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October 31, 2014

Movie and TV star Charlton Heston passes away

by Allison Waldman, posted Apr 6th 2008 2:44PM
HestonHe was Moses, Michaelangelo, Ben-Hur and a dozen other famous historical figures on the big screen, and on television he was as famous appearing as Charlton Heston the movie star he was for the TV roles he played, but he was born John Charles Carter on October 4th 1924 in Evanston, Illinois. Today, "Chuck" Heston is dead. He was 84 years old; he had Alzheimer's disease.


As as actor, he turned in an Oscar-winning performance as the title character in William Wyler's classic Ben-Hur in 1959. Three years earlier, he brought dignity and grace to his depiction of Moses in Cecil B. DeMille's The Ten Commandments, a film that remains well-known thanks to annual showings on ABC television every Easter. But there were many other roles that Charlton Heston made famous, like Taylor in Planet of the Apes, and on television his credits include starring in the Dynasty spin-off The Colbys from 1985-87.

Also, on TV, he directed A Man for All Seasons and played the lead role, Sir Thomas Moore in 1988. Other noteworthy parts on the tube include Long John Silver in Treasure Island (1990). For the Hallmark Hall of Fame, he appeared in The Patriots as Thomas Jefferson (1963), and as the Earl of Essex opposite Judith Anderson as Elizabeth the Queen, the latter of which won the Emmy as Outstanding Dramatic Program in 1968.

In television's early years, he was in many dramatic anthology series, like Climax!, Schlitz Playhouse of Stars, GE Theater and Playhouse 90. He brought his macho bravissimo to Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights for Studio One, and was Beast in a version of Beauty and the Beast for Shirley Temple's Storybook. He was even on Your Show of Shows with Sid Caesar playing sketches. He also did an excellent mini-series called Chiefs in 1983 with Keith Carradine, Brad Davis and Stephen Collins.

I can recall lots of appearances on Dinah, The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and Merv Griffin. He was always affable and charming, at home on the couch chatting about his recent films and promoting new projects on TV. Charlton Heston was rarely out of the public's view, and appeared often on television whether acting or being just Chuck. He had a sense of humor about his roles and could laugh at himself -- he even did Saturday Night Live.

In the last ten years of Charlton Heston's life, he became vociferously conservative and was an outspoken president of the National Rifle Association. Ironically, he had been more liberal in the 1960s, when he was a strong supporter the Civil Rights movement.

Heston gave his last public appearance in 2002. He knew he had Alzheimer's and would eventually lose his faculties. He said at the time, "I must reconcile courage and surrender in equal measure." In memory, his larger than life roles will be the legacy of his years as one of Hollywood's top stars and enduring actors as much as his public persona as a man who spoke his mind whether in step with popular opinion or in opposition to the majority.

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James Byrne

IIndiana Jones was based on Heston in SECRET OF THE INCAS. Check out : http://incas.mysite.orange.co.uk

May 02 2008 at 12:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
lovelain

ashamedly, i've not seen a lot of his work, but i am a HUGE fan of planet of the apes--great stuff introduced to me by my mom.

r.i.p. charlton.

April 07 2008 at 4:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mike

One of the CH tidbits I heard was that his favorite move was "Will Penny" - a western from the 60's. I had never even heard of it let alone seen it.

April 07 2008 at 8:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Rose

My heart goes out to his family and friends I can only imagine how difficult this is for them. I wish them keep his memory alive, to remember all the beautiful memories. Heston is really a great all-around actor. According to me, his role in 'El Cid' was definitely a classic, I have loved it since I first saw it as a child: http://dealstudio.com/searchdeals.php?deal_id=95299&ru=279 , Really enjoy every minute of it! Heston, thanks for all the great memories! God bless you! Always miss you!!!

April 07 2008 at 4:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Oreo

Michael Moore is a jackass that EDITS his interviews to make them turn into what he wants, he is worse than Fox News.

From my cold dead hands!

RIP, you will be remembered forever.

April 06 2008 at 10:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jordan

American cinema has surely lost one of its treasures.

April 06 2008 at 10:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Chuck

Its sad that one of the greater actors of the last century passes and people waste time on whether he should have spoken out for his beliefs.
i enjoyed him in almost everything of his I've even watched - few men could dominate the screen the way he did- making the greater than life size parts he was often given believable, I've been missing him since he retired and will miss him even more now.

April 06 2008 at 8:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
malren

Civil rights and gun rights are NOT "ironically" opposed to each other. They are cut from the same cloth It really saddens me and pisses me off that so many people don't understand that. or they willfully distort the truth so they can score points with whoever they are courting, be it left or right.

Scott H., Moore ambushed a man with Alzheimer's and disgraced himself in BFC. If you see it any other way, maybe *you* are the nut.

April 06 2008 at 7:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to malren's comment
LC

Well said Malren. I agree that there is no irony. Heston supported rights period. Whether it be his opposition to McCarthyism, his support of Civil rights or his support of the right to bear arms.

April 06 2008 at 11:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mike

I think the "irony" is that your typical outspoken gun advocate rarely seems to publicly embrace civil rights. True or not, gun rights is seen as a right wing position and civil rights is seen a left wing position.

April 07 2008 at 8:24 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Scott

It's very difficult to reconcile the one-note gun nut he'd become in the last few decades of his life (see Michael Moore eviscerate him in "Bowling for Columbine") with the professional, respectable actor he was in earlier years.

April 06 2008 at 6:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Scott's comment
No1Dad

"It's very difficult to reconcile the one-note gun nut he'd become in the last few decades of his life"

What exactly is a "gun nut"? Maybe he was a second amendment nut or a constitution nut?

April 06 2008 at 7:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
LC

Umm yeah, real challenging for Moore to eviscerate a man already suffering from Alzheimer's. I suppose Moore's next trick is to win in a game of dogeball against a blind man.

Still, calling a man who supported the second amendment a nut is as foolish as calling someone who supports the first a speech nut.

April 06 2008 at 11:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tigger

Rest In Peace, Charlton Heston.

April 06 2008 at 4:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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