75 Facts About Charlton Heston


Charlton Heston starred in The Greatest Show on Earth, Secret of the Incas, Touch of Evil with Orson Welles, The Big Country, El Cid, The Greatest Story Ever Told, Khartoum, Planet of the Apes, The Omega Man and Soylent Green.


Charlton Heston was a five-term president of the National Rifle Association of America, from 1998 to 2003.


Charlton Heston said in a 1995 interview that he was not very good at remembering addresses or his early childhood.


Charlton Heston was partially of Scottish descent, including from the Clan Fraser, but the majority of his ancestry was English.


When Charlton Heston was an infant, his father's work moved the family to St Helen, Michigan.


When Charlton Heston was 10 years old, his parents divorced after having three children.


Charlton Heston was his maternal grandmother Marian's maiden name, not his mother Lilla's.


The newly married Mrs Charlton Heston preferred her children use the same last name as hers.


Charlton Heston frequently recounted that while growing up in northern Michigan in a sparsely populated area, he often wandered in the forest, "acting" out characters from books he had read.


Charlton Heston attended college from 1941 to 1943 and among his acting teachers was Alvina Krause.


Several years later, Charlton Heston teamed up with Bradley to produce the first sound version of William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, in which Charlton Heston played Mark Antony.


In March 1944 Charlton Heston married Northwestern University student Lydia Marie Clarke at Grace Methodist Church in downtown Greensboro, North Carolina.


Charlton Heston enlisted in the United States Army Air Forces and served for two years as a radio operator and aerial gunner aboard a B-25 Mitchell medium bomber stationed in the Alaskan Aleutian Islands with the 77th Bombardment Squadron of the Eleventh Air Force.


In 1948, they returned to New York, where Charlton Heston was offered a supporting role in a Broadway revival of Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra, starring Katharine Cornell.


In 1949 Charlton Heston played Mark Antony in an independent film adaptation of Julius Caesar.


Charlton Heston's breakthrough came when Cecil B DeMille cast him as a circus manager in The Greatest Show on Earth, which was named by the Motion Picture Academy as the Best Picture of 1952.


Charlton Heston followed it with a Western at Paramount, The Savage, playing a white man raised by Indians.


In 1953, Charlton Heston was Billy Wilder's first choice to play Sefton in Stalag 17.


Charlton Heston played the lead in Secret of the Incas, which was shot on location at the archeological site Machu Picchu and has numerous similarities to Raiders of the Lost Ark, which appeared a quarter of a century later.


Charlton Heston played William Clark, the explorer, in The Far Horizons alongside Fred MacMurray as Meriwether Lewis.


Charlton Heston tried a comedy The Private War of Major Benson at Universal, then supported Jane Wyman in a drama Lucy Gallant.


Heston became an icon for playing Moses in the hugely successful biblical epic The Ten Commandments, selected by director Cecil B DeMille, who thought Heston bore an uncanny resemblance to Michelangelo's statue of Moses.


Charlton and Lydia Heston were honored guests at this opening showing and were seated with their longtime friends, brothers Charles Elias Disney and Daniel H Disney.


Charlton Heston went back to Westerns with Three Violent People.


Universal tried to interest him in a thriller starring Orson Welles, Touch of Evil; Charlton Heston agreed to be in it if Welles directed.


Charlton Heston played a rare supporting role in William Wyler's The Big Country opposite Gregory Peck and Burl Ives.


Charlton Heston got another chance to play Andrew Jackson in The Buccaneer, produced by De Mille and starring Yul Brynner.


Charlton Heston later voiced Ben-Hur in an animated television production of the Lew Wallace novel in 2003.


Charlton Heston followed it with The Wreck of the Mary Deare co-starring Gary Cooper, which was a box office disappointment.


Charlton Heston enjoyed acting on stage, believing it revivified him as an actor.


Charlton Heston never returned to Broadway but acted in regional theatres.


Charlton Heston considered himself to be a Shakespearean actor and collected significant works by and about William Shakespeare.


Charlton Heston played Sir Thomas More in A Man for All Seasons in several regional productions in the 1970s and 1980s, eventually playing it in London's West End.


Samuel Bronston pursued Charlton Heston to play the title role in an epic shot in Spain, El Cid, which was a big success.


Charlton Heston was in a war film for Paramount, The Pigeon That Took Rome, and a melodrama shot in Hawaii, Diamond Head.


Charlton Heston focused on epics: he was John the Baptist in The Greatest Story Ever Told ; Michelangelo in The Agony and the Ecstasy opposite Rex Harrison; the title role in Major Dundee, directed by Sam Peckinpah.


From 1965 until 1971, Charlton Heston served as president of the Screen Actors Guild.


Charlton Heston was more conservative than most actors and publicly clashed with outspoken liberal actors such as Ed Asner.


Charlton Heston had not been in a big hit for a number of years but in 1968 he starred in Planet of the Apes, directed by Schaffner, which was hugely popular.


