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Charlton Heston, 84, RIP :(


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Charlton Heston dead at 84


By BOB THOMAS, Associated Press Writer


LOS ANGELES - Charlton Heston, who won the 1959 best actor Oscar as the chariot-racing "Ben-Hur" and portrayed Moses, Michelangelo, El Cid and other heroic figures in movie epics of the '50s and '60s, has died. He was 84.


Heston spokesman Bill Powers says the actor died Saturday night at his home in Beverly Hills with his wife Lydia was at his side.


Heston revealed in 2002 that he had symptoms consistent with Alzheimer's disease, saying, "I must reconcile courage and surrender in equal measure."


With his large, muscular build, well-boned face and sonorous voice, Heston proved the ideal star during the period when Hollywood was filling movie screens with panoramas depicting the religious and historical past. "I have a face that belongs in another century," he often remarked.

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I knew that he was in the end stages of his illness. From what I heard last week, it was just a matter of hours or days.


Longer, more detailed obituaries will be forthcoming tomorrow, but here's the preliminary one being run by the Los Angeles Times:


Charlton Heston, 84; Oscar-winning actor played larger-than-life figures


By Robert W. Welkos and Susan King, Special to The Times

April 6, 2008


Charlton Heston, the Oscar-winning actor who achieved stardom playing larger-than-life figures including Moses, Michelangelo and Andrew Jackson in historical epics and went on to become a best-selling author, a contentious Hollywood labor leader, an unapologetic gun advocate and darling of conservative causes, has died. He was 84.


Heston died Saturday at his Beverly Hills home, his family said in a statement. In 2002, he had been diagnosed with symptoms similar to those of Alzheimer's disease.


With a booming baritone voice, the tall, ruggedly handsome actor delivered his signature role as the prophet Moses in Cecil B. DeMille's 1956 Biblical extravaganza "The Ten Commandments," raising a rod over his head as God miraculously parts the Red Sea.


Heston won the Academy Award for best actor in another religious blockbuster in 1959's "Ben-Hur," racing four white horses at top speed in one of the cinema's legendary action sequences -- the 15-minute chariot race in which his character, a proud and noble Jew, competes against his childhood Roman friend, played by Stephen Boyd.


"I don't seem to fit really into the 20th century," Heston said in a 1965 interview. "Pretty soon, though, I've got to get a part where I wear pants with pleats and pockets."


Heston stunned the entertainment world in August 2002 when he made a poignant and moving videotaped address announcing his illness.


A few days after his dramatic announcement, Heston would sit down for an interview in his beloved Coldwater Canyon home, which he always said "Ben-Hur" had built, and faced the uncertain future with brave resolve and a sense of humor.


"The world is a tough place," he said with a chuckle. "You're never going to get out of it alive."


Late in life, Heston's stature as a political firebrand overshadowed his acting. He became demonized by gun control advocates and liberal Hollywood when he became president of the National Rifle Assn. in 1998.


Heston answered his critics in a now-famous pose that mimicked Moses' parting of the Red Sea. But instead of a rod, Heston raised a flintlock over his head and challenged his detractors to pry the rifle "from my cold, dead hands."


Like the chariot race and the bearded prophet Moses, Heston will be best remembered for several indelible cinematic moments: playing a deadly game of cat and mouse with Orson Welles in the oil fields in "Touch of Evil," his rant at the end of "Planet of the Apes" when he sees the destruction of the Statue of Liberty, his discovery that "Soylent Green is people!" in the sci-fi hit "Soylent Green" and the dead Spanish hero on his steed in "El Cid."


The New Yorker's film critic Pauline Kael, in her review of 1968's "Planet of the Apes," wrote: "All this wouldn't be so forceful or so funny if it weren't for the use of Charlton Heston in the [leading] role. With his perfect, lean-hipped, powerful body, Heston is a god-like hero; built for strength, he is an archetype of what makes Americans win. He represents American power -- and he has the profile of an eagle."


For decades, Heston was a towering figure in the world of movies, television and the stage. He liked to say that he had performed Shakespeare on film more than any other actor, and he once lamented that modern-day movie stars didn't attempt the Bard to hone their acting skills.


"He was the screen hero of the 1950s and 1960s, a proven stayer in epics, and a pleasing combination of piercing blue eyes and tanned beefcake," David Thomson wrote in his book "The New Biographical Dictionary of Film."


Heston also was blessed by working with legendary directors like DeMille in "The Greatest Show on Earth" and again in "The Ten Commandments," Welles in "Touch of Evil," Sam Peckinpah in "Major Dundee," William Wyler in "The Big Country" and "Ben-Hur," George Stevens in "The Greatest Story Ever Told," Franklin Schaffner in "The War Lord" and "Planet of the Apes" and Anthony Mann in "El Cid."



