How tall was Yul Brynner

Yul Brynner's Height

5ft 8 (172.7 cm)

Russian born actor, best remembered for roles in The King and I, The Ten Commandments, Westworld, Anastasia, Solomon and Sheba, Cast a Giant Shadow, The Brothers Karamazov, Escape from Zahrain and The Magnificent Seven. On an immigration form he claimed to be 5ft 10 and weight of 180 pounds, although pushed this claim to extraordinary heights in 1958: " [He] stands 5-feet-11 and three-fourths tall...'I say I'm six feet. Takes less time to say it, besides who cares?' "


Photo By CBS Television, via Wikimedia Commons

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Add a Comment74 comments

Average Guess (21 Votes)
5ft 7.51in (171.5cm)
Miss Sandy Cowell said on 11/Jul/19
Yul Brynner would have turned 99 today. He's shorter than I expected to find for him.

5ft8.
Trevor Byron said on 11/May/19
I've seen yul Brynner in magnifucent 7 and king and i...tarras baba...etc..and I assume him to be around 5'10" as apposed to the 5' 8" he is erroneously made out to be...even his son rick Brynner stated yul to be just under 6 foot in his biography...this is my take
EOM said on 24/Feb/19
I met Yul Bruner when he was in the king and I at the palladium.He was dressed in the same cowboy shirt and jeans from the magnificent seven.He was shorter than some of your gueses but more than made up for that with sheer class and star appeal. He also had the most amazing voice.
You don't have to be tall to be a star
alabamafr said on 14/Oct/18
He must have had enormous balls to claim a height 10cm over his actual height.
Ian C. said on 7/Apr/18
Get a load of the sandals Brynner wore in The Ten Commandments. When he walks away from the camera, he looks as if he is wearing women's high heels. He has a scene where he has to stand on a level floor with Charlton Heston, but Heston has been made to stoop to look through a viewfinder thing, so that you can't see how much taller Heston is. Or, in his scenes with Anne Baxter, he is seen to tower over her. Everything is done in this movie to disguise Brynner's height. (Although he is heroically well built. Muscles all over the guy.)

It's as if Cecil B. DeMille (the director) disliked short men. The male extras in this movie are all giants. Clint Walker is in this movie (He's wearing a red tunic and what looks like a fake Viking helmet), and Walker claimed that he was hired because DeMille explicitly wanted tall guys.
Trevor Byron said on 23/Feb/18
I've heard alot of speculations that yul was 5'8 tall, but I believe Yul Better to be around 5‹10" tall...more than what he portrays, out of all his Co actors, yul was astronomical...i revere this guy
Maggie N. said on 29/Dec/17
On Yul Brynner 5’8” looks perfect.
Mark172cm said on 13/Dec/17
Rob, Is it possible he wore lifts? Here he's with Paul McCartney in 1980: Click Here
Editor Rob: wouldn't have said he seemed like he did, but he could at times look a solid 5ft 8 range guy.
Paul NS (6ft0.5) said on 7/Dec/17
Brynner apparently loved giving false info about himself, maybe he was trolling with the 3.75" increase.

Although, maybe not, because apparently he'd fly into a rage if he was challenged about not being 6ft. Pfft, that's rich. Who was he expecting to convince. It almost makes me feel a bit sorry for him, that's new levels of insecurity...
Ian C. said on 15/Nov/17
So, according to Yul, it is permissible to lie about something if the lie has one less syllable than the truth (five foot eight), or six syllables less than an alternate lie (five foot eleven and three-fourths)? Cool.

