was much more than a casual hobbyist. He was a talented photographer with an incredible eye for composition. Brynner’s subjects are relaxed, often completely unaware of his camera, and when they do catch his eye their smiles are genuinely warm and inviting. His photos offer us an intimate and personal look at people who were often extremely guarded or constantly performing for the public but there are no performances here. These people are merely Yul Brynner’s coworkers, friends and family members enjoying his company and untroubled by his presence.
Below is a small sampling of Brynner’s impressive photos. You can find many more in Yul Brynner: A Photographic Journey.
For more information about Yul Brynner: A Photographic Journey please visit the official website for the book and traveling exhibit.
MovieMorlocks.com is the official blog for TCM. No topic is too obscure or niche to be excluded from our film discussions. And we welcome your comments on our blogs and bloggers.
See more: facebook.com/tcmtv
See more: twitter.com/tcm
3-D Action Films Actors Actors' Endorsements Actresses animal stars Animation Anime Anthology Films Art in Movies Autobiography Avant-Garde Aviation Awards B-movies Beer in Film Behind the Scenes Best of the Year lists Biography Biopics Blu-Ray Books on Film Boxing films British Cinema Canadian Cinema Character Actors Chicago Film History Cinematography Classic Films College Life on Film Comedy Comic Book Movies Crime Czech Film Dance on Film Digital Cinema Directors Disaster Films Documentary Drama DVD Early Talkies Editing Educational Films European Influence on American Cinema Experimental Exploitation Fairy Tales on Film Faith or Christian-based Films Family Films Film Composers Film Criticism film festivals Film History in Florida Film Noir Film Scholars Film titles Filmmaking Techniques Films of the 1980s Food in Film Foreign Film French Film Gangster films Genre Genre spoofs HD & Blu-Ray Holiday Movies Hollywood history Hollywood lifestyles Horror Horror Movies Icons independent film Italian Film Japanese Film Korean Film Literary Adaptations Martial Arts Melodramas Method Acting Mexican Cinema Moguls Monster Movies Movie Books Movie Costumes movie flops Movie locations Movie lovers Movie Reviewers Movie settings Movie Stars Movies about movies Music in Film Musicals Outdoor Cinema Paranoid Thrillers Parenting on film Pirate movies Polish film industry political thrillers Politics in Film Pornography Pre-Code Producers Race in American Film Remakes Revenge Road Movies Romance Romantic Comedies Satire Scandals Science Fiction Screenwriters Semi-documentaries Serials Short Films Silent Film silent films Social Problem Film Sports Sports on Film Stereotypes Straight-to-DVD Studio Politics Stunts and stuntmen Suspense thriller TCM Classic Film Festival TCM Underground Television The British in Hollywood The Germans in Hollywood The Hungarians in Hollywood The Irish in Hollywood Theaters Thriller Trains in movies Underground Cinema VOD War film Westerns Women in the Film Industry Women's Weepies