10 Early Film Roles For Famous Actors You Totally Forgot

9. John Ritter Was Shot Down In The Stone Killer

Columbia Pictures

It's hard to deny that the action movies of the 1970s weren't the providence of Clint Eastwood and Charles Bronson - men of means and few words. Eastwood could kill you with a grunt, Bronson with a wink. While the former typically went up against corruption and high-profile serial killers, the latter was the scourge of street punks everywhere.

It was director Michael Winner who launched Bronson's action career, removing the star from the western and into the city with Death Wish. The two continued their working relationship throughout the decade with two of its sequels, The Mechanic and The Stone Killer.

The last is somewhat uncharacteristic of Bronson, putting him against a mob boss (Martin Balsam) who uses Vietnam vets with PTSD as hitmen. The film, like the decade itself, is a confused blend of hippie-logic, mafia-intrigue and cop thriller. While it may not hold up as other supposedly timely actioners of the era, it's a curious entry.

Ritter can be seen as a cop; the first through the door in a late scene before quickly taking a bullet. In addition, Normal Fell, who would appear with Ritter on Three's Company, has a larger role as another officer. Ritter's fatal gunshot would have made it a lot more difficult for Mr. Roper to collect the rent.


Film nerd who studied with an MBA in Poet Laureate with a minor in Humility.