Tuesday, August 24, 2010

tip of the hat: multi-talented talented people

It's always fun to find out someone famous has another equally admirable talent; Frank Sinatra and his painting, Judy Garland and her poetry, and, new to me, Yul Brynner and his photography.

"The day I came onto the set, he was sitting up on top of a ladder and to my surprise, when he saw me, he called down: 'Hey Bob, the exposure is 5.6/125."
-Bob Willoughby, photographer

I recently added Yul Brynner: Photographer, compiled by daughter Victoria Brynner to my beloved collection of photography books. I actually have two copies, the first refunded because at least eight pages had been ripped out of it. It was a strangely personal loss.

While best known for his role as the King in The King and I, what is less known are the many photographs he took around that set and others, at bullfights, in refugee camps. It was not just a hobby for him but a true art. I would highly recommend this book, and am excited for VB's newest collection of his photographs set to come out next month. I'm not quite as excited about the supposed $150 price tag but I'm sure it will be beautiful. I'll be saving my pennies for quite awhile.

All images scanned by me, click to enlarge. No copyright infringement intended.

Ingrid Bergman, 1958

Refugee camp Muascar, Jerusalem, 1959

Deborah Kerr doing hair color selection tests for The King and I, 1955

Cecil B. DeMille feeding deer, 1955

Even if you think Moses should have been a fool, I pity the fool who doesn't appreciate these pictures. (Too much? ... Yes, too much? Right then.)


  1. I really had no clue that Yul Brynner was a photographer. As you mention, I really only saw him as the 'King of Siam'.

    Thank you for shedding light on his less spoken about talent. Those photo samples are great - really good capturing of different moods and emotions. I love the Deborah Kerr one especially.

  2. These are hauntingly beautiful. Yul had a great eye for the camera lens.

  3. Cee-of course! it's a whole new side of him to appreciate.

    Heather- I absolutely agree, so glad I found this book!

  4. Thanks for visiting us at SHE! You have such a nice blog :)


  5. thank you, jen! and thanks as always rhette butler. :)