Charlton Heston dies

A spokesman for the Heston family has announced that Charlton Heston died yesterday: he was aged 84.

His seems to have been an absolutely fascinating life, being an acting student, a radio operator in B-25 bombers, a struggling actor and then one of the most recognised actors in a series of massive roles, later returning largely to stage acting.

He also supported an eclectic series of causes, from civil rights, supporting Martin Luther King and picketing a screening of one of his own films because it was being shown in a segregated cinema to the National Rifle Association and saying of himself “They don’t come any more Right-wing than me.”

Overall a most interesting person, I will finish with a quote he made about himself “I have lived such a wonderful life. I’ve lived enough for two people”

  • Bakunin

    Hate to see you go, get the hell out!

  • darth rumsfeld

    a genuinely interesting man, with principles which he wasn’t frightened to express- compare him with the modern movie “stars” who are afraid to have a view on anything- except Scientology of course

  • Pete Baker

    A true screen legend – still working as an actor as late as 2003 [his last appearance in film or TV] after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2002.

    Personal favourites – Planet of the Apes, Soylent Green and The Omega Man.

  • From his cold, dead hands.

  • circles

    Three crackers Pete I have to agree.
    But Dave has a point – I hope somebody is doing just that right now.

  • An Lochlannach

    Who can forget the Cork band Stump and their classic ‘Charlton Heston put his vest on’?

    About the right-wing business and the NRL, it was a quirky feature of American life that one could be ferociously right-wing about just about everything and still identify with causes traditionally beloved of the left (and vice versa). Heston was a good friend to the black Civil Rights movement. Born-again patriot Johnny Cash opposed the Vietnam war. I wonder how much of that freedom of thought has been lost in the USA under the neo-cons.

  • Film Fan

    I agree with An Lochlannach.

    While the Silver Screen is probably the most vacuous of pastimes, we have so genuinely few stars left.

    There are still a few on this side of the pond – Connery, Hopkins, Caine et al – but Heston is probably the last of the golden era, with a couple of notable exceptions such as Kirk Douglas.

    Thankfully De Niro, Pacino and a few others are still there – but after them, what’s left? Tom Cruise and John Travolta?

    Has been and will be much missed from the screen and theatre….

  • sammaguire

    Will never forget:

    “Get your paws off me you damn, dirty apes!”

    Cannot relate to the NRA rubbish. Then again I’m not American. Didn’t know who’s side to take when Michael Moore set him up in “Bowling for Columbine” though.

  • Jo

    Interesting to see that the NRA nonsense was balanced in (at least) his earlier CR supprting days.

    Well done for the latter – *shakes head* at the former.

    I have NEVER watched Ben Hur all the way through. has anyone? 🙂

  • The Spectator

    Jo

    re: Ben Hur

    Absolutely. Excellent film. If you have the patience, a lot of the ‘classic epics’ are actually excellent Saturday afternoon fodder, and some, like Spartacus, are considerably better than that.

    On the NRA point, I think Heston was probably a libertarian, though I don’t know if he would have recognised himself as one – equality for everyone after that, get your paws off me you damn dirty State. Seen through the Civil rights prism, the Apes becomes a far more interesting film.

  • Cartouche

    FIlm Fan,

    Thankfully De Niro, Pacino and a few others are still there – but after them, what’s left? Tom Cruise and John Travolta?

    Both De Niro and Pacino are well past their sell-by date at this point. Benicio Del Toro, Mark Ruffalo and Johnny Depp put in great performances (even if Depp gets involved in some seriously dodgy movies). There is always a new wave breaking.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Jo: “Interesting to see that the NRA nonsense was balanced in (at least) his earlier CR supprting days. ”

    Why should that suprise you? Integration started under Eisenhower. As for the so-called NRA “nonsense,” are there any other parts of the US “Bill of Rights” you’d you think should be jettisoned?

    There is no such thing as a dangerous weapon. There are only dangerous people. Gun-control simply disarms the law-abiding individuals, leaving criminals armed.

