Sunday, April 6, 2008

Movie Giant Charlton Heston Dies

Los Angeles (E! Online) - Charlton Heston did not do small.

Heston, the Oscar-winning actor who, as the biggest male star of Hollywood's outsize epic era of the 1950s and 1960s, parted the Red Sea, raced chariots and battled gorilla tyranny, died Saturday at his Beverly Hills home.

He was 84, his family said. He had been battling Alzheimer's disease for years.

Heston left cinematic, political mark

Better known in recent years as a fierce gun-rights advocate who headed the National Rifle Association, Heston played legendary leaders and ordinary men hurled into heroic struggles.

"In taking on epic and commanding roles, he showed himself to be one of our nation's most gifted actors, and his legacy will forever be a part of our cinema," Republican presidential candidate McCain said in a statement that also noted Heston's involvement in the civil-rights movement and his stand against gun control.

Heston's jutting jaw, regal bearing and booming voice served him well as Marc Antony in "Julius Caesar" and "Antony and Cleopatra," Michelangelo in "The Agony and the Ecstasy," John the Baptist in "The Greatest Story Ever Told" and an astronaut on a topsy-turvy world where simians rule in "Planet of the Apes."

"Charlton Heston was seen by the world as larger than life," Heston's family said in a statement. "We knew him as an adoring husband, a kind and devoted father, and a gentle grandfather with an infectious sense of humor. He served these far greater roles with tremendous faith, courage and dignity."

The actor died at his home in Beverly Hills with his wife, Lydia, at his side, family spokesman Bill Powers said. He declined to comment on the cause of death or provide further details Sunday.

One of the biggest box-office draws of the 1950s, '60s and '70s, Heston's work dwindled largely to small parts and narration and other voice roles from the 1980s on, including an uncredited cameo as an ape in Tim Burton's 2001 remake of "Planet of the Apes."

I don't exactly agree with his politics but I dont' think anyone could argue that
Mr. Heston made some of the greatest movies we have ever seen. I doubt anyone will ever forget the line "get you hands off me you damn dirty ape".


  1. TomCat said...
    Growing up, El Cid was my favorite movie. My admiration for him soured when I learned that his extreme right wing politics went far further than just hawking guns during the funerals of murdered high school kids.
    LET'S TALK said...
    I will just be honest and say that he did a lot of good and a lot that I didn't agree with as well.

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