Charlton Heston had a smaller supporting role in Beneath the Planet of the Apes, which was popular.


Charlton Heston's co-stars included Jason Robards as Brutus, Richard Chamberlain as Octavius, Robert Vaughn as Casca, and English actors Richard Johnson as Cassius, John Gielgud as Caesar, and Diana Rigg as Portia.


In 1972, Charlton Heston made his directorial debut and starred as Mark Antony in an adaptation of the William Shakespeare play he had performed earlier in his theater career, Antony and Cleopatra.


Charlton Heston quickly recovered with a string of hits: Soylent Green, another science fiction story; The Three Musketeers, playing Cardinal Richelieu in an all-star cast; Earthquake, a disaster film; Airport 1975, another disaster film; Midway a war film.


Charlton Heston's good run at the box office ended with Two-Minute Warning, a disaster film, and The Last Hard Men, a Western.


Charlton Heston played King Henry VIII for The Prince and the Pauper, from the Musketeers team, then starred in a disaster film, Gray Lady Down.


Charlton Heston was in a Western written by his son, The Mountain Men, and a horror film, The Awakening.


Charlton Heston made his second film as a director Mother Lode written by his son; it was a commercial disappointment.


In 1993, Heston teamed up with John Anthony West and Robert M Schoch in an Emmy Award-winning NBC special, The Mystery of the Sphinx.


Charlton Heston appeared in 1993 in a cameo role in Wayne's World 2, in a scene where Wayne Campbell requests casting a better actor for a small role.


Charlton Heston had cameos in the films Hamlet, Tombstone, and True Lies.


Charlton Heston starred in many theatre productions at the Los Angeles Music Center, where he appeared in Detective Story and The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial, and as Sherlock Holmes in The Crucifer of Blood, opposite Richard Johnson as Dr Watson.


Charlton Heston played the title role in Mister Roberts three times and cited it as one of his favorite roles.


In 1998, Charlton Heston had a cameo role playing himself in the American television series Friends, in the episode "The One with Joey's Dirty Day".


Charlton Heston rejected the liberalism of George McGovern and supported Republican Richard Nixon in 1972 for president.


In 1995, Charlton Heston entered his fourth stage by establishing his own political action fund-raising committee and jumped into the internal politics of the National Rifle Association.


Charlton Heston gave numerous culture wars speeches and interviews upholding the conservative position, blaming media and academia for imposing affirmative action, which he saw as unfair reverse discrimination.


Charlton Heston made no reference to this in his autobiography but describes traveling to Oklahoma City to picket segregated restaurants, to the chagrin of the producers of El Cid, Allied Artists.


That year, Charlton Heston publicly opposed California Proposition 14 that rolled back the state's fair housing law, the Rumford Fair Housing Act.


Charlton Heston endorsed Hubert Humphrey in the 1968 Presidential election.


Charlton Heston opposed the Vietnam War during its course and in 1969 was approached by the Democratic Party to run for the US Senate against incumbent George Murphy.


Charlton Heston agonized over the decision but ultimately determined he could never give up acting.


Charlton Heston is reported to have voted for Richard Nixon in 1972, though Nixon is not mentioned in his autobiography.


At a Time Warner stockholders' meeting, Charlton Heston castigated the company for releasing an Ice-T album which included a song "Cop Killer" about killing police officers.


Charlton Heston was the president and spokesman of the NRA from 1998 until he resigned in 2003.


The interview was conducted early in 2001, before Charlton Heston publicly announced his Alzheimer's diagnosis, but the film was released afterward, causing some to say that Moore should have cut the interview from the final film.


Charlton Heston opposed abortion and introduced Bernard Nathanson's 1987 anti-abortion documentary, Eclipse of Reason, which focuses on late-term abortions.


Charlton Heston served on the advisory board of Accuracy in Media, a conservative media watchdog group founded by Reed Irvine.


In July 2003, in his final public appearance, Heston received the Presidential Medal of Freedom at the White House from President George W Bush.


Charlton Heston died on the morning of April 5,2008, at his home in Beverly Hills, California, with Lydia, his wife of 64 years, by his side.


Charlton Heston was survived by their son, Fraser Clarke Heston, and daughter, Holly Ann Heston.


Charlton Heston's funeral was held a week later on April 12,2008, in a ceremony which was attended by 250 people including Nancy Reagan and Hollywood stars such as California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Olivia de Havilland, Keith Carradine, Pat Boone, Tom Selleck, Oliver Stone, Rob Reiner, and Christian Bale.


The funeral was held at Episcopal Parish of St Matthew's Church in Pacific Palisades, the church where Charlton Heston had regularly worshipped and attended Sunday services since the early 1980s.


Charlton Heston was cremated and his ashes were given to his family.


Charlton Heston was commemorated on a United States postage stamp issued on April 11,2014.


Charlton Heston was inducted as a Laureate of the Lincoln Academy of Illinois and awarded the Order of Lincoln by Illinois Governor James R Thompson in 1977 in the area of Performing Arts.