Charles Bronson (born Charles Dennis Buchinsky; November 3, 1921 – August 30, 2003) was an American action films actor. Bronson born into poverty worked in the mines until joining the United States Army Air Forces in 1943 to fight in World War II. After his service, he joined a theatrical troupe and studied acting. During the 1950s, he played various supporting roles in motion pictures and television, including anthology drama TV series in which he would appear as the main character. Near the end of the decade, he had his first cinematic leading role in Machine-Gun Kelly (1958).
Bronson had sizeable co-starring roles in The Magnificent Seven (1960), The Great Escape (1963), This Property Is Condemned (1966), and The Dirty Dozen (1967).
Bronson continued playing leads in various action, western, and war films made in Europe, including Rider on the Rain (1970), which won Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Eventually, he returned to the United States to make more films, working with director Michael Winner. Their first collaborations included Chato’s Land (1972), The Mechanic (1972) and The Stone Killer (1973). At this point, he became the world’s number one box office star, commanding $1 million per film. In 1974, Bronson starred in the controversial film Death Wish (also directed by Winner), about an architect-turned-vigilante, a role that typified the rest of his career. Most critics initially panned the film as exploitative, but the movie was a major box-office success and spawned four sequels. Until his retirement in the late 1990s and death in 2003, Bronson played almost exclusively lead roles in action-oriented films, often working with director J. Lee Thompson in films such as Mr. Majestyk (1974), Hard Times (1975), St. Ives,(1976), The White Buffalo (1977), Telefon (1977), Assassination (1989). He made a number of non-action television films in which he would often act against type. In cinema, he played in the Western comedy From Noon till Three (1976), and a supporting role in The Indian Runner (1991), a dramatic film for which his performance received good reviews.
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