Get a load of this guy acting with Charlton Heston in The Ten Commandments. They stand on stairs, and Brynner gets the upper steps. Or Brynner is sitting on his throne above Heston.
Rising - 174 cm said on 16/Oct/17
@Rob: I'll throw out 5'9" then, but 5'8.5" looks more than possible in slippers with a Ingrid barefoot: Click Here

And yeah, the "who cares" part is pretty funny because even using his own admission on his immigration form, that means at a very minimum, he added roughly 2" so it'd seem Yul cared and very much from all the other anecdotes about his height. Redford did that as well with the "I'm 5-11.5, if anyone cares."
Rising - 174 cm said on 15/Oct/17
I thought he claimed 6'! His son mentioned he'd get very angry when anyone challenged Yul's claim of being six feet tall. In fairness, he did look 5'10" or so to me next to James Brolin in Westworld, but Brolin was probably barefoot considering the scene and you couldn't see their feet. I do think he was around 5'8.5" to 5'9", though and may have lost height due to his back injury.
Editor Rob: it is a bit of an outrageous claim and he seemed to throw it off like 'who cares' anyway.

On Ingrid's page she said she was taller than Yul, an interesting quote

"There was Bogart and Charles Boyer and Claude Rains, all smaller than me. I always took my shoes off for them but they still had to stand on boxes.
When I started shooting 'Anastasia' I met Yul Brynner on the set and realized at once that he was shorter. I suggested putting a little block under him. He turned round and said to me: 'You think I want to play it standing on a box. I will show the world what a big horse you are.' Maybe some actresses would have walked out but I just laughed and I never had a complex about my height after that. "
Shredder said on 18/Sep/17
I have not payed attention to his height , but I don't think he was taller than brando.
Editor Rob: would love to see Chris Pine transported back to meet Yul brynner, both saying 6 feet!
Editor Rob said on 16/Sep/17
Unbelievably he claimed taller than even what he had on his immigration form...a very 'modest' man!
arlene cowan said on 1/Jul/17
Very handsome and a very sexy man
RisingForce said on 17/May/17
I've never been convinced Brynner was as short as many think. Didn't he look similar to McQueen in the Magnificent Seven? I know it's been said he used trickery, but they're similar here in this on set photo as well: Click Here And here, take off the slippers and he's about Ingrid Bergman's height: Click Here I was thinking 5'8.5"-5'9" for Brynner and since that's Bergman's height it seems more possible. But you can never be sure if he was as insecure about his height as has been said and he did look short at times I'm Westworld. Maybe the back injury had taken some height off by that time.
Ro said on 12/Mar/17
I saw Yuk Brunner at Temple University Hospital seeking treatment for cancer. I was surprised to see how short he was. I'm 5'3". He was about my height maybe an inch or two taller but no more than that. I walked behind him as he exited the hospital
KH said on 21/Feb/17
Not this tall. Just watched the King and I and he was not much taller then any of the female leads in the movie and I have no reason to believe any of them were taller then average and given many were of Asian decent probably shorter then what is average today for a woman which is 5'4.5. Looked shorter then Deborah Kerr in many scenes although he was barefoot and she had shoes on. Commanding presence but I would be surprised if he was taller then 5'7 and possibly as short as 5'6 range.
James said on 2/Feb/17
Brynner was 5'7".
Arch Stanton said on 26/Nov/16
Rob can you add Anastasia, Solomon and Sheba, Cast a Giant Shadow, The Brothers Karamazov, and Escape from Zahrain?

