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Charlton Heston

Academy Award-Winning American Film Actor, Movie Star, Screen Legend

Born John Charles Carter
October 4, 1923
Evanston, Illinois, USA
Died April 5, 2008
Beverly Hills, California, USA

Charlton Heston (born John Charles Carter on October 4, 1923) is an iconic Academy Award-winning American film actor and screen legend best known for playing larger-than-life heroic roles such as Moses in The Ten Commandments and Judah Ben-Hur in Ben-Hur. He has been long involved in political issues and was president of the National Rifle Association in the years 1998 to 2003.

Renowned for playing a long list of historical figures, particularly in Biblical epics, the tall, well built and ruggedly handsome Charlton Heston is one of Hollywood's greatest leading men and remained active in front of movie cameras for over sixty years.

Heston has been married to Lydia Marie Clark Heston since March 1944, and they have two children. His highly entertaining autobiography was released in 1995, titled appropriately enough "Into The Arena". Although often criticized for his strong conservative beliefs and involvement with the NRA, Heston was a strong advocate for civil rights many years before it became fashionable, and has been a recipient of the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, plus the Kennedy Center Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2002, he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, and has not appeared in a film or TV production since 2003. Truly, Charlton Heston is one of the legendary figures of US cinema.

Charlton Heston's rugged appearances in epics like The Ten Commandments (1956) and Ben-Hur (1959) made him one of the biggest movie stars of the 1950s. The biblical story The Ten Commandments starred Heston as a powerful Moses, and the slaves-and-gladiators epic Ben-Hur won Heston an Oscar as best actor. Heston remained a box-office draw in adventures and westerns through the 1960s and '70s, as he starred in films like the sci-fi hit Planet of the Apes (1968, with Roddy McDowall), Will Penny (1968) and the WWII naval spectacular Midway (1976, with Henry Fonda).

In later years Heston applied his rugged good looks and dignified manner to conservative political causes, most notably becoming president of the National Rifle Association.

Heston announced in August of 2002 that he had early symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease. He finished his NRA term in April of 2003 and has since ceased making public appearances. Heston died on Saturday, April 5, 2008 at his home in Beverly Hills, California.


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