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Charlton Heston

Charlton HestonAKA John Charlton Carter

Born: 4-Oct-1923 [1]
Birthplace: Evanston, IL
Died: 5-Apr-2008
Location of death: Beverly Hills, CA
Cause of death: Natural Causes
Remains: Cremated

Gender: Male
Religion: Protestant
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Actor
Party Affiliation: Republican

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: The Ten Commandments

Military service: US Army Air Corps (WWII, Sgt.)

Charlton Heston's parents were divorced when he was ten, and he was raised by his mother and, later, stepfather. He studied drama at Northwestern University, where he first stepped before the camera at age 16 in a student-filmed silent production of the Henrik Ibsen play, Peer Gynt.

As an actor, Heston is most famous for larger-than-life roles in a series of epics, including Orson Welles' Touch of Evil (1958), Ben-Hur (1959), which won him an Oscar, El Cid (1961), and the underrated Khartoum (1966). And then there's Planet of the Apes (1968), Soylent Green (1973), the disaster flicks Airport (1974) and Earthquake (1975), and TV's The Colbys (1985-87), an uninspired spin-off of Dynasty.

Off screen, Heston was active in the civil rights movement, and marched on Washington DC with Martin Luther King in 1963. Later in life he served as president of the National Rifle Association from 1998 to 2002. As NRA chief, Heston once held a 1776-era musket and uttered his most famous line: "I have only five words for you: From my cold, dead hands."


[1] Heston's original New York Times obituary gave 1924 as his year of birth, the newspaper later issuing a correction to 1923 without explanation. This would make him 84 at the time of his death. Heston's obituary in The Chicago Tribune gave 1924 as his birth year. Current Biography first profile on Heston (1957) gave 1924 but this was amended by his second profile in 1986 with a question mark, suggesting 1922, 1923, or 1924 as possible years, and October 4 or October 6 as possible days.

Father: Russell Whitford Carter
Mother: Lilla Charlton Carter
Father: Chester Heston (stepfather)
Wife: Lydia Marie Clarke (m. 17-Mar-1944)
Son: Fraser Clarke Heston (screenwriter and actor, b. 12-Feb-1955)
Daughter: Holly Ann Heston (adopted, b. 1961)

    High School: New Trier High School, Winnetka, IL (1941)
    University: Northwestern University

    National Rifle Association President (1998-2003)
    Screen Actors Guild President (1966-71)
    Oscar for Best Actor 1960 for Ben-Hur
    Kennedy Center Honor 1997
    Presidential Medal of Freedom 23-Jul-2003
    Hollywood Walk of Fame 1620 Vine St.
    National Cowboy Hall of Fame 2010
    Accuracy in Media National Advisory Board
    Kennedy Center Trustee Emeritus
    Nicaraguan Freedom Fund Board of Directors
    Reagan-Bush '84
    US English Advisory Board
    Visited Disneyland on Opening Day
    Visited Disneyland Candlelight Procession (Dec-1970)
    Hip Replacement Surgery
    Risk Factors: Alzheimer's, Prostate Cancer

    TELEVISION
    The Colbys Jason Colby (1985-87)

    FILMOGRAPHY AS DIRECTOR
    A Man for All Seasons (1988)
    Mother Lode (15-Oct-1982)
    Antony and Cleopatra (2-Mar-1972)