LOL, if Yul was just under 6 ft Kirk Douglas was 6 ft 1 and change!!
vincent medrano said on 27/Feb/16
In his biography rock Brynner claims his dad, yul, was just under 6 ft tall. That would be around the 5'10 or 5'11" tall. Even if he was only 5'8" tall, he was still an awesome actor.
Zola said on 19/Sep/15
Every time I see McQueen in a group shot, he's always shorter and slighter than the guys around him. I think 5'10" is a stretch. 5'8" tops, probably less.
Ed2882 said on 6/Apr/15
Check out this photo of Heston and Brynner at the premiere for the Ten Commandments. Heston easily has 6" over Brynner, so the 5-8 listing seems dead-on. Though Brynner's charisma did make him seem much taller! Click Here
Arch Stanton said on 12/Feb/15
Rob can you add a photo, one showing off his beautifully round bald head LOL and add Anastasia? Looks spot on with Ingrid Bergman, but he had on fair boots too! You could tell by their body language they didn't get on, she found him a bully and obnoxious I believe.
Dmeyer said on 8/Feb/15
Seing another scène does seem 15cm shorter than 189cm heston
Dmeyer said on 8/Feb/15
How Côme looks 3-4cm under 189cm heston he looks 6'1 in the 10 comendments
Danimal said on 28/Sep/14
Looked quite short and compressed in Westworld (1973). Great movie btw!
John Joebee said on 19/Sep/14
Camera angle gave Yul height quite often
Directors like Orson Wells would have no difficulty establishing spacial relationships using camera angle to hide his height limitations yet make his position superior to the others .
NYCGUY said on 21/Apr/14
5'8" looks right, not 5'10" at all. In Ten Commandments he's wearing sandals with a 1-inch heel and no way does he look 5'11"! He still looks a good 6 inches shorter than Heston.
Arch Stanton said on 27/Dec/13
Thanks. Anastasia was the one where he got nasty with Ingrid Bergman over her height and said she was like kissing a horse or something and made fun over her for being tall. He didn't look a nice fella at all did he...I'm sure kissing Ingrid in 1956 would have been a wonderful experience!!
Arch Stanton said on 26/Dec/13
Rob can you say best remembered for films like The King and I, The Ten Commandments, Anastasia, and The Magnificent Seven?
[Editor Rob: yes I'll add the mention about him being 5ft 10 on the form ]
Arch Stanton said on 26/Dec/13
Rob can you link and mention the form linked below above that he claimed 5'10" on an immigration form?
Arch Stanton said on 26/Dec/13
He looks between 5'8 and 5'9" proportionally next to Kerr in The King and I. I could buy 174 but definitely not near 5'10!!
Ramses1 said on 27/Aug/13
He looked great physically in the "The Ten Commandments" as Ramses. But he is a big star so he's BIGGER in stature than a lot of tall actors who are not so successful in Hollywood.
FM said on 10/Aug/13
I think you have him and Steve McQueen mixed up, Rob. I think this guy was 5'10" and McQueen an inch or more shorter than him. Check the second pic down out:
Click Here
McQueen appears to be an inch or so taller in this picture. However, McQueen is probably wearing cowboy boots (dressed in his rugged jeans and shirt), and Brynner is probably in loafers with no heel. This would be McQueen at 5'10+ in cowboy boots, and Byrnner at a cool 5'10".

I know that Ingrid Bergman made a remark about how short Hollywood leading men were, when they made the movie Anatasia - and he replied to Bergman something to the effect of "Kissing you is like kissing a horse".
swm said on 23/Aug/12
Shaun says on 21/Aug/12

He put 5 ft 10 down on his immigration form. Yeah I can't blame the guy though, he acted in an era when there was an awful of lot of six footer actors


You have a point, he worked with men like Charlton Heston who was 6'3" and he was very sensitive about his height, in The Magnificent Seven he would apparently stand on a mound of dirt just to appear taller than Steve McQueen.
However I thought you had to be measured for these forms, or can you put down any height within reason?
Shaun said on 21/Aug/12
Click Here

He put 5 ft 10 down on his immigration form. Yeah I can't blame the guy though, he acted in an era when there was an awful of lot of six footer actors
fivenineguy said on 6/Jun/12
On Brynner's US Naturalization form his height is listed as 5'10".
Click Here

