Apparently Bronson and Richard Egan, star of the early 60's TV series "Empire" nearly got into a fistfight. Egan was over 6'0 and more than 200 pounds of muscle. He was a weightlifter and had a black belt in karate. During World War II he had been a judo and hand to hand combat instructor in the service. He reportedly undertook secret missions where he was dropped onto Japanese islands by himself and survived for long periods while relating enemy positions. He was a genuine tough guy.
Apparently Bronson and Egan were in a nice hotel and Charlie was spitting tobacco juice into the fireplace. Egan asked him politely to stop and Charlie took offense. Charlie started to make a move and Egan told him if it went any further he was "a dead man". It didn't go any further.
This story was related by character actor Charles Napier who was a friend of Egan. The link to the interview is at:
It's fairly interesting that Charlie backed down here in the same manner that he did against William Smith and John Mitchum. Charlie was certainly a fearsome tough guy, but he seemed to be canny about picking his spots. Charlie put out so much attitude that most people who encountered him were afraid of him. However, when he encountered a legitimate tough guy who had size on him or other skills, Charlie seemed to test them to see if they'd bend. If they didn't, then Charlie was wise enough not to get into a fight he couldn't win.
Post by maphillips3 on Aug 30, 2010 14:51:31 GMT -5
I believe Charlie was a tough guy, but did not know that most people were afraid of him. Other than the "DIRTY DOZEN & DEATH HUNT". I don;t of any other movie that most of the cast was afraid of him. Do you have any stories about this CHANEY?
Charlie seemed to have his moments on a few film sets, most notably "Kid Galahad", "Mr. Majestyk", and "Caboblanco". There were stories of personality clashes with co-stars on the first two films, and on "Caboblanco" co-star Denny Miller has said that most of the crew disliked Charlie. They wanted Denny to knock Charlie out for real in their fight scene.
Denny was a 6'4" former Tarzan and a nice guy. He got along with Charlie professionally but said Charlie was very quiet and a difficult guy to get to know.