Sunday, April 06, 2008

Chuck Heston Dead at 84

The legendary Charlton "Chuck" Heston, one of the greatest screen actors or all time, has died at 84.

A former US Army Air Force Radio Gunner, Heston was known for his chiseled jaw, broad shoulders, resonating voice and the iconic historical roles he played; among them: Moses, El Cid, John the Baptist, Michelangelo, Marc Antony, Cardinal Richelieu and Henry VIII. His greatest role however was that of Ben Hur. He is also known for his portrayal of the tycoon Jason Colby in a spin off from Dynasty, the narrator for Michael Bay's Armageddon and as Colonel George Taylor in Planet Of The Apes.

The actor was an excellent leader off the silver screen too. He served as president of the Screen Actors Guild and chairman of the American Film Institute. In later years he grew more conservative, campaigned for conservative candidates and in '98, Heston was elected president of the National Rifle Association, for which he had posed for ads holding a rifle. He delivered a well-deserved jab at the adulterous then-President Clinton, saying, "America doesn't trust you with our 21-year-old daughters, and we sure, Lord, don't trust you with our guns."

(Left): "From my cold dead hand"

In 2003 President Bush awarded Heston the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor. "The largeness of character that comes across the screen has also been seen throughout his life," Bush said at the time. In late years, Heston drew as much publicity for his crusades as for his performances. In addition to his NRA work, he campaigned for Republican presidential and congressional candidates and against affirmative action.

At a Time Warner stockholders meeting, he castigated the company for releasing an Ice-T album that purportedly encouraged cop killing. Heston wrote in "In the Arena" that he was proud of what he did "though now I'll surely never be offered another film by Warners, nor get a good review in Time. On the other hand, I doubt I'll get a traffic ticket very soon."

Heston's family said in a statement. "No one could ask for a fuller life than his. No man could have given more to his family, to his profession, and to his country."

Source: Mark


Anonymous said...

You forgot to mention the original Omega Man movie, for shame, Lt.Col, for shame.

Anonymous said...

And who could forget him as Spencer Trilby?

Lieutenant General Creedon said...

No one's forgetting anything people. If I listed all of his more than 100 film and television appearances then it would have been my longest post ever.

Me? I remember him fondly as the Captain in "Grey Lady Down" and farr less fondly as the mad scientist in an episode of "seaQuest" where he plays a mad scientist who lives in an underwater base creating fish-people (I'm not kidding) but I also didn't mention these preferring to focus oh his more famed roles for my mass audience.

Bottom line is: Chuck will live as long as we remember him! (In the main post or not).

Anonymous said...

Distinct lack of mention of Moses collaboration with Michael Moore.