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.
- Heston has often been compared with his friend 'Ronald Reagan (I)' (qv). Both actors started out as liberal Democrats but gradually converted to conservative Republicans, both served as Presidents of the Screen Actors Guild, both went into politics (Reagan as President of the United States from 1981 to 1989 and Heston as President of the National Rifle Association from 1998 to 2003), and both suffered from Alzheimer's disease in later life. Heston attended Reagan's state funeral on 11 June 2004.
- 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.
- Along with 'Tony Curtis (I)' (qv), Heston admitted to voting for 'Russell Crowe' (qv) to win the Best Actor Oscar in 2001, saying before the ceremony, "I hope he gets it. He's very good."
- 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).
- Was not hesitant about repeating roles: Played Ben Hur in _Ben-Hur (1959)_ (qv) (live action) and _Ben Hur (2003) (V)_ (qv) (animated); Andrew Jackson in the biography _The President's Lady (1953)_ (qv), then in _The Buccaneer (1958)_ (qv); Marc Antony in _Julius Caesar (1970)_ (qv) and _Antony and Cleopatra (1972)_ (qv). (Richelieu does not count, as _The Three Musketeers (1973)_ (qv) and _The Four Musketeers (1974)_ (qv) were filmed at the same time.).
- Turned down 'Gary Cooper (I)' (qv)'s role in _High Noon (1952)_ (qv).
- 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.
- Named _The Call of the Wild (1972)_ (qv) as his worst movie.