    FILMOGRAPHY AS ACTOR
    Cameraman: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff (5-May-2010) · Himself
    Ben Hur (15-Feb-2003) [VOICE]
    Bowling for Columbine (15-May-2002) · Himself
    The Order (27-Dec-2001) · Prof. Finley
    Last Party 2000 (2-Nov-2001) · Himself
    Cats & Dogs (23-Jun-2001) [VOICE]
    Town & Country (27-Apr-2001)
    Any Given Sunday (16-Dec-1999)
    Gideon (10-Oct-1999) · Addison Sinclair
    Armageddon (1-Jul-1998) [VOICE]
    Hercules (14-Jun-1997) · Narrator [VOICE]
    Alaska: Spirit of the Wild (1997) · Narrator [VOICE]
    Hamlet (25-Dec-1996)
    Alaska (14-Aug-1996) · Perry
    In the Mouth of Madness (3-Feb-1995) · Jackson Harglow
    The Avenging Angel (22-Jan-1995)
    True Lies (15-Jul-1994) · Spencer Trilby
    Texas (1994) · Narrator
    Tombstone (25-Dec-1993) · Henry Hooker
    Wayne's World 2 (10-Dec-1993) · Good Actor
    Crash Landing: The Rescue of Flight 232 (24-Feb-1992)
    The Crucifer of Blood (4-Nov-1991)
    Solar Crisis (14-Jul-1990)
    Treasure Island (22-Jan-1990)
    Original Sin (20-Feb-1989)
    A Man for All Seasons (1988)
    Chiefs (13-Nov-1983)
    Mother Lode (15-Oct-1982) · Silas McGee
    The Awakening (17-Jan-1981)
    The Mountain Men (1-Jun-1980)
    Crossed Swords (17-Mar-1978)
    Gray Lady Down (10-Mar-1978) · Capt. Paul Blanchard
    Two Minute Warning (12-Nov-1976)
    Midway (18-Jun-1976) · Capt. Matt Garth
    The Last Hard Men (1-Jun-1976) · Sam Burgade
    The Four Musketeers (25-Dec-1974) · Cardinal Richelieu
    Earthquake (15-Nov-1974) · Graff
    Airport 1975 (18-Oct-1974) · Murdock
    The Three Musketeers (11-Dec-1973) · Cardinal Richelieu
    Soylent Green (19-Apr-1973) · Thorn
    Call of the Wild (29-Dec-1972)
    Skyjacked (24-May-1972)
    Antony and Cleopatra (2-Mar-1972)
    The Omega Man (1-Aug-1971) · Neville
    The Hawaiians (17-Jun-1970) · Whip Hoxworth
    Julius Caesar (4-Jun-1970)
    Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1-May-1970) · Taylor
    King: A Filmed Record... Montgomery to Memphis (24-Mar-1970) · Himself
    Number One (21-Aug-1969)
    Will Penny (10-Apr-1968)
    Planet of the Apes (8-Feb-1968) · George Taylor
    Counterpoint (19-Jan-1968)
    Khartoum (9-Jun-1966)
    The War Lord (17-Nov-1965) · Chrysagon
    The Agony and the Ecstasy (24-Sep-1965)
    Major Dundee (15-Mar-1965) · Maj. Amos Charles Dundee
    The Greatest Story Ever Told (15-Feb-1965) · John the Baptist
    55 Days at Peking (29-May-1963) · Maj. Matt Lewis
    Diamond Head (30-Jan-1963)
    The Pigeon That Took Rome (20-Jun-1962) · Capt. Paul MacDougall
    El Cid (14-Dec-1961)
    Ben-Hur (18-Nov-1959) · Judah Ben-Hur
    The Wreck of the Mary Deare (6-Nov-1959) · John Sands
    The Buccaneer (1-Dec-1958)
    The Big Country (1-Oct-1958)
    Touch of Evil (21-May-1958) · Ramon Miguel Vargas
    Three Violent People (Dec-1956)
    The Ten Commandments (5-Oct-1956) [VOICE]
    Lucy Gallant (20-Oct-1955)
    The Private War of Major Benson (2-Aug-1955)
    The Far Horizons (20-May-1955)
    Secret of the Incas (28-May-1954) · Harry Steele
    The Naked Jungle (3-Mar-1954) · Christopher Leiningen
    Bad for Each Other (24-Dec-1953)
    Arrowhead (3-Aug-1953)
    Pony Express (5-Jun-1953)
    The President's Lady (21-May-1953)
    Ruby Gentry (25-Dec-1952) · Boake Tackman
    The Savage (Sep-1952) · Jim Aherne
    The Greatest Show on Earth (10-Jan-1952)
    Dark City (17-Oct-1950)

Rotten Library Page:
Charlton Heston

Author of books:
Charlton Heston: In the Arena (1995)


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