  • Prince Eoghan

    >>Absolutely. Excellent film. If you have the patience, a lot of the ‘classic epics’ are actually excellent Saturday afternoon fodder, and some, like Spartacus, are considerably better than that.<

  • Prince Eoghan

    >>There are only dangerous people. Gun-control simply disarms the law-abiding individuals, leaving criminals armed.<

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Prince Eoghan: “Sure cross the border into Canada and contrast the kill count. Guns make people who may make hard work of killing(if that is their intention) into efficient killers. ”

    Access to firearms does not cause violence, Eoghan, else Vermont would be a free-fire zone.

    Violence has a stronger correlation to population density than access to firearms. If gun law worked, Washington DC should be a utopian paradise.

    Similarly, look at what gun-laws wrought in London — a spike in violence so large the gov’t tried to bugger the statistics to hide it, with surges in both gun and knife crime.

  • Muad’Dub

    Would it be wrong to to make a comment about his gun and prying it out of his now cold dead hand?

  • BfB

    Well said Dread.

    The beta male, nanny stater’s, nose rings and all, have no idea what a real man is like. Charlton Heston was a great man, father, husband, American patriot. A man with the courage of his convictions. Once again, the socialist whiner sect goes against reason and verifiable evidence to try and despoil a wonderful example of the human spirit. The facts support that the Constitution and the NRA are right. But the nancy boy cowards won’t punish the criminal. They blame an inanimate object. Tsk, tsk. You poor EU hostages can only defend yourself with witty remarks, and ironic sarcasm…..pity.

  • Prince Eoghan

    A bit hard to commit a Dunblane or a Hungerford, a Hoddle street or any of the various US massacres with a knife Dread.

    I’m sure you have loads of useful and well thought out examples like Switzerland of responsible gun ownership. Bottom line though is that without firearms nutters find it more difficult to kill.

    London is an extreme example, the government doesn’t even know how many people there are there, yardie gangs, Albanian people traffickers, you name it. people desperate to make a quid and don’t care how they get it. On top of this, youths, mainly from ethnic backgrounds new and old running wild, drugs etc……

  • Mustapha Mond

    Ben Hurr, Agony & Ecstasy, Greatest Story Ever Told, Planet of the Apes. nuff said.

  • Film Fan

    Cartouche

    Here’s two lists of movies. Here’s your new wave.

    Donnie Brasco, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Sleepy Hollow, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, Snatch, Way of the Gun, Sin City, Collateral, All The King’s Men, Zodiac

    Personally, I like them all. Great movies. The three you mentioned are good actors.

    Here’s that other list, more a timeless sea, than a new wave:

    The Agony & the Ecstacy, Khartoum, El Cid, Ben Hur, The Vikings, Spartacus, Heroes of Telemark, The Ten Commandments, Cleopatra, Dr Zhivago, Lawrence of Arabia

    *That’s* the difference. It’s not nostalgia for a time gone by. It’s just an honest-to-God reflection of a time when big movies were truly epic.

    *That’s* the real star quality.

  • Mustapha Mond

    Oh yeah, forgot that he was in The 10 Commandments.

    The Agony and the Ecstasy, he played well off Rex Harrison as El Duce.

    Lawrence of Arabia is probably the best film I ever saw… and I dont even like war movies.

  • RepublicanStones

    RIP Charlton.

    Personal favs are ’55 days at Peking’ and ‘Touch Of Evil’.

    as regards the golden era…..Cool Hand Luke is still with us, and hopefully for a while to come.

  • Gregory

    “Gun-control simply disarms the law-abiding individuals, leaving criminals armed. ”

    They’re already largely disarmed, trying to find a pistol is no different to looking for the car keys.

    When Hoods squirt they do the clip, the home owner is probably out ther aiming, or lying face down with a third ear

    It’s like Englewood at night, you can’t shoot what ya can’t see and if it doesn’t have a Starbuks it is probs armed to the teeth.

    700 murders in ten years, for a district of Chicago! A 25 gurlgun ain’t gonna do it.

  • Harry Flashman

    There was nothing remotely “eclectic” about the causes he supported, they all boiled down to the same point; liberty and equality for all and freedom from an overbearing state.

    It’s remarkable how people seem to believe they are “liberals” when they believe that freeborn citizens should be forcibly disarmed by agents of the state and in their place the only people with the right to self defence should be government forces.

