Charlton Heston

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Charlton Heston
Heston at the March on Washington in 1963
John Charles Carter[1]

(1923-10-04)October 4, 1923
DiedApril 5, 2008(2008-04-05) (aged 84)
Resting placeSaint Matthew's Episcopal Church Columbarium
Pacific Palisades, California, U.S.
Alma materNorthwestern University
  • Actor
  • activist
Years active1941–2003
Political party
Lydia Clarke (m. 1944)
Children2, including Fraser Clarke Heston
56th President of the National Rifle Association
In office
Preceded byMarion P. Hammer
Succeeded byKayne Robinson
16th President of the Screen Actors Guild
In office
Preceded byDana Andrews
Succeeded byJohn Gavin
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Army Air Corps
Years of service1944–1946
Rank Staff Sergeant
Unit77th Bombardment Squadron
Battles/warsWorld War II

Charlton Heston (October 4, 1923 – April 5, 2008) was an American actor and political activist. He had many big roles, such as playing Moses in the movie The Ten Commandments, astronaut Colonel George Taylor in Planet of the Apes (1968) and Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970), the dystopian The Omega Man (1971), and Soylent Green (1973). Heston played Judah Ben-Hur in the Academy Award-winning Ben-Hur.

Early life[change | change source]

He was born in Wilmette, Illinois on October 4, 1923. He was raised in St. Helen, Michigan. Heston studied at New Trier High School and at Northwestern University.

Political views[change | change source]

Heston was also known for his politics. When he was young he held liberal views and marched with people such as Martin Luther King, Jr. for civil rights in the 1960s.

It was rare for a Hollywood actor to be for such causes at that time. Later in his life, he was for conservative causes such as gun rights. He was president of the National Rifle Association of America, a group that is for the rights of gun owners, from 1998 to 2003.

In July 2003, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom at the White House from President George W. Bush.

Death[change | change source]

Late in his life, Heston had Alzheimer's disease. He died of pneumonia, aged 84, in Beverly Hills, California.[2][3]

References[change | change source]

  1. Eliot, Marc. Hollywood's Last Icon: Charlton Heston, HarperCollins Publishing © 2017; ISBN 978-0-06-242043-5 (553 pages); pp. 11–12 address birthname controversy: "Then, as if to erase everything that reminded her son of Russell, Lilla told him his name was no longer John Charles Carter; from now on he was Charlton Heston."
  2. Welkos, Robert W. and Susan King. Charlton Heston, 85; actor played epic figures. Los Angeles Times. April 5, 2009. Retrieved April 12, 2010.
  3. Charlton Heston Dies at Beverly Hills Home. April 5, 2009. Retrieved April 12, 2010.

Other websites[change | change source]

Media related to Charlton Heston at Wikimedia Commons