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Damn, and I was just going to badmouth him today in regard to Major Dundee, and now I feel guilty.

Heston is a figure we always remember, from too many films to mention.

May he rest in peace.


Way too many Hollywood stars lately, and it's sad.

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> {quote:title=tobitz wrote:}{quote}

> Damn, and I was just going to badmouth him today in regard to Major Dundee, and now I feel guilty.

> Heston is a figure we always remember, from too many films to mention.

> May he rest in peace.


> Way too many Hollywood stars lately, and it's sad.


Well, glad you didn't badmouth him on the day of his passing...

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The TCM "Private Screenings" episode with Charlton Heston is scheduled for this Monday morning, April 7^th^ followed by a showing of *The Wreck Of The Mary Deare*. This was already on the schedule.


But I would bet that an evening will be set aside to remember Charlton Heston before the end of the month also.


Kyle In Hollywood

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A couple of close encounters with the man himself - once in a rehearsal hall at the LA Music Center and once we sat in front of him at a George C. Scott play. He was a beautiful looking guy.

While a law student at Pepperdine University, my son served as an usher at some sort of political thing. Charlton was there and having had a bit too much wine my son escorted him to his car (he had a driver). Mr. Heston was most gracious.

Requiescat In Pace Great Heart

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A wonderful actor and fine man. I applaud his life which was clean living in a wild town.

I met him briefly in my youth and he was completely down to earth and may I add absolutely gorgeous. R.I.P Mr Heston and thank you for being so gracious.

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Even though I really wasn't a big fan or into some of the films he did, I will still miss him as a screen legend , I will always remember him in Planet of the Apes the immortal line "A Planet Where Apes Evolved from Man" a line often used by Crow T Robot on MST3K as a riff

And he was great in Soylent Green "Soylent Green is Made of People" ..another immortal line..probably my favorite Heston film...

He did have some great lines come to think of it...

I will take a moment of silence for him....

Rest Well Mr Heston you will be missed...


I bet Celluloid Kid will post a similar thread sometime today unless he already did :)

He loves posting news..

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*"If there isn't, Kyle, there ought to be."* - nightwalker


I was scanning the schedule late last night to see what evening might be the best choice for

pre-empting the previously scheduled films in order to add an evening of Charlton Heston films - including, I assume, a showing of *Ben-Hur* - and be the least "disruptive".


And because that film is so long, certain evenings wouldn't be logical chices or appropriate. A Sunday night won't work because it would bump "Silent Sunday Nights and "TCM Imports". And a Friday evening has "TCM Underground" on the schedule which would allow only one other film (or maybe two) to be shown along with *Ben-Hur*.


Most of the scheduled evenings remaining in the month have some pretty special programming planned. The "Star Of The Month" and "TCM Spotlight - Ridin' The Rails" aren't likely to be

pre-empted. There is the "Guest Programmer" evening with Alex Trebek yet to come. There is a night of light comedies that includes the "premiere" of *Easy Living* which should remain on the schedule. There is also the premiere showing of "Idols: Gene Wilder" on Tuesday April 15^th^ that won't be changed.


This Tuesday already has Charlton Heston's *Major Dundee* on the schedule - but I think that day is too soon to change and to effectively promote as a Tribute event. But April 29^th^ has Heston's *Khartoum* already on the schedule. I could see that evening being turned into a Charlton Heston tribute evening quite easily. (Though it would mean pre-empting two premieres I was anticipating seeing - *Zulu* and *Glory*.)


Of course, TCM could go the daytime route and pre-empt an entire 14 hour daytime line-up to remember Charlton Heston. They have done that in the past. But I don't know if that would be the most honorific tribute to this Oscar winner.


Some films I would like to see included -


*Touch Of Evil*

*Soylent Green*

*The Agony And The Ecstacy*


Just my musings on the subject. I am sure we'll learn what TCM has planned in the next day or so.


Kyle In Hollywood

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Do any of you older posters remember this incident?


Years ago at an Academy Award show, Charlton Heston, who may have been hosting, was scheduled to make the introductory remarks. Because of a traffic problem, he was terribly late, and the producers must have asked for a volunteer to begin the show. A young Clint Eastwood agreed to do it, and after a disclaimer, Clint proceeded to read Heston?s lines.


Before Clint could finish, Heston arrived, apologized for being late, and began to deliver the same introductory lines that Clint had spoken.


I was overwhelmed. It was as if I had never heard the lines spoken. From that moment, I admired Clint Eastwood for having the guts to deliver Heston?s lines, and I never forgot the powerful resonance of Charlton Heston?s voice and the emotion it was capable of evoking.


