He dropped out of school as a teenager, working odd jobs to make money, and eventually landing a part on an episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents in 1958.
He was the star of the shortlived TV series Then Came Bronson, and sang its theme song, which reached the Billboard Top 20.
He was born in Corona, California and his father was a truck driver.
He played Texas ranger Earl McGraw in two of Quentin Tarantino's films: From Dusk Till Dawn and Kill Bill, Vol. 1.