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Charlton Heston dies at 84

Charlton Heston dies at 84

Posted: 6 Apr 2008 2:01PM GMT
Classification: Obituary
Surnames: Heston ,
Legendary actor Charlton Heston dies at 84

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Oscar-winning actor Charlton Heston, whose chiseled features
and commanding presence won him epic roles from Moses
to Michelangelo,
died on Saturday night at the age of 84,
his family said. Heston,
a former president of the influential National Rifle Association lobbying group,
died at his home in Beverly Hills
with his wife Lydia at his side,
the family said in a statement.
The actor, who won the 1959 best
actor Oscar for the title role in "Ben Hur"
in which he did many of his own chariot race stunts, had announced in 2002 that he was suffering symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. "To his loving friends, colleagues and fans, we appreciate your heartfelt prayers and support. Charlton Heston was seen by the world as larger than life," the family said.
"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. In his own words, 'I have lived such a wonderful life! I've lived enough for two people'," the statement added. The family said a private memorial service would be held. In his heyday, Heston's rugged features and conservative lifestyle seemed to belong to another age. As director Anthony Mann said: "Put a toga on him and he looks perfect." Frank Sinatra once joked: "That guy Heston has to watch it. If he's not careful, he'll get actors a good name." Between super-spectacles ("The 10 Commandments,' "Ben Hur"), science fiction movies ("Planet of the Apes," 'Soylent Green') and disaster epics ('Earthquake"), Heston pushed for screen versions of Shakespearean plays, directing one, "Anthony and Cleopatra." GUN-RIGHTS LOBBY Heston's most controversial role was not in a movie but as leader of the National Rifle Association, the gun-rights lobby group, from 1998 to 2003. He often stood at the podium at conventions, holding an antique flintlock rifle above his head and telling gun-control advocates they would not get his gun unless they could pry it "from my cold, dead hands." "They don't make them like that any more," Steven Gaydos, executive editor of Variety Magazine, told BBC television after his death. "People in Hollywood, even if they didn't agree with his politics, respected the guy," he added. Born John Charlton Carter (Heston was his stepfather's name) on October 4, 1923, in Evanston, Illinois, he made his theatrical debut as Santa Claus in a school play at age 5 and studied acting at Northwestern University. After a World War Two stint as a gunner in the Army Air Corps, Heston headed to Broadway, where he briefly supported himself with nude modeling between acting jobs. In 1944, he had married fellow Northwestern drama student Lydia Clarke and their marriage lasted 64 years until his death. They had two children, Fraser Clarke and Holly Ann, and three grandchildren Jack Alexander, Ridley and Charlie. Heston gained attention in 1947 in "Anthony and Cleopatra," which landed him a job in the "Studio One" television series that re-enacted famous plays. The television work led to movies and Cecil B. DeMille put him in "The Greatest Show on Earth" (1952), portraying a circus manager determined that the show must go on. In 1956, DeMille cast Heston as Moses for "The 10 Commandments," saying the actor reminded him of Michelangelo's statue. The $7.5 million epic was the most expensive film up to that time and became the second-biggest money maker of the time, behind "Gone With the Wind." In addition to playing Moses, Heston did the voice of God in the film. His 3-month-old son, Fraser, played the baby Moses floating down the Nile in a basket. WESTERNS AND SCIENCE FICTION He took some roles in Westerns, with a break in 1957 for Orson Welles' "Touch of Evil," followed by more epics. Less successful were his portrayal of John the Baptist in "The Greatest Story Ever Told" about the life of Jesus and that of Michelangelo in "The Agony and the Ecstasy," a 1965 commercial flop. Heston was a besieged astronaut in 1968's "The Planet of the Apes" but made sure his character was killed off in 1970's "Beneath the Planet of the Apes" so he would not be sought for further sequels. The "Ape" pictures opened the science fiction door to him and hits like "The Omega Man" (1971) and "Soylent Green" (1973). He was also a leading figure in disaster epics, among them "Skyjacked" (1972) and "Airport 1975" (1974). In 1984, Heston returned to television in two CBS mini-series and the following year he played patriarch Jason Colby in the TV soap opera "Dynasty II: The Colbys of California." In the 1960s Heston was involved in the civil rights movement.
He served six terms as president of the Screen Actors Guild and in 1987, 16 years after leaving the SAG job,
locked horns with SAG President Ed Asner over the guild's left-leaning stance.
He once campaigned for Democrats --
Adlai Stevenson against
Dwight Eisenhower
and John Kennedy against Richard Nixon.
But he switched to Republican Nixon in 1972 and backed old friend Ronald Reagan
in the ex-actor's quest for the presidency. Thereafter, he was identified with conservative politics and causes. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush in 2003.

HESTON Family Lineage for Charlton HESTON

Posted: 9 Apr 2008 1:14AM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: Heston
Charlton HESTON, famous actor from the 1959 movie "Ben Hur" and former president of the National Rifle Association, died on APR 5, 2008 Saturday in California at the age of 84. His birth parents were Russell CARTER and Lila CHARLTON. His last name was changed from CARTER to HESTON after his step father Chester HESTON.

Here is the HESTON Family Lineage for Charlton HESTON, movie
actor and former NRA President. Source: HESTON Genealogy
Directory, NO. 15, (SEP 1960), from the HESTON HISTORIAN
Newsletters and Directories published by John P. HESTON from
1957 to 1961:

1st - Zebulon HESTON and Dorothy HUTCHINSON
2nd - Zebulon HESTON, Jr and Elizabeth BUCKMAN
3rd - Zebulon HESTON, 3rd and Sarah BURGESS
4th - John HESTON and Elizabeth RANDALL
5th - John HESTON and Linia MYERS
6th - Cyrus HESTON and Lydia ALLMON
7th - Lucian HESTON and Sue J. GILMORE
8th - Chester L. HESTON and Lila (CHARLTON) CARTER
9th - Their step son Charlton HESTON
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