The King and I opened on Broadway on March 29, 1951, starring Gertrude Lawrence and Yul Brynner. The show proceeded to run for three years, racking up 1,246 performances. It received five Tony Awards, including Best Musical, and honors for both of its stars. Valerie Hobson and Herbert Lom starred in the original London production, and the musical scored great successes in Australia, Japan, and throughout Europe—from Le Roi Et Moi in Brussels to Der Konig Und Ich in Berlin.
In 1956, Twentieth Century Fox released the motion picture version of The King and I with Deborah Kerr as Anna (with her musical voice provided by Marni Nixon) and Yul Brynner recreating his role as The King. An immediate success, The King and I became the second-highest grossing film of the year and was also critically acclaimed; nominated for nine Academy Awards, it received five, including the Best Actor Award to Brynner.
Over the course of 34 years, Yul Brynner played The King more than 4,600 times; first on stage, then on the big screen and then on television (co-starring with Samantha Eggar in the short-lived series, Anna and the King in the early '70s). He brought The King and I back to Broadway for two separate, triumphant engagements; the latter, the culmination of his farewell tour as The King, was presented in 1985, the final year of his life. At the conclusion of that run Mr. Brynner received a special Tony Award for his achievements.
A Broadway revival opened at the Neil Simon Theatre on April 11, 1996, starring Tony Award winner Donna Murphy as Anna and film star Lou Diamond Phillips as The King. Hailed by the critics and public alike, The King and I swept the triple crown of Broadway honors that spring, winning the Tony Award, Drama Desk Award and Outer Critics' Circle Awards for Best Musical Revival.
In 2015, Lincoln Center Theater presented a Broadway revival starring Kelli O'Hara, Ken Watanabe and Ruthie Ann Miles. Directed by Bartlett Sher, the show was a critical smash, earning nine Tony nominations and winning four, including Best Revival of a Musical.