An iconic star in international films for over four decades, Charles Bronson's granite features and brawny physique provided believable intensity in such blockbuster films as "The Magnificent Seven," (1960) "The Great Escape" (1963), "The Dirty Dozen" (1967) and "Death Wish" (1974). A man of few words both on screen and off, Bronson needed no makeup or special effects to portray men who brought swift vengeance against those who disturbed their peaceful, solitary lives. In films like "The Mechanic" (1972) and "Chino" (1973), Bronson's characters toed the line between human and supernatural force with their seemingly impossible command of stealth and their own physicality. However, Bronson's best roles allowed a glimmer of humanity in the steely exterior of his heroes; his "Tunnel King" in "Great Escape" was claustrophobic, while the bare knuckles boxer in "Hard Times" (1973) wore desperation like the cheap duster that covered his broad shoulders. Having been brought up in poverty, he understood struggle, and his most memorable films allowed him to depict that raw need. In private, he chafed at being an action star, but would continue to mow down bad guys well into the early 1990s in low-budget thrillers that were far beneath his talents. Bronson's death in 2003 closed the book on one of Hollywood's longest-running and most reluctant tough guys.