84 (passed away Apr. 5th, 2008)
Oct. 4th, 1923
Evanston, Illinois, USA
Guest TV Roles
Lt. Paul Peterson
Chief Justice Haden Wainwright
With features chiseled in stone, who else but Charlton Heston could you picture as Michelangelo, as Ben-Hur, as Moses? Heston's movie career took off with The Greatest Show on Earth (1952) and reached light speed with Ben-Hur (1959). Although he has played a pantheon of larger-than-life roles, he usually prefers to talk about the day-to-day daily grind of the movie business, and especially credits the writers and directors he has worked for much of his success.
- Was president of the Screen Actors Guild from 1966-1971.
- He was unable to campaign for 'Lyndon Johnson (I)' (qv) in the 1964 presidential election when _Major Dundee (1965)_ (qv) went over schedule. Heston later admitted in his autobiography "In the Arena" (1995) that it was here that his political beliefs began moving to the Right.
- Heston is a popular actor in Greece, where his name is written as "Charlton Easton" due to "Heston" having scatological connotations in the Greek language.
- He was voted the 52nd Greatest Movie Star of all time by Entertainment Weekly.
- Attended the funeral of 'Lew Wasserman' (qv) in June 2002.
- He played three roles after they had been turned down by 'Burt Lancaster' (qv). In 1958 the producers of _Ben-Hur (1959)_ (qv) offered Lancaster $1 million to play the title role in their epic, but he turned it down because, as an atheist, he did not want to help promote Christianity. Lancaster also said he disagreed with the "violent morals" of the story. Three years later, in 1961 Lancaster announced his intention to produce a biopic of Michelangelo, in which he would play the title role and show the truth about the painter's homosexuality. However, he was forced to shelve this project due to the five-month filming schedule on 'Luchino Visconti' (qv)'s masterpiece _Il gattopardo (1963)_ (qv). Heston starred as Michelangelo in _The Agony and the Ecstasy (1965)_ (qv) and even in his autobiography thirty years later was still denying that the painter had been gay, despite all evidence to the contrary. Lancaster also turned down the role of General Gordon in _Khartoum (1966)_ (qv).
- He was considered, along with English actor 'Ronnie Barker' (qv), for the role of Claudius in the British series _"I, Claudius" (1976)_ (qv), but the role went to the less famous 'Derek Jacobi' (qv) instead.
- He and 'Linda Harrison (I)' (qv) are the only actors to appear in both the 1968 and 2001 versions of Planet of the Apes.