Before They Were Stars: Laurence Fishburne as a Mugger in “Death Wish II”

Later on today, a “Robin’s Underrated Gems” column will be posted for the cop drama, Deep Cover, starring Laurence Fishburne and Jeff Goldblum. What do these two actors’ career trajectories have in common? They both had early roles as muggers in Death Wish movies! Like Goldblum and Denzel Washington, Laurence Fishburne is yet another A-list star who paid their dues by feeling the wrath of Charles Bronson. Fishburne had already established himself with a memorable performance in Apocalypse Now, but his career kind of meandered for the next few years and he took whatever work he could get, including a role as a punk in Death Wish II. In the film’s most hilarious moment, Fishburne is killed when he holds up a boom box to try and shield himself from one of Bronson’s bullets. This clip has actually become a bit of an Internet meme as people have posted up videos where they dub in popular songs playing from Fishburne’s boom box, which suddenly come to an abrupt halt after Bronson shoots it. This gag never gets old!

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