American actor & political activist, Charlton Heston was a veteran Hollywood star who worked on more than 100 movies during his 60 years of film career.
Heston won numerous prestigious awards for his contribution to English film industry. He even succeeded to grab a Presidential Medal of Freedom from the president, George W. Bush.
In the early 2000s, Heston had diagnosed with Alzheimer disease. He died on 5th April 2008, after suffering from pneumonia at the age of eight four.
Early life and education
Charlton Heston was born as Charlton John Carter on October 4, 1923, in Wilmette, Illinois, U.S. He was major of English, & partially of Scottish descent.
Heston was born to Lilla Charlton Carter Heston and Russell Whitford Carter, who was a sawmill operator. His parents divorced when he was ten years old & his mother eventually married another man, Chester Heston from whom, Charlton surname was taken.
Heston spent most of his childhood in a rural, heavily forested area, & lives an idyllic life. He went to New Trier High School & enrolled in dramatics.
In 1941, Heston appeared in the schools drama program, the amateur silent, a 16 mm movie adaptation of Peer Gynt.' He grabbed a drama scholarship to the Northwestern University because of his outstanding drama skills.
Charlton Heston began his career after he was enlisted in the United States Army Air Force in 1944. He served as a radio operator & aerial gunner for two years. Over the course of his military career, he succeeded to reach the rank of staff sergeant.
In 1964, Heston shifted to the New York City to pursue his acting career. The same year, he made his Broadway debut with Antony and Cleopatra and also became active on television during the period.
Hestons popularity as a stage actor soon led him Hollywood offers, & in 1950, he made his professional movie debut with a lead role in American crime film, Dark City.
Heston did a breakthrough performance on his first film which caught the attention of prominent filmmaker Cecil B. DeMille & he offered him the role of circus manager in The Greatest Show on Earth in 1952. Later, he starred in The Presidents Lady' as Andrew Jackson.
Heston portrayed the character of Moses in the movie The Ten Commandments (1956) which was highly appreciated by critics & audiences and also helped him gain the status of an icon in Hollywood.
In the year 1959, Heston appeared in a historical role in Ben-Hur which marked him as one of the best actors in American cinema. The movie helped him to win his first Academy Award for Best Actor.
Hestons success continued throughout the 1960s & 1970s with movies Khartoum, Planet of the Apes, Julius Caesar, Antony and Cleopatra, Call of the Wild, The Four Musketeers and many others.
Some of his 1990s movies include Solar Crisis,' True Lies,' and Hamlet.' Even he lent his voice to Disney's Hercules and Armageddon.'
Despite acting, Heston was actively involved in politics too. He spent almost fifty years of his life in political activism. In 1963, he participated in Dr. Martin Luther King's civil rights march in Washington, D.C. From 1998 to 2003, he also served as the president of the U.S. National Rifle Association.
Once Heston was invited by Harvard Law School in the program titled, Winning the Cultural War & he said,
"If Americans believed in political correctness, we'd still be King George's boys-subjects bound to the British crown."
And he also spoke to the students,
"You are the best and the brightest. You, here in this fertile cradle of American academia, here in the castle of learning on the Charles River. You are the cream. But I submit that you and your counterparts across the land are the most socially conformed and politically silenced generation since Concord Bridge. And as long as you validate that and abide it, you are, by your grandfathers' standards, cowards."
Heston sent a support message to the American forces in the Iraq war in 2003, He also opposed abortion & introduced Bernard Nathanson's 1987 pro-life doc u mentary, Eclipse of Reason.
Charlton Heston married the actress, Lydia Marie Clarke, on 17th March 1944. They first met through a mutual friend & continued their relationship till his last breath which made him a one-woman man.
The couple has two children; a son, Fraser Clarke Heston, & an adopted daughter, Holly Ann Heston. The pair has been together for sixty-four years, & in between, there was no rumor regarding their divorce or split.
Heston suffered from several health problems during the 1990s. He underwent a hip replacement in 1996 & was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1998 which eventually went into remission.
Oscar-winning actor, Charlton Heston had earned an impressive net worth of $40 million from his acting & political career. In 1950, he charged $50 per week in Julius Caesar.
In 1982, Heston paid $400,000 acting fee & $177,000 directing fee. He was paid $90,000 per episode for his appearance in The Colbys.
Death and Legacy
Heston suffered from several health problems during the 1990s. He underwent a hip replacement in 1996 & diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1998 which eventually went into remission.
In 2002, Heston revealed that he was diagnosed with an Alzheimer's disease, saying,
"I must reconcile courage and surrender in equal measure."
Heston died at the age of eighty-four on 5th April 2008, at his home in Beverly Hills, California. The cause of his death was a mystery for several months, however, later it was disclosed that he died of pneumonia.
Heston's funeral was held on 12th April 2008, at the Episcopal Parish of St. Matthew's Church in Pacific Palisades which was attended by 250 guests including Nancy Reagan & many Hollywood stars.
by admin, 09 Nov, 2017