"The archetypal screen tough guy with weatherbeaten features - one film critic described his rugged looks as ""a Clark Gable who had been left out in the sun too long"" - Charles Bronson was born Charles Buchinski, one of 14 children of struggling Lithuanian immigrant parents in Pennsylvania.
He appeared on screen often early in his career, though often uncredited. However, he made an impact on audiences as the evil assistant to Vincent Price in the 3-D thriller House of Wax (1953). His sinewy yet muscular physique got him cast in action-type roles, often without a shirt to highlight his manly frame. He received positive notices from critics for his performances in Vera Cruz (1954), Target Zero (1955) and Run of the Arrow (1957). Indie director Roger Corman cast him as the lead in his well-received low-budget gangster flick Machine-Gun Kelly (1958), then Bronson scored the lead in his own TV series, ""Man with a Camera"" (1958). The 1960s proved to be the era in which Bronson made his reputation as a man of few words but much action.
Director John Sturges cast him as half Irish/half Mexican gunslinger Bernardo O'Reilly in the smash hit western The Magnificent Seven (1960), and hired him again as tunnel rat Danny Velinski for the WWII POW big budget epic The Great Escape (1963). Several more strong roles followed, then once again Bronson was back in military uniform, alongside Lee Marvin and Ernest Borgnine in the testosterone-filled The Dirty Dozen (1967).
However, the film that proved to be a breakthrough for both Bronson and Winner came in 1974 with the release of the controversial Death Wish (1974).
Action fans could not get enough of tough guy Bronson, and he appeared in what many fans, and critics, consider his best role - as Depression-era streetfighter Chaney alongside James Coburn in the superb Hard Times (1975).
Bronson's final film roles were as police commissioner Paul Fein in a well-received trio of crime/drama TV movies Family of Cops (1995) (TV), Breach of Faith: A Family of Cops II (1997) (TV) and Family of Cops III: Under Suspicion (1999) (TV). Unfortunately, ill health began to take its toll; he suffered from Alzheimers disease for the last few years of his life, and finally passed away from pneumonia at Los Angeles' Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in August 2003.
Bronson was a true icon of international cinema; critics had few good things to say about his films, but he remained a fan favorite in both the US and abroad for 50 years, a claim few other film legends can make."
FOX Classics TV guide
Wednesday, 19 Jun 2013
- 6:30 PM Are You Being Served?
- 7:00 PM Jeopardy!
- 7:30 PM M*A*S*H
- 8:00 PM Absolutely Fabulous
- 8:35 PM Prince of the City
- 11:20 PM Murder, Inc.
- 1:00 AM The Bounty Hunter
- 2:15 AM M*A*S*H
- 2:55 AM Murder, She Wrote
- 3:47 AM Walker, Texas Ranger
- 4:30 AM M*A*S*H
- 5:00 AM The Big Valley
- End of programming for Wednesday, 19 Jun 2013