Charles Dennis Buchinsky aka Charles Bronson was born on November 3, 1921in coal country Pennsylvania. He was a star in once Upon a Time in the West, The Magnificent Seven, the Dirty Dozen, Rider on the Rain, The Great Escape, and Death Wish. He has been a policeman, vigilante, gunfighter and hero. He played in Battle of the Bulge in1965.
Bronson changed his name in the McCarthy era fearing that Buchinsky was too Russian sounding. He is the 11th of 15 children and did not learn to speak English until he was a teen. He worked in the mines until he entered the military during WWII. He enlisted in the Air Force and was an aerial gunner in 1943. He received a purple heart for being wounded in battle.
In 1958 his first lead was Machine-Gun Kelly and he was a detective in Man with a Camera from 1958 to 1960. In 1963 he starred in Empire and in the 1963-64 television season he was in The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters. He played in many more television series during the 1960s. He starred in European films including once Upon a Time in the West and Rider on the Rain in France. This won a Golden Globe for best foreign language film.
He made films for United Artists during the 1970s and his last film for UA was The White Buffalo. His last films included The Evil that Men Do in 1984 and 10 to Midnight in 1983. In 1994 his last film was Death Wish V: The Face of Death.
He married Harriet Tendler and they divorced in 1965 with two children to their credit. He married British actress Jill Ireland from 1968 until she died in 1990. They raised seven children: two by him, three from her and two of their own. Ireland and Bronson worked in fourteen films together. Bronson then married Kim Weeks. Kim and Bronson were married for five years. Bronson underwent hip replacement surgery in 1998. He had Alzheimer's disease in his final years. Bronson died at 81 on August 30, 2003.