Home Television Drama Anna and the King

Anna and the King

1 9 7 2 (USA)
13 x 30 minute episodes

Yul Brynner and Samantha Eggar starred briefly in the CBS series Anna and the King, which ran from September to December of 1972.

Reprising his role from the stage and film versions of The King and I, Brynner led this (non-musical) series through its monarch vs. feisty western woman scenario, prone to hasty pronouncements and prancing about his palace in loon pants, et cetera et cetera et cetera.

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Samantha Eggar played English governess Anna Owens, who arrives in Siam in 1862 to be the teacher to the King’s 67 children. Keye Luke (Kung Fu) and Brian Tochi (St. Elsewhere) were also along for the ride.

The staging was well realised and the sets looked beautiful (some were those featured in The King and I) but CBS pulled the plug after 13 episodes.

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The true story of how Anna Leonowens, an English governess, went to Siam to teach the King’s children, became first a personal biographical account (The English Governess At The Siamese Court), then a 1944 novel by Margaret Landon (Anna And The King Of Siam), then a film of the same name (1946) and then, most famously, a Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, The King And I, which opened on Broadway in 1951 and was adapted as a hugely successful second feature film in 1956.

King Mongkut 
Yul Brynner
Anna Owens 

Samantha Eggar
Louis Owens 

Eric Shea
Crown Prince Chulalongkorn

Brian Tochi
Prince Kralahome 

Keye Luke
Lady Thiang 

Lisa Lu
Princess Serena 

Rosalind Chao