Working at the coal mine as a kid, Charles Bronson was convinced he was ‘the lowliest of all forms of a man’

Hollywood celebrities are frequently engulfed in splendor, giving the appearance that every famous person is a natural star.

Charles Bronson, a legendary Hollywood actor, was not one of them, proving that this is unquestionably not always the case.Charles Dennis Buchinsky, better known as Bronson, was born and raised in Croyle Township, some 60 miles from Pittsburgh, in a coal mining hamlet. Buchinsky had a miserable existence overall and a particularly challenging childhood.

He was ninth out of a total of 15 siblings, and he grew up with an additional 14. Despite the fact that the expense of raising a single child is well known, take into account the burden on a family with a very low income. This was the circumstance for Bronson.

Only a few yards separated the huge family, Bronson, and their small company-built cabin from the coal vehicle tracks. The house was too small to accommodate such a large family, so they had to alternate taking turns sleeping.

“There was no love in my house,” he claimed. The first time I came into contact with my mother physically was when she put me between her knees to remove lice from my hair.

Charles Bronson as he appeared in the 1975 motion picture "Breakout." | Source: Getty Images

Overall, the town was a quite gloomy and desolate area, populated only by businessmen that wanted to facilitate coal mining and maximize profits. But not only the Bronson family experienced hardship.

The future appeared gloomy, there wasn’t much in the way of natural beauty, and the water wasn’t very good. It is not unexpected that Bronson has described his childhood as being unhappy and lonely.

Things started to get worse around the time Bronson was a teenager and his father passed away. He was used to trading for pennies, but all of a sudden he had to quit school to support his family. The only natural outcome from this is to find employment as a coal miner.

Charles Bronson posed in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

Bronson’s memories of this period in his youth continued to bother him as an adult. The strenuous work and the strong coal smell that flooded his nostrils were experiences he would never forget. Living on his hands and knees, Bronson got the sense that he was breathing in a fine black dust.

He regularly recalled the numerous headaches and how rough and filthy the work of a miner was on his hands. Bronson claimed that he was born with a shovel in his mouth as opposed to a spoon.

His time spent working as a coal miner left him with a serious inferiority problem, which was considerably more severe than the physical damage.

Actor Charles Bronson and wife Kim Weeks arrive at The Carousel of Hope Ball benefiting The Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes October 28, 2000 at the Beverly Hills Hilton in Beverly Hills. | Source: Getty Images

I was just a kid when I was a miner, but I thought I was the lowest of all types of man, he added.

In truth, according to Bronson, all the coal miners in his region had the same complex; they thought that the steelworkers and railroad workers were the ‘elite’ and that they belonged to the lowest rung of the social ladder.

Very few individuals have experienced what it’s like to live in that utter darkness beneath the surface of the world.

American actor Charles Bronson and Italian actress Claudia Cardinale during the filming of the Sergio Leone Spaghetti Western ''Once Upon a Time in the West" Italy, April 1968. | Source: Getty Images

When he was eventually conscripted into the army, he was ecstatic. Finally, he could escape his dark surroundings and know that he would be fed and clothed. At this point in his life, Bronson would finally be able to establish himself as one of the most famous names in Hollywood.

After participating in World War II, Bronson came home to the United States, started studying painting, and then enrolled at the Pasadena Playhouse in California.

Actor Charles Bronson poses backstage after presenting "Best Supporting Actress" award during the 46th Academy Awards at Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images

His abilities were almost instantly apparent; a teacher saw them early on and quickly recommended the young Bronson to director Henry Hathaway. As a result, he was eventually cast in his very first movie, 1951’s You’re in the Navy Now.

He often remained unrecognized for his early work, but by 1954, his work in Vera Cruz and, four years later, as the protagonist in Machine-Gun Kelly, had garnered plaudits from critics.

American actors Charles Bronson and David Carradine relaxing at the Cannes Film Festival, 1977. | Source: Getty Images

In the beginning, in addition to his acting jobs, Bronson also worked as a painter, cook, bricklayer, and onion picker. He also had his name officially changed from Buchinsky to Bronson in the 1950s out of fear that his Russian-sounding name wouldn’t be well-liked at the period when communism was fiercely opposed.

His major break, though, as Paul Kersey in Death Wish, a vigilante architect whose wife and daughter are attacked, didn’t come until 1974. The success of the movie led to a number of sequels being produced over the subsequent decades.

After portraying the famed vagabond James Coburn in Hard Times, Bronson’s celebrity only grew.

Actor Charles Bronson listens to his wife, actress Jill Ireland play the guitar in London, 9th January 1969. | Source: Getty Images

Being a celebrity took him some time to adjust to, and Bronson is rumored to have been haunted by his depressing upbringing.

According to co-star Andrew Stevens, he particularly avoided anyone who were intrusive or intimidated him. On the other hand, when he was at ease and relaxed, Bronson was reputed to be open, lovable, and hilarious.

Charles Bronson and Jill Ireland in 1979 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

From 1949 to 1965, Bronson was married to Harriet Tendler, with whom he had two children.

His second wife, well-known British actress Jill Ireland, performed in 15 films with him, including Love and Bullets and The Valachi Papers.Sadly, Ireland lost her battle with cancer in 1990 and left behind two kids.

In December 1998, Bronson wed for a third time, this time to Kim Weeks, a former employee of an audiobook firm who had helped record Ireland’s audiobooks.

Actor Charles Bronson in a still from the film 'The Stone Killer', 1973. | Source: Getty Images

Bronson was given an Alzheimer’s diagnosis later in life. His sickness struggle was characterized as a “stark contrast to the high-octane vitality of his incredible life.”

The famous person was occasionally observed stumbling around Beverly Hills. Actor Weeks’s wife Weeks was fortunately present to take care of him.

Charles’ sister Catherine Pidgeon said, “The family has known for almost a year that something was wrong because Charles just hasn’t been himself.”

Actor Charles Bronson poses for a portrait in circa 1985 in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images

According to Pidgeon, Bronson had started to speak more slowly and slur his words, but he was still able to recognize his family and was able to spend Christmas 2001 with them.

In just a few weeks after developing pneumonia, Bronson’s health drastically declined. He died on August 30, 2003, at Cedars-Sinai hospital in Los Angeles, at the age of 81. He is survived by his wife Kim, three daughters (Suzanne, Katrina Holden-Bronson, and Zuleika), a son (Paul McCallum, his stepson), two stepsons (Valentin McCallum), and two grandkids.

How far Charles Bronson had to travel throughout his lifetime! Every child deserves to live a safe, happy childhood rich in memories.

I’m very happy that Bronson was able to get past his difficult past and forge a wonderful career for himself, one that is still clearly remembered by so many people today. Please share if you like Charles Bronson!

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