“Yul has an extra quart of champagne in his veins,” an admirer once said of Yul Brynner, the exotic, charismatic actor who ruled Broadway and Hollywood for several decades and won an Academy Award for his signature role as the King of Siam in “The King and I.”
In fact, as Empire and Odyssey reveals, Yul Brynner had the most fascinating mixture imaginable in his DNA, which accounts for the intriguing and glamorous persona that emerged. Yul Brynner created many myths about himself, among them that he was born of a gypsy and a Mongolian Prince. But, as this family biography by his son, Rock, shows, the true story is even more extraordinary. The author is also an historian, and, unlike so many celebrity biographies, his book shows the research and panoramic view of an academic true to his calling.