Charles Bronson: True Stories Of The Hollywood Tough Guy

By Jacob Shelton
Charles Bronson in 'Once Upon A Time In The West' (1968). Source: IMDB.

So many actors throughout the ‘60s and ‘70s tried to exude a tough guy machismo, but Charles Bronson was the only guy was actually tough. He didn’t just grow up as the son of a coal miner, he was a child who was a coal miner. Bronson only got out of the mines thanks to World War II. 

Bronson became one of Hollywood's go-to tough guys in westerns and action movies, appearing in The Great Escape (1963), The Dirty Dozen (1967), Once Upon A Time In The West (1968), and Death Wish (1974), among many others. Before hitting the big screen, he was a regular on TV, having appeared in episodes of The Twilight Zone, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Gunsmoke, Bonanza, and Have Gun Will Travel. He also starred as Mike Kovac in Man With a Camera, which ran for two seasons (1958-60) on ABC.

Throughout his life, he never had the demeanor of an actor, he didn’t like to talk about himself and when he did talk about his process he seemed to consider it to be much more of a job than anything else. Charles Bronson was an American classic, pensive, private and stoic. He was also one hell of a great actor. 

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