Charlton Heston
American actor
Charlton Heston
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.
Charlton Heston's personal information overview.
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Donald Trump's Supreme Court Pick Came Of Age In A Very Different Republican Party
Huffington Post - 10 days
NEW YORK ― Arguments for boycotting the Soviet Union and funding the Star Wars missile defense program, screeds against the Sandinista constitution ― these are among the late ‘80s conservative talking points featured in The Federalist Paper, the campus publication that Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch co-founded and edited as a Columbia University undergraduate. Gorsuch’s paper now seems like a relic of a Republican Party that no longer exists ― the party of politicians like Ronald Reagan and commentators like George Will and William F. Buckley Jr. The telecom ads featuring Charlton Heston extolling the wonders of satellites don’t help that time-warp impression. Listen to the paper’s former writers talk, and it’s easy to imagine that in another universe, Gorsuch would have been a Never Trumper. Instead, the president poised to kill off the Republican Party that Gorsuch grew up in has chosen him for the Supreme Court. The Federalist Paper, which Gorsuch co-founded in 1986 ...
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Huffington Post article
Donald Trump's Supreme Court Pick Came Of Age In A Very Different Republican Party
The Huffington Post - 10 days
NEW YORK ― Arguments for boycotting the Soviet Union and funding the Star Wars missile defense program, screeds against the Sandinista constitution ― these are among the late ‘80s conservative talking points featured in The Federalist Paper, the campus publication that Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch co-founded and edited as a Columbia University undergraduate. Gorsuch’s paper now seems like a relic of a Republican Party that no longer exists ― the party of politicians like Ronald Reagan and commentators like George Will and William F. Buckley Jr. The telecom ads featuring Charlton Heston extolling the wonders of satellites don’t help that time-warp impression. More...
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The Huffington Post article
How The Hell Does Kevin's Dad Make So Much Money In 'Home Alone'?
Huffington Post - 2 months
BY ALEX SIQUIG There are certain mysteries that have confounded humans for generations. The Bermuda Triangle. The underwater kingdom of Atlantis. The Voynich Manuscript. Magnets. The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser. And of course, just how the fuck could the dad from Home Alone afford such an insanely luxurious house and a trip for a dozen people (many of them in first class!) to Paris and then Miami on back to back Christmases? The riddle of Peter McCallister’s wealth has reached the attention of none other than LeBron James, who was apparently discussing the nuances of the matter with Kevin Love and Maverick Carter. When the Chosen One feels the moral imperative to bestow his Chosen thoughts to the discourse of the mythology and minutia of the extended Home Alone universe, it’s time to take notice. Who is Peter McCallister and why is he so rich? First, let us turn our attention to the family unit that Peter, as a traditional bland Midwestern pater familias, ostensibly presides over. He is ...
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Huffington Post article
I Loved Ben-Hur
Huffington Post - 2 months
I avoided it on the big screen for two reasons: I was a huge fan of the Charlton Heston version and I'd read enough reviews panning it to believe it wasn't worth my time. Well, I was surprised when I got it from Netflix. Let's get one thing out of the way first: William Wyler's Ben Hur isn't Hitchcock. It's dramatic and exciting, visually stunning, but it's not a work of genius. But even if it were, so what? The new film isn't a remake so much as a retelling of the 1880 novel. The two set pieces in the 2016 version, the sea battle and the chariot race, are spectacular and horrifying, much more violent than in the 1959 film, but not in a prurient way. More intriguing, though, is the story line. There's no time spent in Rome. Judah isn't adopted by anyone. In a clever twist, the Hur family has adopted a Roman orphan--Messala--whose grandfather was one of the Senators who assassinated Julius Caesar. He lives under the burden of family shame and it motivates everyth ...
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Huffington Post article
Robert Vaughn, 'The Man From U.N.C.L.E.' Star, Dead At 83
Huffington Post - 3 months
Robert Vaughn, who starred as Napoleon Solo on TV’s “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.” from 1964-68, died Friday morning of acute leukemia, his manager Matthew Sullivan told Variety. He was 83. Vaughn began undergoing treatment for the illness this year on the East Coast. The James Bond-influenced “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.,” in which Vaughn’s Solo and David McCallum’s Illya Kuryakin battled the evil forces of T.H.R.U.S.H. around the globe (thanks to the glories of stock footage), was quite the pop-culture phenomenon in the mid-1960s, even as the show’s tone wavered from fairly serious to cartoonish and back again over its four seasons. It spawned a spinoff, “The Girl From U.N.C.L.E.,” starring Stefanie Powers, as well as a few feature adaptations during the run of the TV series — “One Spy Too Many,” “One of Our Spies Is Missing,” and “The Karate Killers” — that starred Vaughn and McCallum. Vaughn also guested as Napoleon Solo on sitcom “Please Don’t Eat the Daisies” and made an uncred ...
