The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Magnificent Bronson loses battle with life

Los Angeles, Sept. 1 (Reuters): Coal miner turned tough-guy actor Charles Bronson, a star of more than 60 films including the popular Death Wish series in which he played a one-man army, has died at the age of 81, a spokeswoman said yesterday.

The craggy-faced Bronson, who also acted in hit films like Magnificent Seven and The Great Escape, died of pneumonia on Saturday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre, publicist Lori Jonas said. The actor reportedly had Alzheimer’s disease and had been in hospital since suffering serious organ failure earlier this month.

Bronson was famed for his tough guy films, especially the Death Wish series in which he played Paul Kersey, who was pushed over the edge by a brutal assault on his family in the original Death Wish in 1974.

In that film, Kersey prowled New York and meted out vigilante justice to wrongdoers, drawing critical condemnation but enthusiastic support from audiences.

Bronson told Reuters’ Robert Basler in a 1985 interview that he knew what entertained him in a film, and it was not Charles Bronson. “I am not a fan of myself.” In that interview, Bronson was promoting Death Wish 3, a film he said was “nearly the same as the two Death Wishes that came before.”

Bronson, whose original name was Charles Buchinski, was one of 15 children of a Lithuanian coal miner in Pennsylvania. He worked as a miner after graduating high school and it was only going into the army during World War II that got him out of the mines. After the war he learned acting and his first film role was in 1950 playing a sailor in You’re in the Navy Now, starring Gary Cooper.

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