"So Let it Be Written... So Let it Be Done"

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Sunday, April 06, 2008

Charlton Heston, 84

One of the most iconic actors in American film history has died.

Charlton Heston, 84, passed away last night, unofficially from complications from Alzheimer's Disease. Official cause of death has not been released.

Heston was best known for his roles as Moses in "The Ten Commandments" (1956, shown below parting the Red Sea) and Ben-Hur in "Ben-Hur" (1959), for which he won the Best Actor Oscar in 1960. Heston also starred in the original "Planet of the Apes" (1968).

Trivia on Charlton Heston (from imdb):

His favorite food was peanut butter, and he took some with him everywhere, even overseas.

Was chosen to portray Moses in The Ten Commandments (1956) by Cecil B. DeMille because he bore an uncanny resemblance to the statue of Moses carved by Michelangelo.

Accepted the role in Ben-Hur (1959) after Burt Lancaster turned it down.

Has two films on the American Film Institute's 100 Most Inspiring Movies of All Time. They are The Ten Commandments (1956) at #79 and Ben-Hur (1959) at #56.

The actors he admired the most were Gary Cooper, Henry Fonda, Clark Gable, Cary Grant and James Stewart.

In 1981, Heston was named co-chairman of President Ronald Reagan's Task Force for the Arts and Humanities. He served on the National Council for the Arts and was elected president of the Screen Actors Guild six times.

Heston has often been compared with his friend Ronald Reagan. Both actors started out as liberal Democrats but gradually converted to conservative Republicans, both served as Presidents of the Screen Actors Guild, both went into politics (Reagan as President of the United States from 1981 to 1989 and Heston as President of the National Rifle Association from 1998 to 2003), and both suffered from Alzheimer's disease in later life. Heston attended Reagan's state funeral on 11 June 2004.

During the Waco standoff in 1993, Heston was hired by the FBI to provide the voice of God when talking to David Koresh in an attempt to reason with him. The plan was never used. (That is so cool! It probably would have worked, too.)



Some of Heston's quotes (also from imdb):

(From a taped announcement concerning his having symptoms of Alzheimer's disease in 2002): "For an actor, there is no greater loss than the loss of his audience. I can part the Red Sea, but I can't part with you, which is why I won't exclude you from this stage in my life. ... For now, I'm not changing anything. I'll insist on work when I can; the doctors will insist on rest when I must. If you see a little less spring to my step, if your name fails to leap to my lips, you'll know why. And if I tell you a funny story for the second time, please laugh anyway."

"What cannot be cured must be endured." (From his final televised interview in December 2002, regarding his recent diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease)

"If you need a ceiling painted, a chariot race run, a city besieged, or the Red Sea parted, you think of me."

"There's a special excitement in playing a man who made a hole in history large enough to be remembered centuries after he died."

"If you can't make a career out of two de Milles, you'll never do it."

"You can take my rifle ... when you pry it from my cold dead hands!"

"Here's my credo. There are no good guns, There are no bad guns. A gun in the hands of a bad man is a bad thing. Any gun in the hands of a good man is no threat to anyone, except bad people."

"I have played three presidents, three saints and two geniuses. If that doesn't create an ego problem, nothing does."

"I've been killed often, on film, the stage, and the television tube. Studios insist the audience doesn't like this. It's been my experience that it makes them unhappy, but that's not the same thing. In any event, they often attend those undertakings where I come to a violent end even more enthusiastically than they do those where I survive. There may be a message for me somewhere there."

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11 Comments:

At 06 April, 2008 17:30, Blogger American Guy said...

well now maybe we can pry that gun out his cold dead hands.

he was a decent actor, but i lost all respect for him when immediately folowing columbine he argued that we needed more guns!

 
At 07 April, 2008 08:52, Blogger DaBich said...

RIP Mr. Heston.

Carry your gun with you to Heaven. Be happy.

 
At 07 April, 2008 17:26, Blogger scribe said...

I hate to sound like a dick, but this was probably for the best.

 
At 07 April, 2008 18:51, Blogger Bluez said...

yeah one less vote for McCain

 
At 07 April, 2008 20:53, Blogger Esther said...

Really interesting facts, Green! Thanks!

I'll probably be the lone voice on this based on other commenters' statements, but keep in mind that guns don't kill people, people kill people.

Criminals will always have the guns. It is the law-abiding citizen that needs just enough of that question mark in the criminals' mind as to whether or not we do too. We are also provided the right to bear arms in regard to leverage with our government. Look at China as an example of millions of people without gun-ownership and a despotic government controlling their lives (even submerging villages and cities underwater for the largest dam project on the face of the planet).

 
At 08 April, 2008 07:42, Blogger DaBich said...

Esther, I agree with you and Green 100% that guns don't kill people, PEOPLE kill people. Hubby and I own a 9mm and we love it.

 
At 08 April, 2008 16:52, Blogger scribe said...

I don't have anything against guns, I just think Heston was a sellout scumbag opportunist.


Good movies, though.

 
At 09 April, 2008 07:49, Blogger DaBich said...

::blink::

 
At 09 April, 2008 19:24, Blogger scribe said...

Somebody get Madge some eye-drops STAT!!!

 
At 10 April, 2008 03:34, Blogger American Guy said...

"keep in mind that guns don't kill people, people kill people."

Yes, people kill kill people. But let's be complete here. People kill people with guns.

I'm tired of the 'argument' that we'd all be safer with a heavily armed populace.

Here in oz, guns are much less prevelant and harder for people to get their hands on, and gues what? Violent crime is SIGNIFICANTLY lower than it is in the statez.

But I'm sure you'll go on about freedom or some such. To me, freedom means not having to worry about some whackjob who forgot to take his meds deciding to take out a shopping centre. Sure, he could still attack people with a kitchen knife, but he'd be far less dangerous than if he was armed with a gun.

 
At 10 April, 2008 13:17, Blogger JLee said...

Oh no! I had not heard this yet :((
I loved him! When I was little, I had the biggest crush on him and one of my favorite movies was "Omega Man" He was quite the leading man and will be missed.

 

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