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Huffington Post article
'Ben-Hur' losing box office chariot race to 'Suicide Squad'
LATimes - 6 months
The new big-budget reimagining of Lew Wallace’s 19th century novel “Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ” isn’t exactly enchanting moviegoers.  The Oscar-winning 1959 film starring Charlton Heston may be regarded as a cinema classic, but the Paramount and MGM “Ben-Hur” update released this weekend pulled...
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LATimes article
'Ben-Hur' losing box office chariot race to 'Suicide Squad'
LATimes - 6 months
The new big-budget reimagining of Lew Wallace’s 19th century novel “Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ” isn’t exactly enchanting moviegoers.  The Oscar-winning 1959 film starring Charlton Heston may be regarded as a cinema classic, but the Paramount and MGM “Ben-Hur” update released this weekend pulled...
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LATimes article
Movie Review: Paramount Remakes The MGM Classic 'Ben-Hur'
NPR - 6 months
In 1959, Charlton Heston starred in Oscar-winning movie Ben-Hur. The question is: Why take another turn at making a film that defined epic when it was released, and was itself a remake?
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NPR article
'Ben-Hur' remake likely won't be able to topple 'Suicide Squad' at the box office
LATimes - 6 months
Lew Wallace’s 19th-century novel “Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ” has been adapted into two popular movies — the 1959 Charlton Heston classic, plus a 1925 silent film. But Hollywood has little hope for the latest lap in the chariot race.  Paramount Pictures and MGM’s big-budget reimagining of “Ben-Hur,"...
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LATimes article
Dr. Zaius Dishes On Working With Charlton Heston In 'Planet Of The Apes'
The Huffington Post - 7 months
Article Link:
The Huffington Post article
Cookbook of the week: 'The Vatican Cookbook'
LATimes - 8 months
The papacy is one of those institutions that is endlessly fascinating — blame Rex Harrison and Charlton Heston, for those of a certain age, or maybe Dan Brown. Regardless of our religious backgrounds or belief systems, we tend to take note not only of what the pope says and does, but what he wears,...
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LATimes article
After his death, Charlton Heston's family split his Oscars
Chicago Times - 12 months
Charlton Heston kept his two Academy Awards -- the best actor Oscar for the 1959 film "Ben-Hur" and the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award he won in 1978 -- in a side table in his study where he read every morning, his family told The Hollywood Reporter. Years after the Wilmette-raised actor's 2008...
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Chicago Times article
Charlton Heston’s Midcentury Modern Home Goes on the Market
Wall Street Journal - over 1 year
Charlton Heston’s midcentury home is just one of the beautiful properties featured by WSJ Mansion Reporter Candace Taylor on Lunch Break with Tanya Rivero. Photo: Jeff Elson
Article Link:
Wall Street Journal article
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Charlton Heston
  • 2008
    Age 84
    Heston's cinematic legacy was the subject of Cinematic Atlas: The Triumphs of Charlton Heston, an 11-film retrospective by the Film Society of the Lincoln Center that was shown at the Walter Reade Theater from August 29 to September 4, 2008.
    More Details Hide Details On April 17, 2010, Heston was inducted into the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum's Hall of Great Western Performers. In his childhood hometown of St. Helen, Michigan, a charter school, Charlton Heston Academy, opened on September 4, 2012. It is housed in the former St. Helen Elementary School. Enrollment on the first day was 220 students in grades kindergarten through eighth. Charlton Heston was commemorated on a United States postage stamp issued on April 11, 2014. Charlton Heston was inducted as a Laureate of The Lincoln Academy of Illinois and awarded the Order of Lincoln (the State’s highest honor) by the Governor of Illinois in 1977 in the area of Performing Arts. by Heston:
    Heston's funeral was held a week later on April 12, 2008, in a ceremony which was attended by 250 people including Nancy Reagan and Hollywood stars such as California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Olivia de Havilland, Keith Carradine, Pat Boone, Tom Selleck, Oliver Stone (who had cast Heston in his 1999 movie Any Given Sunday), Rob Reiner, and Christian Bale.
