About Charles Bronson
Charles Bronson was the star of many great American films including Once Upon a Time, The Great Escape and the Death Wish films. While some might say he was typecast during his career, often playing a police officer, or vigilante, serving out retribution for himself or on behalf of others, he did play other roles in his long and illustrious career. He was in fact born Charles Dennis Buchinsky but changed his last name to Bronson in order to avoid becoming a target of the anti-communist McCarthy hearings, as he feared it sounded too Russian, even though he was of Polish-Lithuanian descent. From his humble beginnings, as one of 15 children, having to wear his sister's dresses to school due to the lack of his own clothes, followed by working down a coal mine as a child, he then went on to become an aerial gunner for the US Air Force in World War II, before he started acting in 1951. He made a number of appearances in TV shows throughout the 50's before finally getting cast in some major Hollywood films in the early 60's, including The Magnificent Seven and The Great Escape. These roles lead to many more high profile offers of work for the rest of the decade. From 1968 to 1973 he worked on a number of European films including a Western directed by Sergio Leone. In 1974 he starred in the first Death Wish film which went on to cement his position as a major Hollywood movie star. While working continuously throughout the rest of the 70's and 80's he made his last starring role in a theatrically released film in 1994, reprising his role in the Death Wish series for the fifth instalment: The Face of Death.