He broke his back in 1958 and in his biography by his son says this caused him to gradually shrink and lose a few inches in height by the late 70's. He did look around 5'8" for a lot of his films(and was notoriously sensitive about this, claiming 6ft and getting angry with anybody who challenged him about it) but would you say a peak 5'9" or 5'10" was possible?
Alyssa said on 5/Dec/11
I met him in Toronto after a performance of The King and I. There's no way on earth he was even 5'8" tall. I'm 5'4" and we looked eye to eye - he was not much taller than me!
jmac67 said on 4/Sep/11
I always laugh when I see him in the 10 Commandments. He had heels on his sandals and he was always on steps when he was with Chuck Heston.
® said on 2/Jul/11
He was 5'7,listed 5'10 during those days.
Alan said on 22/Apr/11
I was in an elevator with him in Kansas City in 1976 and he looked short.No way was he 5'10", 5'8" is pushing it. His ears as I recall were very large then. I think they grew as he got shorter. I guess as we all do.
Goliath of Gath said on 19/Jan/11
Yul Brynner was advertised as 5 ft 10, but was definitely more the range of around 5 ft 8 or so. Maybe 5 ft 8 1/2, but I doubt even 5 ft 9.
jtm said on 26/Dec/10
5'8 tops.
Mr. Kaplan said on 25/Dec/10
5'10" is silly.
RisingForce said on 19/Jun/09
How tall was Ingrid Bergman, Frank2? I'd guess that Brynner was atleast as tall as her based on that picture of Brynner in slippers with Bergman barefoot.
Frank2 said on 16/Jun/09
Fonda was 6'1" peak. By the time of that photo he was probably closer to 6' even.
Frank2 said on 16/Jun/09
I met him back when he did WESTWORLD which I worked on. He was about 5'8". And Elvis was 5'11" to 5'11.5".
Orlando said on 16/Jun/09
Look at this picture Click Here of Brynner with 5 ft 8.5 in Dirk Bogarde and reputed (not confirmed) 6 ft 1.5 in Henry Fonda and Philippe Noiret.
RisingForce said on 14/May/09
look at this excerpt from a biography about brynner.

"Elvis Presley, who was shooting another MGM film visited Yul on the Karamazov set. The singer knew Yul and was eager to introduce him to an old friend visiting from Memphis. After shaking Yul's hand, the friend all of a sudden cried out, "You're a short little mother, aren't you?" Elvis, visibly embarrassed, immediately apologized for his friend's behavior, which had touched one of Yul's weak spots: He was always very sensitive about his height. Although he claimed to be six feet tall, in reality he barely measured five-nine."

i can't believe yul claimed to be 6 feet! 5-9 sounds right for yul. here's the photo rob mentioned below and yul in slippers and ingrid bergman barefoot. Click Here he looks a bit taller, she's also a bit closer to the camera and it seems like he may be bending his knees(though she could be too). she's listed at 5-9 here, and there's no way he's shorter.
Petar said on 8/Dec/08
I want heights of legendary players of football
Lego said on 28/Jun/08
5'8 to 5'8.5 tops.
Stefano said on 9/Jun/08
Consider that he was completely bald. The presence of hair makes anyone looking at least 3 o 4 centimeters taller.
Kev said on 7/May/08
The pic with Sean/Yul/Jimmy and Bobby was taken at Pinewood
in July 1966 (while the World Cup was on in England)
Daniel said on 19/Apr/08
Lmeister, this poster isn't form The king and I, but from The Ten Commandements. Brynner looks 5'7'' in that photo.
Lee said on 9/Mar/08
just saw a print of that picture in a shop window and it stated it was taken at Pinewood, hope it helps
jilly said on 23/Feb/08
That photo of Sean, Yul , Jimmy and Bobby, anyone know the circumstances- where and when - that was taken?

[Editor Rob: I'm not sure, but I met old Jimmy last year. Great guy.