    More Details Hide Details The funeral was held at Episcopal Parish of St. Matthew's Church in Pacific Palisades, the church where Heston regularly worshipped and attended Sunday services since the early 1980s. He was cremated and his ashes were given to his family. Richard Corliss wrote in Time magazine, "From start to finish, Heston was a grand, ornery anachronism, the sinewy symbol of a time when Hollywood took itself seriously, when heroes came from history books, not comic books. Epics like Ben-Hur or El Cid simply couldn't be made today, in part because popular culture has changed as much as political fashion. But mainly because there's no one remotely like Charlton Heston to infuse the form with his stature, fire and guts." In his obituary for the actor, film critic Roger Ebert noted, "Heston made at least three movies that almost everybody eventually sees: Ben-Hur, The Ten Commandments and Planet of the Apes."
    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.
    More Details Hide Details He was also survived by their son, Fraser Clarke Heston, and adopted daughter, Holly Ann Heston. The cause of death was not disclosed by the family. A month later, media outlets reported his death was due to pneumonia. He was known for his chiselled jaw, broad shoulders and resonating voice, and, of course, for the roles he played. No one could ask for a fuller life than his. Early tributes came in from leading figures; President George W. Bush called Heston "a man of character and integrity, with a big heart... He served his country during World War II, marched in the civil rights movement, led a labor union and vigorously defended Americans’ Second Amendment rights." Former First Lady Nancy Reagan said that she was "heartbroken" over Heston's death and released a statement, reading, "I will never forget Chuck as a hero on the big screen in the roles he played, but more importantly I considered him a hero in life for the many times that he stepped up to support Ronnie in whatever he was doing."
  • 2005
    Age 81
    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.
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  • 2003
    Age 79
    In July 2003, in his final public appearance, Heston received the Presidential Medal of Freedom at the White House from President George W. Bush.
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    In April 2003, he sent a message of support to the American forces in the Iraq war, attacking opponents of the war as "pretend patriots".
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    In announcing his resignation in 2003, he again raised a rifle over his head, repeating the five famous words of his 2000 speech.
    More Details Hide Details Heston became an honorary life member. In the 2002 film Bowling for Columbine, Michael Moore interviewed Heston at Heston's home, asking him about an April 1999 meeting the NRA held in Denver, Colorado, shortly after the Columbine high school massacre. Moore criticized Heston for the perceived thoughtlessness in the timing and location of the meeting. When Moore asked Heston for his thoughts on why gun-related homicide is so much higher in the United States than in other countries, Heston said it was because, "we have probably more mixed ethnicity" and/or that "we have a history of violence, perhaps more than most countries" Heston subsequently, on-camera, excused himself and walked away. Moore was later criticized for having conducted the interview in what some viewed as an ambush. The interview was conducted early in 2001, before Heston publicly announced his Alzheimer's diagnosis, but the film was released afterward, causing some to say that Moore should have cut the interview from the final film.
    After being diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2003, he retired from both acting and the NRA presidency.
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  • 2002
    Age 78
    On August 9, 2002, he publicly announced (via a taped message) that he had been diagnosed with symptoms consistent with Alzheimer's disease.
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  • 2000
    Age 76
    In 2000, he publicly disclosed that he had been treated for alcoholism at a Utah clinic in May–June of that year.
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  • 1998
    Age 74
    He was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1998.
    More Details Hide Details Following a course of radiation treatment, the cancer went into remission.
    Heston was the president (a largely ceremonial position) and spokesman of the NRA from 1998 until he resigned in 2003.
    More Details Hide Details At the 2000 NRA convention, he raised a rifle over his head and declared that a potential Al Gore administration would take away his Second Amendment rights "from my cold, dead hands".
    Heston's most famous role in politics came as the five-term president of the National Rifle Association, from 1998 to 2003.
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  • 1997
    Age 73
    During a speech at Brandeis University, he stated, "Political correctness is tyranny with manners". In a speech to the National Press Club in 1997, Heston said, "Now, I doubt any of you would prefer a rolled up newspaper as a weapon against a dictator or a criminal intruder."
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    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.
