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OTHER ITA SITES:
Charlton Heston Laid To Rest
Family and friends have officially said their farewells to Charlton Heston, who died on April 5, 2008. Hollywood will never be the same, or so it currently seems.
More than 250 people attended the services, among them Olivia DeHavilland, Nancy Reagan, Tom Selleck, Oliver Stone and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Even though Heston was devoutly political, he never had a problem making good friends on both sides of the political arena. Many of those same friends attended the funeral.
He was a talented actor and box office sensation, during the 50s, 60s and 70s. It seems that everyone who was anyone and even those who weren’t wanted to be cast opposite of him, at some point in their career.
Heston is probably the most well known for his legendary roles, in now classic films such as: ‘The Planet of the Apes’, ‘Julius Caesar’, ‘The Greatest Story Ever Told’ and ‘Antony and Cleopatra’… just to name a few.
Charlton’s given name was John Charles Carter. His stage name was a combination of his mother’s maiden name (Lila Charlton) and stepfather’s last name, which was Heston.
Surprisingly, his favorite food was peanut butter. When he traveled overseas, he always took an adequate supply with him… so he would never have to go without. Peanut butter and caviar, anyone?
He was born in Chicago and grew up in the woods of Michigan. He began acting in college, after a stint in the Army. The first two roles were independent films, written by classmates.
His first official role was the circus manager in ‘The Greatest Show on Earth’. He then landed his first major role as Moses in ‘The 10 Commandments’. His role in ‘Ben-Hur’ is what skyrocketed him to the top of the Hollywood A-list. He never looked back.
(He was chosen to play the role of Moses, because of his uncanny resemblance to Michelangelo’s statue of Moses.)
It was no secret that Charlton Heston was involved in political activism, throughout his lifetime. During the 60s, he was known to picket segregated restaurants. He showed his support by accompanying Martin Luther King Jr. to the civil rights march held in Washington, DC.
He even went so far as to resign from Actors Equity, commonly known as the AEA, because they would not allow a white actor to play a Eurasian role, and the film ‘Miss Saigon’.
In 1969, he was encouraged by a number of Democrats to run for the California State Senate. He politely declined, as he wanted to continue his acting career.
When his acting career slowed down, something that occurred as a result of his own choosing, he became more involved in politics. He was elected president and spokesman of the National Rifle Association, in 1998. Heston resigned in 2003, shortly after revealing to the public that he was suffering from symptoms of early Alzheimer’s.
Heston leaves behind a wife of 64 years, two children and two grandchildren. He was 84. He will be sadly missed by other family, friends and millions of fans, worldwide.
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