November 3, 2015 — It is the birthday of Charles Bronson, one of the screen’s great tough guys. In his heyday he was one of the most successful actors in Hollywood.
In 1975, he was the fourth highest-paid actor in Hollywood, behind only Robert Redford, Barbra Streisand and Al Pacino.
He would become well-known through a number of well-received and extremely popular ensemble movies, notably The Dirty Dozen, The Magnificent Seven and The Great Escape (in which, ironically, he played “The Tunnel King,” despite being claustrophobic in real life) with Steve McQueen.
After casting him in Once Upon a Time in the West, spaghetti Western director Sergio Leone would call him “…the greatest actor I ever worked with.” Subsequently he offered him the lead in A Fistful of Dollars, which Bronson turned down. Afterwards, Clint Eastwood would be offered the role and it would cement his career.
But the role with which he is most identified is that of Paul Kersey, the lead in the Death Wish franchise. He would play the role for 20 years in numerous highly-popular films. His films were noted for a high-level of violence, particularly those directed by J. Lee Thompson with whom he worked nine times.
Throughout his career he played hard-nosed men who were good with their fists and their guns. Two of these films are Assasination and Kinjite: Forbidden Subject (directed by Thompson).
Watch these Charles Bronson action movies through FilmRise.