    More Details Hide Details Your voice deserves a lower decibel level, your opinion is less enlightened, your media access is insignificant; and frankly, mister, you need to wake up, wise up, and learn a little something from your new America; and until you do, would you mind shutting up? He went on to say: The Constitution was handed down to guide us by a bunch of wise old dead white guys who invented our country! Now some flinch when I say that. Why! It's true-they were white guys! So were most of the guys that died in Lincoln's name opposing slavery in the 1860s. So why should I be ashamed of white guys? Why is "Hispanic Pride" or "Black Pride" a good thing, while "White Pride" conjures shaven heads and white hoods? Why was the Million Man March on Washington celebrated by many as progress, while the Promise Keepers March on Washington was greeted with suspicion and ridicule? I'll tell you why: Cultural warfare!
  • 1993
    Age 69
    In 1993, Heston teamed up with John Anthony West and Robert M. Schoch in an Emmy Award-winning NBC special, The Mystery of the Sphinx.
    More Details Hide Details West and Schoch had proposed a much earlier date for the construction of the Great Sphinx than generally accepted. They had suggested that the main type of weathering evident on the Great Sphinx and surrounding enclosure walls could only have been caused by prolonged and extensive rainfall and that the whole structure was carved out of limestone bedrock by an ancient advanced culture (such as the Heavy Neolithic Qaraoun culture).
  • 1990
    Age 66
    Heston charged that CNN's telecasts from Baghdad were "sowing doubts" about the allied effort in the 1990–91 Gulf War."
    More Details Hide Details At a Time Warner stockholders' meeting, Heston castigated the company for releasing an Ice-T album which included a song "Cop Killer" about killing police officers. While filming The Savage, Heston was initiated by blood into the Miniconjou Lakota Nation, saying that he had no natural American Indian heritage, but elected to be "Native American" to salvage the term from exclusively referring to American Indians.
  • 1987
    Age 63
    In 1987, he first registered as a Republican.
    More Details Hide Details He campaigned for Republicans and Republican Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush. Heston resigned in protest from Actors Equity, saying the union's refusal to allow a white actor to play a Eurasian role in Miss Saigon was "obscenely racist".
  • 1972
    Age 48
    He is reported to have voted for Richard Nixon in 1972, though Nixon is not mentioned in his autobiography.
    More Details Hide Details By the 1980s, Heston supported gun rights and changed his political affiliation from Democratic to Republican. When asked why he changed political alliances, Heston replied "I didn't change. The Democratic Party changed."
    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.
    More Details Hide Details Hildegarde Neil was Cleopatra and English actor Eric Porter was Ahenobarbus. After receiving scathing reviews, the film was never released to theaters, and is rarely seen on television. It was finally released on DVD in March 2011. He subsequently starred in more successful films such as Soylent Green (1973) and Earthquake (1974). Beginning with playing Cardinal Richelieu in 1973's The Three Musketeers, Heston was seen in an increasing number of supporting roles, cameos, and live theater. From 1985-87, he starred in his only prime-time stint on a television series in the soap, The Colbys. With his son Fraser, he produced and starred in several TV movies, including remakes of Treasure Island and A Man For All Seasons. In 1992, Heston appeared on the A&E cable network in a short series of videos, Charlton Heston Presents the Bible, reading passages from the King James version.
  • 1969
    Age 45
    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.
    More Details Hide Details He agonized over the decision but ultimately determined he could never give up acting.
  • 1968
    Age 44
    He endorsed Hubert Humphrey in the 1968 Presidential election.
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    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.
    More Details Hide Details The Johnson White House had solicited Heston's support.
  • 1965
    Age 41
    From 1965-71, he served as the elected president of the Screen Actors Guild, and clashed with his liberal rival Ed Asner.
    More Details Hide Details Moving beyond Hollywood, he became nationally visible in 1963 in support of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In 1968, he used his "cowboy" persona to publicize gun control measures. The third stage began in 1972. Like many neoconservatives of the same era who moved from liberal Democrat to conservative Republican, he rejected the liberalism of George McGovern and supported Richard Nixon in 1972 for President. In the 1980s, he gave strong support to Ronald Reagan during his conservative presidency. In 1995, Heston entered his fourth stage by establishing his own political action fund-raising committee, and jumped into the internal politics of the National Rifle Association. He gave numerous culture wars speeches and interviews upholding the conservative position, blaming media and academia for imposing affirmative action, which he saw as unfair reverse discrimination.
