Tough guy actor who was the son of a Lithuanian-born coal miner, American actor Charles Bronson claimed to have spoken no English at home during his childhood in Pennsylvania. Though he managed to complete high school, it was expected that Bronson would go into the mines like his father and many brothers. Experiencing the world outside Pennsylvania during World War II service, however, Bronson came back to America determined to pursue an art career. While working as a set designer for a Philadelphia theater troupe, Bronson played a few small roles and almost immediately switched his allegiance from the production end of theater to acting. This began a long career in movies and television that would stretch to over five decades. Bronson was famous for his tough guy roles in movies such as The Magnificent Seven, The Great Escape, The Dirty Dozen, and Death Wish. It was the latter film which finally made Bronson into a bona fide star in America although he'd been extremely popular in Europe for over a decade.