If any of you have a more accurate recollection of this event, please post it.


--Gus Cerini

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> Of course, TCM could go the daytime route and pre-empt an entire 14 hour daytime line-up to remember Charlton Heston. They have done that in the past. But I don't know if that would be the most honorific tribute to this Oscar winner.


For the record, the 14-hour daytime tribute is what was given to *Jane Wyman* when she died last September.


They've also pre-empted the Star of the Month on at least one occasion, back when *Shelley Winters* died. I write a movie recommendation posting on another site, and remember being mildly irritated that my recommendation of SOTM *Robert Montgomery's* "The Mystery of Mr. X" was going to be pre-empted for the Winters tribute....


My guess is the 14-hour tribute, probably this coming Saturday or Sunday. Poor Ann Miller if the pre-empt her birthday tribute, even if they didn't pick her best movies....

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Yes, I rememer that incident as well. It was almost comic. Eastwood was reading the lines and getting aggravated by the cue card guy, who was slow. At one point, I think Eastwood actually said "Heston is supposed to say ..." Later on in the show, I think it was Burt Reynolds who said "Moses had a flat tire."

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Hi Fedya -


Yes. I, too, remember the precedent setting pre-emption of the final night of Robert Montgomery's "Star Of The Month" event to honor the passing of Shelly Winters - though I wasn't left with egg on my face over the incident as you were.


I could see TCM taking the daytime path in this instance. I think TCM has more than enough films in its "library" right now to easily fill those fourteen hours. A double feature of *Ben-Hur* and *The Greatest Show On Earth* could cover nearly half of those hours with just those two films. TCM is not lacking for material to use in its Heston tribute.


But as a matter of recognition, if you were TCM could you remember Heston during the daytime hours so soon after Richard Widmark was offered a tribute in primetime? And not feel "guilty" about it?


I suppose they could and explain it as needing the extra time the daytime hours offer to do the tribute right. But I am not so sure that it wouldn't appear that Heston wasn't being honored in the manner he deserved. As a true legendary figure in Hollywood, I think he has earned an evening tribute.


Heck. Now that I think of it, a full 24-hour tribute wouldn't be out of place at all either. It certainly would make it special. And because so many of Heston's best films are two-plus hours, stretching the tribute over a full day could still contain only about eight or nine films.


Kyle In Hollywood

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*"Please, no more schedule changes!"*


Well, PrinceSaliano, life has a way of intruding on the plans of TCM. Such tributes have been a tradition on TCM since the earliest days of the channel. They don't treat these decisions lightly and are aware that changes to the schedule will disappoint some (many) people.


But films that are pre-empted due to such unexpected changes are rescheduled for a later date - if possible.


Kyle In Hollywood

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I would like to add to the under-appreciated *Will Penny* and the great *El Cid* to your list of potential films to show for the tribute to Heston.


Hard to believe that the Cid is dead.

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When I was very young, this man was my favorite actor. Strong, noble, self-willed. My tastes and impressions have changed over time. But he was always dependable. You know what to expect from a Heston film, and you get it.


BEN-HUR is a fine epic. Big, but not gaudy. Reverent, not preachy. TEN COMMANDMENTS may be a little over the top. But is that entertainment or what? THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH has some slow moments. Can't be taken too seriously. But again, is it fun or isn't it? And you can't bring up WILL PENNY without me chiming in. A thoughtful, mature western, featuring Mr. Heston's finest work. Do make an effort to see this one.


This is an actor who found his place in movies at just the right time. A few years earlier, the grand spectacle was not quite so grand. Technology was limited. A decade later, it was out of fashion. Charlton Heston was just the man to bring it all together. He did a beautiful job of it.


Red River

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Wow, I was so sad to wake to this! He will always be Moses to me!!! I will never forget his performances in THE TEN COMMANDMENTS (my favorite biblical epic of all time), BEN-HUR, THE PLANET OF THE APES, SOYLENT GREEN, THE OMEGA MAN...and quite a few others! RIP, Chuck!

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Hey All,


oh my gosh i didnt know that he passed this weekend..VERY sad...i truly loved Heston.... really good actor...one of my ALL time fav movies still is NO dought a cult classic..but i looooved it....THE OMEGA MAN!!! No dought great stuff..i thought...anyway sooo sorry to hear that another great star taken....well life does not go on forever....dang make the mosty of it while you are here and he did!


RIP Mr.Heston



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I haven't been on this site since December - been too busy since Xmas and I just turned on the TV to WGN news. I just found out about Charlton Heston and am very stunned to hear of his passing.


My condolenses to his family and fans. He has been one of my favorite actors and have watch his movies since I was a kid. My first theatre movie I seen starring him was "Planet of the Apes".


You will be missed.

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