    From 1965–71, Heston served as president of the Screen Actors Guild.
    More Details Hide Details The Guild had been created in 1933 for the benefit of actors, who had different interests from the producers and directors who controlled the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. He was more conservative than most actors, and publicly clashed with outspoken liberal actors such as Ed Asner. In 1968, Heston starred in Planet of the Apes and in 1970, he had a smaller supporting role in the sequel, Beneath the Planet of the Apes. In 1970, he portrayed Mark Antony again in another film version of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. His co-stars included Jason Robards as Brutus, Richard Chamberlain as Octavius, Robert Vaughn as Casca, and English actors Richard Johnson as Cassius, John Gielgud as Caesar, and Diana Rigg as Portia. In 1971, he starred in the postapocalpytic science-fiction film The Omega Man, which has received mixed critical reviews.
  • 1964
    Age 40
    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.
    More Details Hide Details That year, Heston publicly opposed California Proposition 14 that rolled back the state's fair housing law, the Rumford Fair Housing Act. In his 1995 autobiography, In the Arena, written after he became a conservative Republican, Heston wrote that while driving back from the set of The War Lord, he saw a "Barry Goldwater for President" billboard with his campaign slogan "In Your Heart You Know He's Right" and thought to himself, "Son of a bitch, he is right." Heston later said that his "support" for Goldwater was the event that helped turn him against gun control laws.
  • 1963
    Age 39
    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."
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  • 1961
    Age 37
    Reportedly, when in 1961 a segregated Oklahoma movie theater was showing his movie El Cid for the first time, he joined a picket line outside.
    More Details Hide Details Heston made no reference to this in his autobiography, but describes traveling to Oklahoma City to picket segregated restaurants, to the chagrin of the producers of El Cid, Allied Artists.
    From 1961-72, the second stage, he continued to endorse Democratic candidates for President.
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  • 1958
    Age 34
    In 1958, he portrayed a Mexican police officer, Ramon Miguel Vargas, in Orson Welles's widely acclaimed film noir Touch of Evil.
    More Details Hide Details He also played a rare supporting role in William Wyler's The Big Country opposite Gregory Peck and Burl Ives. After Marlon Brando, Burt Lancaster, and Rock Hudson turned down the title role in Ben-Hur (1959), Heston accepted the role, winning the Academy Award for Best Actor, one of the unprecedented 11 Oscars the film earned. After Moses and Ben-Hur, Heston became more identified with Biblical epics than any other actor. He voiced Ben-Hur in an animated television production of the Lew Wallace novel in 2003. Heston played leading roles in a number of fictional and historical epics: El Cid (1961), 55 Days at Peking (1963), as Michelangelo in The Agony and the Ecstasy (1965), and Khartoum (1966). Heston also played the title role in the Western movie Will Penny (1968).
  • 1956
    Age 32
    Heston campaigned for Presidential candidate Adlai Stevenson in 1956, although he was unable to campaign for John F. Kennedy in 1960 due to filming on El Cid in Spain.
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  • 1955
    Age 31
    Heston's political activism had four stages. In the first stage, 1955–61, he endorsed Democratic candidates for President, and signed on to petitions and liberal political causes.
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    In 1955, Heston appeared with Jane Wyman in Lucy Gallant.
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  • 1954
    Age 30
    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.
    More Details Hide Details Filmed a quarter-century before the latter film, "Incas" included a tomb scene with the revelatory shaft of light pointing out a clue on a map and featured Heston's roguish antiquities thief's costume and light beard; Raiders' costume designer Deborah Nadoolman Landis noted that it was "almost a shot for shot similar" to the film on which she worked. Heston became an icon for playing Moses in the hugely successful film The Ten Commandments (1956), selected by director Cecil B. DeMille, who reportedly thought Heston bore an uncanny resemblance to Michelangelo's statue of Moses.
  • 1953
    Age 29
    In 1953, Heston was Billy Wilder's first choice to play Sefton in Stalag 17.
    More Details Hide Details However, the role was given to William Holden, who won an Oscar for it.
  • 1952
    Age 28
    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.
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  • 1950
    Age 26
    Heston's first professional movie appearance was the leading role in Dark City, a 1950 film noir.