Rob and Greavsie]
Susan said on 26/Jan/08
I personally knew Yul. He had a large personality that elavated his height. He was a sensitive, kind hearted, gentle man. He loved is craft. He enjoyed being a mystery. He tried to keep his life private, and his personal information private. Who cares how tall he was. He was great at what he did. He cared about his performances, and his audience. He was a professional at his craft, and career. Everybody that knew him, respected him. He is greatly loved, and missed.
clint said on 3/Nov/07
He didnt even look 5ft 8 in the king and i. He may have been five 6 but i say five 7 or a touch over. In the magnificent seven he had to make a sand dune to look a similar height to his co stars mcqueen bronson vaughn and wallach.
Lmeister said on 2/Aug/07
in the film the King and I he had rather weird looking "sandals": Click Here
Hugh said on 1/Jan/07
He looked about 5'8" to me in 'Westworld' (1973) and was wearing cowboy boots, so 5'6" would be nearer the mark I think.
MarcW said on 11/Dec/06
A fiend of mine saw him getting into his ROLLS outside the Palladium. 5' 7" tops.
Gene P said on 10/Sep/06
In his biography of his dad, Rock Brynner quotes Yul as saying he was just under six feet tall, then drops hints that Yul actually was several inches shorter. For example, he quotes a six-foot-tall Fox executive who said Yul never forgave him for pointing out that Yul was several inches shorter than he. Rock also says one of Yul's challenges in the stage version of "The King and I" was to reamin the center of attention, despite his short stature and the fact that he had to perform barefoot.
Frank2 said on 23/Apr/06
McQueen didn't wear lifts.
John said on 22/Apr/06
In Rock Brynner's Biog there is a picture of Yul Brynner and Steve McQueen side by side in longshot and Brynner is shorter than the 5'8" Brynner.. although McQueen was probably wearing lifts.......
Chris said on 7/Apr/06
Guys, in the photo of Yul with Sean Connery....English footballers Jimmy Greaves and Bobby Moore are also present. Jimmy Greaves (on the left of Sean Connery) is known to be 5'8" and look how much taller he is than Yul Brynner!
Bobby Moore (far right of the photo) was 5'11" and looks almost as tall as Connery (bearing in mind he is slightly closer to the camera than Connery)
And look at the boots Brynner is wearing!
Frank2 said on 24/Mar/06
Here's Yul with 6' 1/2" Brad Dexter: Click Here

Frank2 said on 23/Mar/06
I saw a photo of Brynner standing at the Academy Awards with Cary Grant and Anthony Quinn and he came up to their chins!
larry said on 23/Mar/06
5'8". I go to a chiropractor/ neuro-muscular doc in San Antonio, Texas when we visit my daughter there. His name is Frizzell. He adjusted Mr. Brynner's back several times AND had photos on his wall with Yule. Dr. Frizzell told me Yule Brynner was 5'8" and used to chain smoke (not in HIS clinic, though). Apparently he stopped smoking, but (sadly) too late.
Frank2 said on 4/Mar/06
Brynner was 5-8. I know this is getting to sound like BS, but I worked with him as well as the rest I've described. With Brynner it was back at MGM when he starred in Westworld. He smoked like a fiend! Had he not he might still be around. He loved to take photos and always had an expensive Leica or Nikon around his neck.
kramer said on 28/Dec/05
in that picture hes even dwarved by jimmy greaves who was 5ft 9. I think he's about 5ft 6 tops
JUSTMATT said on 3/Oct/05
Looking at the photo with Connery he seems more 165-170cm tall...
Mr.K said on 12/Apr/05
Mr. R are absolutely right. I have sent Editor Rob a photo of Yul standing beside Sean Connery. His correct height was between 5'7"-5'8". As for Ingrid Bergman she was about 174 cms or 5'8.5"

[Editor Rob: yes, I saw this photo K refers to and it's hard to argue with Yul being in the 171ish range :)]
Mr. R said on 11/Apr/05
I recall seeing him listed at 5-7. No way was he 5-10.

[Editor Rob: had another look at 'big' Yul ;) There's a good shot on corbis of him in slippers and ingrid bergman barefeet. He looks her height. Of course bergman's height ranges from 5ft 6 - 5ft 10. She may have been 5ft 8-9?]

Heights are barefeet estimates, derived from quotations, official websites, agency resumes, in person encounters with actors at conventions and pictures/films.

Other vital statistics like weight, shoe or bra size measurements have been sourced from newspapers, books, resumes or social media.

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