Sunday, April 6, 2008

RIP Charlton Heston (Oct. 4, 1923 - Apr. 5, 2008)

Charlton Heston is dead.

The Oscar winning actor succumbed to the ravages of Alzheimer's disease, having announced he had contracted the debilitating illness in 2002.

His death follows the deaths in March of actor Paul Scofield (the 19th), and of Richard Widmark (the 24th), completing the most recent "Celebrity Death Trinity." (As in "Celebrities Always Die in Threes.")

In addition to his Academy Award-winning performance in Ben Hur, Heston also gave Oscar-caliber performances as Moses in The Ten Commandments, and as Col. George Taylor in Planet of the Apes. He was the original I Am Legend character in the classic The Omega Man.
One of the first Hollywood heavyweights to come out in support of Civil Rights, he was later vilified by the Political Left for his support of the Second Amendment and the National Rifle Association.

After hearing Heston had contracted Alzheimer's, George Clooney famously, if not callously said Heston "...deserved whatever was said about him for his involvement with the NRA..." When asked to respond, Heston merely said he felt sorry for Clooney, noting that he (Clooney) was just as susceptible to Alzheimer's as anyone else.

Like President Ronald Reagan before him, Heston had been head of the Screen Actors Guild, and wasn't afraid to speak out in support of his Conservative principles. In a speech at Harvard Law School in 1997, about Political Correctness he stated, "If Americans believed in political correctness, we'd still be King George's boys - subjects bound to the British Crown." He went on to say, "Political Correctness is tyranny with manners."

Heston was one of the last of a dying breed - one of the greats from the Golden Age of Hollywood. He will be missed.

Charlton Heston - dead at 84.

Rest in Peace, Mr. Heston.


No comments: