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  1. #1
    Senior Member Country: UK CaptainWaggett's Avatar
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    From the BBC News site



    Ben Hur star Charlton Heston dies



    Charlton Heston, who won a best actor Oscar for his starring role in the epic Ben Hur has died, a spokesman for the star's family has said.



    Heston died on Saturday at his home in Beverly Hills with his wife Lydia, whom he married in 1944, at his side. Heston also portrayed Michelangelo, El Cid and other heroic figures in movie epics of the 1950s and 1960s.



    He stepped down as president of US gun lobby, the National Rifle Association (NRA), in 2003, citing ill-health. The previous year, he had revealed he had symptoms consistent with Alzheimer's disease.



    Heston was born John Charles Carter in Evanston, Illinois.



    No man could have given more to his family, to his profession, and to his country

    Charlton Heston family's statement He studied acting before serving for three years in the US Air Force. But back in civilian life, Heston went through hard times, while waiting for his first break.



    In 1952, after working on Broadway, Heston starred as the ringmaster in the movie The Greatest Show on Earth. Four years later, he appeared as Moses in The Ten Commandments, one of the roles which would define his career.



    After the success of the science fiction film Planet of the Apes in the late 1960s, Heston turned his attention to working in the theatre.



    Although later identified with traditionally conservative causes, Charlton Heston had been a vocal supporter of Martin Luther King and the 1960s Civil Rights movement.



    He also served as president of the Screen Actors Guild and was chairman of the American Film Institute. In a statement, his family said: "To his loving friends, colleagues and fans, we appreciate your heartfelt prayers and support.



    "Charlton Heston was seen by the world as larger than life. No one could ask for a fuller life than his. No man could have given more to his family, to his profession, and to his country. In his own words, 'I have lived such a wonderful life. I've lived enough for two people'."



    Heston's family said a private memorial service would be held.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Country: UK batman's Avatar
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    I expect his pro-gun stance will be mentioned a lot in some quarters but I will remember the actor.



    I always liked Charlton Heston. He was the prime exponent of what Orson Welles called a 'king' actor - not necessarily the best actor in a cast, but the one most suited to play a king.



    He gave many great performances in a long career and was a true great.



    That's two gone in a fortnight .... Mr Widmark being the other.



    RIP Mr Heston.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Country: England harryfielder's Avatar
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    Well he certainly lived his life,, Well done sir, now time for a rest... Thank you.



    Aitch,,

  4. #4
    Senior Member Country: Australia wadsy's Avatar
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    Saw him & his wife in a TV interview years ago.



    Out of all the roles he played he said his favourite was General Gordon in



    Khartoum!! R.I.P

  5. #5
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain Mark O's Avatar
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    R.I.P. Charlton

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by batman
    I expect his pro-gun stance will be mentioned a lot in some quarters but I will remember the actor.

    I always liked Charlton Heston. He was the prime exponent of what Orson Welles called a 'king' actor - not necessarily the best actor in a cast, but the one most suited to play a king.


    I'm afraid I can never completely divorce someone's political views, especially those with which I profoudly disagree, from their other attributes and CH was never a favourite of mine but I do fully endorse the view of him as the prime exponent of a "king actor".



    RIP

  7. #7
    Senior Member Country: UK CaptainWaggett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fellwanderer
    I'm afraid I can never completely divorce someone's political views, especially those with which I profoudly disagree, from their other attributes and CH was never a favourite of mine but I do fully endorse the view of him as the prime exponent of a "king actor".



    RIP
    Is it bad to say 'Now we can get his gun off him'?



    I'll get me coat.



    Actually I saw him do a Q and A session when he was doing some play in Newcastle about 20 years ago, and I was surprised to fnd he's a huge Victorian theatre buff with a good line in ancdotes. So I will always remember Chuck telling us about the actor whose death scenes used to be encored ('Die again, Baines!')

  8. #8
    Senior Member Country: Aaland dremble wedge's Avatar
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    It's unfortunate that he'll never be divorced entirely from his gun happy stance but I always thought he was a formidable prescence on screen. A complete Anglophile too.



    Apart from his epics I also enjoyed him in Planet of the Apes, Touch of Evil, Major Dundee, Treasure Island, his masterful supporting turn as Richelieu in The Three Musketeers and his great cameo as a 'better actor' in Waynes World 2.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Country: England
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    It's a Hollwood rumour, Charlton Heston can't die!!



    RIP, and thanks for particular fond memories of watching 'Ben Hur, first time round, in Blackpool.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Country: Australia
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    I was not a fan of his connection to the powerful US gun lobby and his leadership of the National Rifle Association. His speeches in favour of the use of guns often made him sound like a radical redneck.



    Away from that though Charlton also served as the president of the Screen Actors Guild and as chairman of the American Film Institute in his time.

    He also marched in the civil rights movement of the 1950's.



    As an actor I will always remember him in his role as Ben Hur, for which he won an oscar. As a kid I must have watched that film a dozen times or more.



    I believe Heston had been suffering for many years from Alzheimer's disease.



    Dave.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Country: UK DB7's Avatar
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    A great actor but (because of the timing) the "cold dead hand" image is more memorable than some of his film roles. A shame as it overshadows his 60s campaigning for the civil rights movement.

  12. #12
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    RIP Charlton Heston, now he was a real king of the actors. A real good looking guy, who was also very pro Civil Rights before it became fashionable with the in-crowd.

  13. #13
    GRAEME
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    One of the very greatest. I'll miss him. But he will live forever in his films and that is all that will matter about him when all the fuss dies down.



    Like Wayne, he had controversial personal views and some people (whose liberal stance I generally share) find it hard to see past these. For me, it is what was on the screen that matters. They were actors not political philosophers.

  14. #14
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    I don't have a problem with Heston's position on gun control and it's a bit dispiriting to find that's the key theme of the discussion so far. In my view, he was not an extremist and merely took an identical position of many Hollywood personalities. For instance, Spielberg doesn't exactly publicise his fondness for shooting. I was, however, repelled by the interview with Heston in Michael Moore's Columbine film. Not because of anything Heston said, but because of Moore's ruthless exploitation of an individual in the early stages of Alzheimer's.



    There's a great gun story about Heston. At the time of Rodney King, when it looked as if LA might implode, Heston called his chum and fellow gun aficionado John Milius and asked if he might borrow one or two of Milius's weapons for self-defense. And Milius regretfully declined. "They're all being used," he drawled.



    I say this as someone who had the good fortune to visit Heston in his home on Coldwater Canyon where I handled Moses' stave and The Cid's broadsword, so this is a sad day for me.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Country: UK DB7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AdrianTurner
    I don't have a problem with Heston's position on gun control and it's a bit dispiriting .


    It's not his stance, I found the speech only weeks after Columbine to be crass and insensitive.

  16. #16
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    To me his support for the gun lobby seemed to be in conflict with his very liberal views in other areas. He was, however, a very witty man, and one who was not afraid to send himself up. He also made some very interesting choices in film, and it was he who championed Orson Welles to direct Touch of Evil. Whilst not agreeing with his stance on guns, I thought Michael Moore's interview with Heston in Bowling for Columbine was disgraceful bearing in mind the actor was suffering with Alzheimer's disease.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Country: UK Freddy's Avatar
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    One of my friends, who at the time was a National Trust guide showed Charlton Heston and his wife around Speke Hall in Liverpool. By all accounts a very friendly and informed couple.



    Freddy

  18. #18
    Senior Member Country: UK CaptainWaggett's Avatar
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    To me his support for the gun lobby seemed to be in conflict with his very liberal views in other areas.


    He'd long abandoned his early liberal views (the turning point in his attitude to guns seems, rather oddly to British eyes, to have been RFK's assassination). He officially changed allegience to the Republican party in the early 1970s (he supported Nixon in 1972) and he held distinctly non-liberal views on abortion and affirmative action. He was pro Civil Rights once which is very much to his credit though I'm not sure about the claim that is was before it was fashionable. You can hardly blame people for not taking part in campaigns that happened before they were born!



    Whether his political views affect how you see his screen roles is, of course, a personal matter though it should be noted that the only reason actors get a political platform in the first place is because of their screen roles.As for Moore, prresumably Heston's family/manager felt he was up for the interview. I don't see that Moore gave him that hard a time. If Heston was well enough to make public statements on the issue which people were expected to take seriously, then surely he was well enough to answer questions.



    Still a good actor though. It will be interesting to see how much his political views affect his screen legacy

  19. #19
    Super Moderator Country: UK batman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainWaggett

    Still a good actor though. It will be interesting to see how much his political views affect his screen legacy
    I hope it doesn't. Heston was a truly great star and gave pleasure to millions over many years. His legacy should be his performances on screen and his warm and witty personality. I believe he himself viewed the Moore interview as a mistake and was one of the reasons he retired from public life before his illness became worse.

  20. #20
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    As far as I'm concerned he was a great actor,who held presence in his films. That final scene in El Cid when the dead warrior is mounted on his horse and goes charging through the masses was tremendous.

    I once read somewhere that he and our very own Ronnie Barker were contenders for the titular role in the BBC's I Claudius before Derek Jacobi got the role.

    Ta Ta

    Marky B

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