Thanks to his roles in movies such as The Great Escape, The Dirty Dozen and Death Wish, Charles Bronson earned a reputation as a hard-bitten macho guy on screen. In reality, though, he was a thoughtful and private person, a painter and a family man. But despite Bronson bearing little resemblance to many of the characters that he portrayed, his own life could actually have made a fascinating action drama, too. You see, the star not only overcame a traumatic childhood, but he also fought in World War II – and earned a Purple Heart into the bargain.
Yes, Bronson’s image as a hard man was earned largely through his big-screen performances. He was usually typecast as a vigilante type seeking revenge – owing, perhaps, to his ability to portray cold anger well. And, in fact, a number of his movies were violent enough to cause public stirs. Death Wish in particular was considered to be an outright dangerous film.