CinemaBlend's Action Hero Hall of Fame: The 2014 Inaugural Class
Charles BronsonYears Active: 1949-1999
Most Popular Period: 1960 (The Magnificent Seven) to 1986 (Murphy's Law)
Best Movie: Once Upon A Time In The West
Reason Why He's In The Hall Of Fame: Bronson was not the most handsome actor, and everyone knew it. It's why he was reduced to supporting roles for years, zig-zagging between television and movies. But in bit roles, he brought a certain soft-spoken machismo that was undeniable to action fans. Somehow, he could give off the impression that he could beat you down, outwit you or even simply outrace you to the truth. This made him a perfect fit for westerns, where his weathered visage and sage delivery was right at home. Later in his career, age turned him into something of a brutal predator: he squeezed the blood of five movies out of the rock that was Death Wish, captivating a nation by becoming a geriatric avenger bound to clean up the streets. If Rambo was the 80's fantasy of a hero traveling overseas to employ brute force, Death Wish was the secretly more-attainable plan, where anyone could clean up the streets, as long as they had Bronson's scowl. In his later years, he basically became the face of b-movie factory Cannon, bringing gravitas and toughness to actioners like 10 To Midnight and Murphy's Law. He was still doing action films at 81 when he passed away.
Back to top