Charlton Heston

Born Oct 4, 1923

Charlton Heston was an American actor of film, theatre and television. Heston is known for heroic roles in films such as The Ten Commandments, Ben-Hur for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor, El Cid, and Planet of the Apes. He also is well known for his roles in the films The Greatest Show on Earth and Touch of Evil. Heston was also known for his political activism.… Read More

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1923 Birth Charlton Heston was born on October 4, 1923, to Lilla (née Charlton, authentically Baines; 1899–1994) and Russell Whitford Carter (1897–1966), a sawmill operator. … Read More
1930 6 Years Old Contradictions on paper and in an interview surround when "Charlton" became Heston's first name. The 1930 United States Census record for Richfield, Michigan, in Roscommon County, shows his name as being Charlton J. Carter at age six. … Read More
1933 9 Years Old After the Carters divorced in 1933 and Lilla Carter married Chester Heston, Charlton Carter became Charlton Heston. … Read More


1941 17 Years Old Heston frequently recounted that while growing up in northern Michigan in a sparsely populated area, he often wandered in the forest, "acting" out characters from books he had read. Later, in high school, he enrolled in New Trier's drama program, playing in the amateur silent 16 mm film adaptation of Peer Gynt, from the Ibsen play, by future film activist David Bradley released in 1941. … Read More


1944 - 1948 3 More Events
1950 26 Years Old 1 More Event
Film producer Hal B. Wallis of Casablanca spotted Heston in a 1950 television production of Wuthering Heights and offered him a contract. … Read More
1952 28 Years Old His breakthrough came when Cecil B. DeMille cast him as a circus manager in The Greatest Show on Earth, which was named by the Motion Picture Academy as the best picture of 1952.
1953 29 Years Old In 1953, Heston was Billy Wilder's first choice to play Sefton in Stalag 17. … Read More


1954 30 Years Old In 1954, he played the lead in Secret of the Incas, which was shot on location at the archeological site Macchu Picchu and had numerous similarities to Raiders of the Lost Ark. … Read More
1955 31 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1955, Heston appeared with Jane Wyman in Lucy Gallant.
1956 - 1958 2 More Events
1961 37 Years Old 1 More Event
From 1961-72, the second stage, he continued to endorse Democratic candidates for President.
1963 39 Years Old During the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom held in Washington, DC, in 1963, he accompanied Martin Luther King, Jr. In later speeches, he said he helped the civil rights cause "long before Hollywood found it fashionable."


1964 40 Years Old In the 1964 election, he endorsed Lyndon Baines Johnson, who had masterminded the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 through Congress over the vociferous opposition of Southern Democrats. … Read More
1965 41 Years Old 1 More Event
From 1965–71, Heston served as president of the Screen Actors Guild. … Read More
1968 44 Years Old 1 More Event
However, following the assassination of Senator Robert F. Kennedy in 1968, Heston, Gregory Peck, Kirk Douglas, and James Stewart issued a statement in support of President Johnson's Gun Control Act of 1968. … Read More
1969 45 Years Old Heston opposed the Vietnam War during its course (though he changed his opinion in the years following the war) and in 1969 was approached by the Democratic Party to run for the U.S. Senate against incumbent George Murphy. … Read More
1972 48 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1972, Heston made his directorial debut and starred as Mark Antony in an adaptation of the William Shakespeare play he had performed earlier in his theater career, Antony and Cleopatra. … Read More


1987 - 1993 3 More Events
1997 73 Years Old 1 More Event
In a 1997 speech called "Fighting the Culture War in America", Heston rhetorically deplored a culture war he said was being conducted by a generation of media people, educators, entertainers, and politicians against: the God fearing, law-abiding, Caucasian, middle-class Protestant – or even worse, evangelical Christian, Midwestern or Southern – or even worse, rural, apparently straight – or even worse, admitted heterosexuals, gun owning – or even worse, NRA-card-carrying, average working stiff – or even worse, male working stiff – because, not only don’t you count, you are a down-right obstacle to social progress. … Read More
…  Heston's most famous role in politics came as the five-term president of the National Rifle Association, from 1998 to 2003.
2000 76 Years Old In 2000, he publicly disclosed that he had been treated for alcoholism at a Utah clinic in May–June of that year.
2002 78 Years Old On August 9, 2002, he publicly announced (via a taped message) that he had been diagnosed with symptoms consistent with Alzheimer's disease.
After being diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2003, he retired from both acting and the NRA presidency.
2005 81 Years Old In March 2005, various newspapers reported that family and friends were shocked by the progression of his illness, and that he was sometimes unable to get out of bed.
Heston died on the morning of April 5, 2008, at his home in Beverly Hills, California, with Lydia, his wife of 64 years, by his side. … Read More
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