1985 Broadway Revival
Crossing the Atlantic after a successful run in London, Yul Brynner continued to play the King in a tour across the US. At a party thrown in Los Angeles by the Rodgers and Hammerstein families on September 13, 1983, Brynner celebrated his 4,000th performance as the King. As a farewell, he brought the production back to Broadway, with Mary Beth Peil as Anna Leonowens. Brynner’s wife, Kathy Lee Brynner, was also featured in the cast as Eliza and the Lead Royal Dancer. On closing night, June 30, 1985, Yul Brynner gave his final bow in The King and I; it was his 4,625th performance as the King of Siam. The Associated Press wrote on this historic moment: “During a five-minute curtain call, the audience stood and the orchestra played ‘Auld Lang Syne.’” It was a legendary moment in the history of American musical theater. The same year, Brynner received a second Special Tony Award honoring his record-breaking performance in the iconic role.