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.
- A frail-looking Heston was presented with a Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian award, at the White House by 'George W. Bush' (qv) in July, 2003.
- Turned down 'Gary Cooper (I)' (qv)'s role in _High Noon (1952)_ (qv).
- Unlike many of his contemporaries, Heston continued to act on the stage. He appeared in Long Day's Journey Into Night opposite 'Deborah Kerr' (qv), Macbeth opposite 'Vanessa Redgrave' (qv) and The Caine Mutiny with 'Ben Cross (I)' (qv). His final stage role was opposite his wife 'Lydia Clarke' (qv) in Love Letters at the Haymarket Theatre in London in the summer of 1999.
- Had a hip replacement in 1996.
- Was considered for the role of "Police Chief Brody" in _Jaws (1975)_ (qv), but both he and 'Oliver Reed (I)' (qv) turned it down. The part eventually went to 'Roy Scheider' (qv).
- In 1999 he joined 'Karl Malden' (qv) in pressing for an honorary Academy Award for Lifetime Achievement to be awarded to veteran director 'Elia Kazan' (qv). 'Marlon Brando' (qv), who never made public appearances, refused to present the award so 'Robert De Niro' (qv) and 'Martin Scorsese' (qv) ultimately did.
- The actors he admired the most were 'Gary Cooper (I)' (qv), 'Henry Fonda' (qv), 'Clark Gable' (qv), 'Cary Grant' (qv) and 'James Stewart (I)' (qv).
- While they were starring in a play together in 1960, 'Laurence Olivier' (qv) told Heston that he had the potential to become the greatest American actor of the century. When the play received unfavorable notices, Heston said, "I guess you learn to forget bad notices?", to which Olivier replied, "What's more important, laddie, and much harder -- learn to forget good notices."