Charles Bronson, whose name at birth was Charles Buchinsky, was born and raised in Ehrenfeld, Pennsylvania. He died of pneumonia in 2003, at the age of 81.

It doesn’t appear that Bronson talked about religion much in his life. The unsourced speculation around the internet claims he was either Lutheran1 or Eastern Orthodox,2 and possibly Russian Orthodox at some point in his life.3

Both of his parents were Lithuanian, where the vast majority are Catholic,4 so you would think if it was just blind speculation, that’s where people would have jumped. However, it appears that his father was Lithuanian Tatar,5 which are a predominantly Muslim group.6 But then there’s one site that claims his father was a Kryashen,7 or Christianized Tatar, who generally practice Orthodox Christianity.8

Confused yet? I suppose what I’m trying to get to here is that it seems probable that he was raised Eastern Orthodox. But most likely he wasn’t very religious during his life or we’d have more than gross speculation.

It doesn’t appear that he was very interested in politics either. One website lists him as “possibly” a Republican, but without a source I’m going to have to assume they just made that up because it sounded good.9

Back in the McCarthy era when Hollywood stars were being blacklisted for sneezing into the wrong colored tissue paper, Bronson changed his name from Buchinsky out of fear that a Russian-sounding name might make him a target.10 It seems to me that if he were a passionately political man, he might not have tried to fly under the radar.

If you have any more information about Bronson, please let us know in the comments.

  1. Who is Charles Bronson (actor)? Search Dictionaries. []
  2. List of Eastern Orthodox Christians. Wikipedia. []
  3. List of Eastern Orthodox Christians. Wikipedia. []
  4. Religion in Lithuania. Wikipedia. []
  5. Charles Bronson. EthniCelebs. []
  6. Lipka Tatars. Wikipedia. []
  7. List of Eastern Orthodox Christians. Wikipedia. []
  8. Kryashens. Wikipedia. []
  9. List of Hollywood Republicans. Wikibin. []
  10. Charles Bronson Online Tribute and Memorial Website. Respectance. []