Today's Birthdays

one click shows all of today's celebrity birthdays

Browse All Birthdays

43,625    Actors
27,931    Actresses
4,867    Composers
7,058    Directors
842    Footballers
221    Racing drivers
925    Singers
9,111    Writers

Get FamousLikeMe on your website
One line of code gets FamousLikeMe on your website. Find out more.

Subscribe to Daily updates

Add to Google

privacy policy

Famous Like Me > Actor > B > Charles Bronson

Profile of Charles Bronson on Famous Like Me

Name: Charles Bronson  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 3rd November 1921
Place of Birth: Ehrenfeld, Pennsylvania, USA
Profession: Actor
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia
Charles Bronson
For the Welsh prisoner, see Charles Bronson (prisoner). For the hardcore punk band, see Charles Bronson (band). Also, another Charles Bronson took a home movie at the JFK assassination showing the south façade of the TSBD.

Charles Bronson (November 3, 1921 - August 30, 2003) was an American actor of "tough guy" roles. In most of his roles he starred as a brutal police detective, a western gunfighter, vigilante, boxer or a Mafia hitman. He was blunt, physically powerful, and had a look of danger that fitted such roles.

Early life

He was born as Charles Dennis Buchinski in the notorious Ehrenfeld, Pennsylvania neighborhood of Scooptown, near Pittsburgh, one of 15 children of Polish and Lithuanian immigrants. His family was so poor that at one time he had reportedly been forced to wear his sister's dress to school because he had no other clothes.

In 1943, Bronson was drafted into the United States Army Air Corps and served as a tail gunner onboard B29 bombers.

Although Bronson was of Slavic descent, many people thought he looked like a Chicano or Mexican-American who was Mestizo (mixture of Spanish and Indian ancestry). Because of his look, Bronson sometimes played characters who were Mexican or who were part Indian.

Acting career

After the war, he decided to pursue the profession of acting, not from any love of the subject, but rather because he was impressed with the amount of money that he could potentially make in the business. During the McCarthy hearings he changed his last name to Bronson as Slavic names were suspect. One of his earliest screen appearances under his new name was as Vincent Price's henchman in 1953 horror classic House of Wax. In 1961 Bronson made an appearance with Elizabeth Montgomery in The Twilight Zone, in the episode "Two."

Although he began his career in the United States, Bronson first made a serious name for himself acting in European films. He became quite famous on that continent, and was known by two nicknames: The Italians called him "Il Brutto" ("The Ugly") and to the French he was known as "le monstre sacré," the "sacred monster." Even though he was not yet a headliner in America, his overseas fame earned him a 1971 Golden Globe as the "Most Popular Actor in the World." That same year, he wondered if he was "too masculine" to ever become a star in the US.

Bronson's most famous films include The Great Escape, (1963) in which he played Danny Velinski, a Polish prisoner of war nicknamed "The Tunnel King", and The Dirty Dozen, (1967) in which he played an Army death row convict conscripted into a World War II suicide mission. In the westerns The Magnificent Seven (1960) and the Sergio Leone epic Once Upon a Time in the West, (1968) he played heroic gunfighters, taking up the cause of the defenseless. Sergio Leone once called him "the greatest actor I ever worked with." In Hard Times (1975), he played a street fighter making his living in illegal boxing matches in Louisiana.

He is also remembered for Death Wish (1974) which spawned several sequels (also starring Bronson), In Death Wish he played a Paul Kersey, a prosperous liberal New York architect until his wife was murdered and daughter raped. He became a crime-fighting vigilante by night, a highly controversial role, as his executions were cheered by crime-weary audiences. After the famous 1984 case of Bernhard Goetz, the actor recommended that people not imitate his character.

Bronson was married to actress Jill Ireland from 1968 until her death in 1990. She was his second wife. He met her when she was still married to actor David McCallum. At the time, Bronson (who shared the screen with McCallum in The Great Escape) bluntly told McCallum: "I'm going to marry your wife." Two years later, he made good on his boast and married Jill.

Bronson died of pneumonia while suffering from Alzheimer's disease at Cedars-Sinai hospital in Los Angeles, California. At the time of his death, he was survived by his wife Kim, four children, two stepchildren and two grandchildren. A stepson, Jason McCallum Bronson, preceded him in death after succumbing to a drug overdose in 1989. With his death, Robert Vaughn is the only survivor of the seven main stars of The Magnificent Seven.


  • You're in the Navy Now (1951)
  • The Average Joe Fishing (1987)
  • The People Against O'Hara (1951)
  • The Mob (1951)
  • Red Skies of Montana (1952)
  • The Marrying Kind (1952)
  • My Six Convicts (1952)
  • Pat and Mike (1952)
  • Diplomatic Courier (1952)
  • Battle Zone (1952)
  • Bloodhounds of Broadway (1952)
  • The Clown (1953)
  • Torpedo Alley (1953)
  • Off Limits (1953)
  • House of Wax (1953)
  • Miss Sadie Thompson (1953)
  • Crime Wave (1954)
  • Tennessee Champ (1954)
  • Riding Shotgun (1954)
  • Apache (1954)
  • Drum Beat (1954)
  • Vera Cruz (1954)
  • Big House, U.S.A. (1955)
  • Target Zero (1955)
  • Jubal (1956)
  • Run of the Arrow (1957)
  • Showdown at Boot Hill (1958)
  • Ten North Frederick (1958)
  • Machine-Gun Kelly (1958)
  • Gang War (1958)
  • When Hell Broke Loose (1958)
  • Never So Few (1959)
  • The Magnificent Seven (1960)
  • Master of the World (1961)
  • A Thunder of Drums (1961)
  • X-15 (1961)
  • This Rugged Land (1962)
  • Kid Galahad (1962)
  • The Great Escape (1963)
  • 4 for Texas (1963)
  • The Big Sur (1965) (short subject)
  • The Sandpiper (1965)
  • Battle of the Bulge (1965)
  • This Property Is Condemned (1966)
  • Operation Dirty Dozen (1967) (short subject)
  • The Dirty Dozen (1967)
  • San Sebastian 1746 in 1968 (1968) (short subject)
  • Guns for San Sebastian (1968)
  • Villa Rides (1968)
  • Honor Among Thieves (1968)
  • Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)
  • Lola (1969)
  • Rider on the Rain (1969)
  • You Can't Win 'Em All (1970)
  • The Family (1970)
  • Cold Sweat (1970)
  • Red Sun (1971)
  • Someone Behind the Door (1971)
  • The Valachi Papers (1972)
  • Chato's Land (1972)
  • The Mechanic (1972)
  • The Stone Killer (1973)
  • Chino (1974)
  • Mr. Majestyk (1974)
  • Death Wish (1974)
  • Breakout (1975)
  • Hard Times (1975)
  • Breakheart Pass (1975)
  • St. Ives (1976)
  • From Noon Till Three (1976)
  • The White Buffalo (1977)
  • Telefon (1977)
  • Love and Bullets (1979)
  • Borderline (1980)
  • Caboblanco (1980)
  • Death Hunt (1981)
  • Death Wish II (1982)
  • 10 to Midnight (1983)
  • The Evil That Men Do (1984)
  • Death Wish 3 (1985)
  • Murphy's Law (1986)
  • Assassination (1987)
  • Death Wish 4: The Crackdown (1987)
  • Messenger of Death (1988)
  • Kinjite: Forbidden Subjects (1989)
  • The Indian Runner (1991)
  • Death Wish V: The Face of Death (1994)

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Charles Bronson