Style Icons: Male »Charles Bronson

Charles Bronson A few years after Dirty Harry came out, Bronson starred as another vigilante in Death Wish but there were some differences. Bronson was a pacifist architect; Eastwood, a uniformed fascist aggressor. Bronson went on to star in four more Death Wish films, each reportedly more ridiculous than the last. The original is worth a look, not a perfect movie, but Bronson does a nice job as the kind soul whose hand is forced by a vicious violent attack by Jeff Goldblum against his family.

While not exactly traditionally handsome, Bronson came to represent a new type of manly ruggedness. An educated philosopher who wasn't hesitant to shoot a punk in the back. Before his career-defining role, he was popular everywhere but America, considered too masculine to ever become a star here. Thankfully, we managed to handle his masculinity, a toughness no doubt earned by his severe setbacks growing up, a toughness which is tempered with a gentleness, evident in his understanding eyes. Bronson died four years ago of pneumonia.

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Posted on October 8, 2007

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