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    Film producer Hal B. Wallis of Casablanca spotted Heston in a 1950 television production of Wuthering Heights and offered him a contract.
    More Details Hide Details When his wife reminded Heston they had decided to pursue theater and television, he replied, "Well, maybe just for one film to see what it's like." Heston turned down the lead opposite Marilyn Monroe in Let's Make Love to appear in Benn W. Levy's play The Tumbler, directed by Laurence Olivier. Called a "harrowingly pretentious verse drama" by Time, the production went through a troubled out-of-town tryout period in Boston and closed after five performances on Broadway in February 1960. Heston, a great admirer of Olivier the actor, took on the play to work with him as a director. After the play flopped, Heston told columnist Joe Hyams, "I feel I am the only one who came out with a profit. I got out of it precisely what I went in for – a chance to work with Olivier. I learned from him in six weeks things I never would have learned otherwise. I think I've ended up a better actor."
  • 1948
    Age 24
    In 1948, they returned to New York, where Heston was offered a supporting role in a Broadway revival of Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra, starring Katharine Cornell.
    More Details Hide Details In television, Heston played a number of roles in CBS's Studio One, one of the most popular anthology dramas of the 1950s.
  • 1947
    Age 23
    After the war, Heston and Clarke lived in Hell's Kitchen, New York City, where they worked as artists' models. Seeking a way to make it in theater, Heston and his wife Lydia decided to manage a playhouse in Asheville, North Carolina, in 1947, making $100 a week.
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  • 1944
    Age 20
    In 1944, Heston enlisted in the United States Army Air Forces.
    More Details Hide Details He served for two years as a radio operator and aerial gunner aboard a B-25 Mitchell medium bomber stationed in the Alaskan Aleutian Islands with the 77th Bombardment Squadron of the Eleventh Air Force. He reached the rank of staff sergeant. Heston married Northwestern University student Lydia Marie Clarke, who was six months his senior. That same year, he joined the military. After his rise to fame, Heston narrated for highly classified military and Department of Energy instructional films, particularly relating to nuclear weapons, and "for six years Heston held the nation's highest security clearance" or Q clearance." The Q clearance is similar to a DoD or DIA clearance of top secret.
  • 1941
    Age 17
    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.
    More Details Hide Details From the Winnetka Community Theatre (or the Winnetka Dramatist's Guild, as it was then known) in which he was active, he earned a drama scholarship to Northwestern University; among his acting teachers was Alvina Krause. Several years later, Heston teamed up with Bradley to produce the first sound version of William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, in which Heston played Mark Antony.
  • 1933
    Age 9
    After the Carters divorced in 1933 and Lilla Carter married Chester Heston, Charlton Carter became Charlton Heston.
    More Details Hide Details Thus, this was the name used for his first film. It was an adaptation of Henrik Ibsen's Peer Gynt (1941).
  • 1930
    Age 6
    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.
    More Details Hide Details Later accounts by sources and movie studio biographies say he was born John Charles Carter. Interestingly, Charlton was his maternal grandmother Marian's maiden name, not his mother Lilla's. This is contrary to how 20th-century references read and what Heston said. When Heston's maternal grandmother and his true maternal grandfather Charles Baines separated or divorced in the early 1900s, Marian (née Charlton) Baines married William Henry Lawton in 1907. Charlton Heston's mother Lilla and her sister May then decided to use their mother's maiden name of Charlton in place of Baines.
  • 1923
    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.
    More Details Hide Details Many sources indicate he was born in Evanston, Illinois. Heston's autobiography; however, and some other sources, place his birth in No Man's Land, Illinois, which usually refers to a then-unincorporated area now part of Wilmette, a wealthy Chicago suburb. Heston said in a 1995 interview that he was not very good at remembering addresses or his early childhood. Heston was partially of Scottish descent, including from the Clan Fraser, but the majority of his ancestry was English. His earliest immigrant ancestors arrived in America from England in the 1600s. His maternal great-grandparents, William Charlton and Mary Drysdale Charlton, were English. They immigrated to Canada, where his grandmother, Marian Emily Charlton, was born in 1872. In his autobiography, Heston refers to his father participating in his family's construction business. When Heston was an infant, his father's work moved the family to St. Helen, Michigan. It was a rural, heavily forested part of the state, and Heston lived an isolated yet idyllic existence, spending much time hunting and fishing in the backwoods of the area.
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