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Sunday, April 06, 2008

Charlton Heston, Rest In Peace

Hollywood legend Charlton Heston has died at the age of 84. BBC:

    Charlton Heston, who won a best actor Oscar for his starring role in the epic Ben-Hur, has died aged 84, a spokesman for his family has said.

    Heston died on Saturday at his home in Beverly Hills. His wife Lydia, whom he married in 1944, was at his side.

    Heston also portrayed Michelangelo, El Cid and other heroic figures in Hollywood films of the 1950s and 1960s.

    He stepped down as president of US gun lobby, the National Rifle Association, in 2003, citing ill-health.

    The previous year, he had revealed he had symptoms consistent with Alzheimer's disease.


    He studied acting before serving for three years in the US Air Force. But back in civilian life, Heston went through hard times, while waiting for his first break.

    In 1952, after working on Broadway, Heston starred as the ringmaster in the movie The Greatest Show on Earth.

    Four years later, he appeared as Moses in The Ten Commandments, one of the roles which would define his career.

    After the success of the science fiction film Planet of the Apes in the late 1960s, Heston turned his attention to working in the theatre.


    Although later identified with traditionally conservative causes, Charlton Heston had been a vocal supporter of Martin Luther King and the 1960s Civil Rights movement.

A nice series of photos here at the BBC of Heston showing him marching for civil rights, career highlights and movie "stills."

Full filmography here.

Heston's voice...man...what a voice. One which I would include in any Top Ten List of great voices of all time.

Some of my fave movies of his includes, "Touch Of Evil," "The Three Musketeers" and "The Four Musketeers," "The Agony and the Ecstasy" and yes...I love the movie "Soylent Green."

My all-time fave, hands-down, the original, "Planet Of The Apes." What's yours?

Planet of the Apes. Ben Hur. The Ten Commandments. Soylent Green a guilty pleasure absolutely!!
Heston was a great man and will be missed. Soylent Green was a classic but I will always remember him as the Omega Man. I think his relationship with a black woman in the movie did a lot for advancing race relations. But I am not sure I would label civil rights a liberal cause as the article suggests.
Thanks for that thoughtful review of Heston's life Dave. He is one of the most iconic American actors ever...he always had the epic roles. Thanks for standing by MLK Charles. Thanks for the Omega Man, El Cid and taking on those damn dirty apes! I still bristle when I think about michael Moore entering your home on false pretenses and treating you that way. Some will judge you for how you differed from their views but I just want to thank you for living a great American life!


El Cid, The Omega Man, Khartoum, The Buccaneer and The Naked Jungle are a few of my favorites.
EC - yeah, Soylent Green is neat. Very much influenced - IMHO - with a "1984" type style.
Dane - oh I forgot The Omega Man and you are right. I think one of filmdoms first - or very early - on screen biracial kisses.

Re: the civil rights as a "liberal cause" - I agree, good point, but that's the BBC for ya. That darn left of center BBC!
JMW - thanks for the kind words but most of it is just from the BBC story.

Heston was ahead of his time on civil rights going back to the 1950s if I recall correctly.

Hit me up the next time you're in town.
BobG - A couple of the films you list I have not seen. They are on my "to watch" list at some point in the future.

"Midway" is another one I forgot to mention. My dad took that to me when I was a kid.

Looking through his list of movies at imdb.com, no film jumped out as a comedy. Does anyone recall him starring in any comedies?

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