Ed Driscoll

CHARLES BRONSON DEAD AT AGE

CHARLES BRONSON DEAD AT AGE 81: I’m sorry to read that Bronson has passed away. But every time I passed by a supermarket checkout in the past couple of months, the National Enquirer or The Star had cover stories that he was in bad shape.

Those magazine are certainly full of hype, but over the years, I’ve noticed, if they report a celebrity is ailing–he’s a goner.

I once read an interview with Brian Garfield, the original author of Death Wish. Ironically, he wanted a liberal milquetoast actor–specifically Jack Lemmon(!) to play the Paul Kersey character when it came time to shoot the film. And I can’t say I blame him; you’re too busy waiting for Bronson to go nuts, instead of watching this timid, urbane architect being transformed his wife’s death into a vigilante.

But the film’s timing was perfect, the script and direction by Michael Winner surprisingly good, and it properly made Bronson into a legend. (Neat score by Herbie Hancock, too.)

Good actor–great persona. He’ll be missed.