(1923-2008) Actor, Solder, Activist, Husband, Father, and More Edit

Life Edit

Charlton Heston was born John Charles Carter on October 4, 1923, in Wilmette, Illinois to Lila and Russell Carter[1]. He lived in St. Helen, MI from the time he was a baby. His parents divorced when he was ten. Soon afterward his mother married Chester Heston. Later, after taking his stepfather's last name, Charlton (still known as John) joined the dramatic arts program at his school, New Trier High School[2]. This is where he found he liked acting. Later he would attend Northwestern University to study theater[3]. It was at this University that he met Lydia Clarke[4]. In 1944, Heston married Lydia and joined the United States Army Air Forces. He was part of the Eleventh Air Force's 77th Bombardment Squadron in the Alaskan Aleutian Islands. For two years he served on a B-25 Mitchell as an aerial gunner and a radio operator[1]. Once the war was over, Charlton and Lydia went to New York City to look for jobs in acting[3].

Acting Edit

In 1941, while attending Northwestern University, Heston took on a role in "Peer Gynt". This 16mm production was put on by David Bradly. He began using the name "Charlton" for this production. He would work with Bradly again in the 1949 film "Julius Caesar" as Antony. Before that, he played a supporting role in the 1947 broadway production "Antony and Cleopatra"[2]. Heston would later direct "Antony and Cleopatra" in 1972[5]. In 1956, he played Moses in Cecil B. DeMille's blockbuster film "The Ten Commandments"[1]. He went on to win an Oscar for playing Ben-Hur in William Wyler's 1959 "Ben-Hur"[3][1][5]. He took on the role of John the Baptist in 1965's "The Greatest Story Ever Told. He used his voice for animated movies "Hercules" (1997) and "Ben Hur" (2003)[1].

Other Edit

Played George Taylor in "Planet of the Apes" (1968) and had an uncredited role in the 2001 remake[1]

His son is director Fraser C. Heston and his daughter is Holly Heston Rochell[1]

Was president of the National Rifle Association of America four times[1]

Marched with Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.[1]

Received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2003[1]

Couldn't use his name John Carter because it was taken by Edgar Rice Burroughs' hero[1]

Visited Vietnam War troops in 1967[1]

Claimed Toshiro Mifune to "be the greatest star in the world"[1]

"Very popular in Japan"[1]

Was only eleven years younger than Martha Scott who played his mother in "The Ten Commandments" (1956) and "Ben-Hur" (1959)[1]

Turned down a role in "The Big Country" (1958) at first, this role lead to him being cast as Ben Hur[1]

Was not told of homosexual subtext in "Ben-Hur" (1959) because it was feared he would panic[1] (he did)

Took the role of Ben Hur after it was turned down by Burt Lancaster[1]

Declined a staring role in "Alexander the Great" for his role in "The Ten Commandments", a part he got because he looked like Michelangelo's statue of Moses[1]

Died at age 84 on April 5, 2008[2]

Reference Edit

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 "Charlton Heston Biography." IMDb., n.d. Web. 28 Oct. 2016.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Charlton Heston." TCM. Turner Classic Movies, n.d. Web. 28 Oct. 2016.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "Charlton Heston, 1923-2008: An Actor Famous for Playing Heroic Roles." N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Oct. 2016.
  4. Hartl, John. "Charlton Heston Was Larger than Life.", 06 Apr. 2008. Web. 28 Oct. 2016.
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Charlton Heston." A&E Networks Television, 11 Aug. 2016. Web. 28 Oct. 2016.