Charles Bronson was an American actor best known for his “tough guy” image, who starred in such classic films as Once Upon a Time in the West, The Magnificent Seven, The Dirty Dozen, The Great Escape, Mr. Majestyk, The Mechanic, and the popular Death Wish series. He was most often cast in the role of a police officer or gunfighter, often in revenge plot lines.
Bronson’s first film role was as a Polish sailor in You’re in the Navy Now in 1951, he also made several appearances on television in the 1950s and 1960s. Bronson was nominated for an Emmy Award for his supporting role in a TV episode with the title “Memory in White”. In the 1970s he became one of the top ten box-office stars. He made films in many genres including crime, western and others.
Bronson was born Charles Dennis Buchinski in Ehrenfeld, Pennsylvania in the Pittsburgh Tri-State area. During the McCarthy hearings he changed his last name to Bronson as all Slavic names were suspect.
He was one of 15 children born to a Lithuanian immigrant father of Lipka Tatar ancestry and a Lithuanian mother. His father was from the town of Druskininkai.