    It’s absurd to believe that the rights of the individual to protect his life, his liberty and his property from oppression, be it from government or non-government agents is somehow a “right wing” belief.

    Hitler disarmed his citizens, so did Stalin, so did Pol Pot, you haven’t got too many free citizens in North Korea but then they don’t have any personal weapons either.

    Up until about 1900 the UK had virtually zero gun control, was there a wild west free for all then? Northern Ireland had the toughest gun control legislation in western Europe was our wee province a haven of peace and security? Since gun ownership was effectively criminalised following Dunblane gun crime in the UK has sky-rocketted.

    When you outlaw guns only the outlaws have guns.

    As for modern day actors, can anyone tell me which actor, with the exception perhaps of Anthony Hopkins, plays anyone other than himself in movies today? None of them actually act.

  • Gregory

    “As for modern day actors, can anyone tell me which actor, with the exception perhaps of Anthony Hopkins, plays anyone other than himself in movies today?”

    I think the acting in South Park is good.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Gregory: “They’re already largely disarmed, trying to find a pistol is no different to looking for the car keys. ”

    That’s merely a function of personal organization, now isn’t…

    Gregory: “When Hoods squirt they do the clip, the home owner is probably out ther aiming, or lying face down with a third ear ”

    And the cops are likely ten to twenty minutes out.

    Gregory: “700 murders in ten years, for a district of Chicago!”

    And Chicago having grandly strict gun control laws… such is the success of such laws.

    Frankly, the punks who squirt the clip can’t hit to save their lives. Secondly, in areas where firearms are common, “hot” burglaries are less common. Lastly, why is it, do you think, that the voluntarily disarmed don’t advertise the fact?

  • circles

    “Frankly, the punks who squirt the clip can’t hit to save their lives.”
    Oh thats OK then – makes nodiffere if they have gunds then right? Of course the householders lying on their lawns probably aren’t much better shots….. makes you wonder why any of them have guns then if everybody is just blazing away at nody in particular.
    And while the cops take 10 or 20 minutes to arrive Home-Made Dirty Harry takes on Hand Made Boys in the Hood shotting holes in everything around them.
    Sounds great!

  • circles

    Grrrr – warning! never use you laptop to post when its on battery!!

  • Rory

    I was never a great fan of Heston’s but he did grace a few decent roles. He certainly outshone Olivier’s woeful blackface Mahdi as Gordon in Khartoum, but then Olivier never really hacked it as a movie actor. Sam Peckinpah used him well in Major Dundee but that film was destroyed by the producers’ poor taste and rotten judgement.

    As for the “new breed” of Hollywood actors, it seems to me that they just get better and better – del Toro has already been mentioned and then there is Sean Penn and Edward Norton and Billy Bob Thornton and these guys easily rank alongside Cagney and Tracey and Garfield and Edward G.

    Heston didn’t and alas, now never will, but he did provide pleasure for millions in those garish blockbuster movies and gave many their only understanding of of many biblical and historical themes. A limited education perhaps, but an introduction at least and full marks for trying.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    circles: “Oh thats OK then – makes nodiffere if they have gunds then right?”

    While I am choking down the urge to make a comment about criminals and stuffed animals and ask you waht that has to do with anything, let me point out that the criminals will like as not have firearms, regardless of the law.

    And, no, it is not “all right.” However, until and unless you can guarantee there won’t be a criminal, armed or otherwise, breaking into my domus and willing to inflict injury upon my person, I see no rational reason to give up my right to a firearm.

    circles: “Of course the householders lying on their lawns probably aren’t much better shots….. makes you wonder why any of them have guns then if everybody is just blazing away at nody in particular.”

    Sadly, even the “professionals” aren’t all that and a bag of crisps, although, iirc, the “typical” handgun exchange usu. occurs under circumstances somewhat less ideal than a day at the range.

    circles: “And while the cops take 10 or 20 minutes to arrive Home-Made Dirty Harry takes on Hand Made Boys in the Hood shotting holes in everything around them.”

    Beats just lying down and dying, should they knock on your door. What do you propose — taking a cricket bat to a gun fight? Lie there bleeding, waiting for the cops to arrive, so they can call the ambulance (another five to ten minutes additional response time).

    And, like I said, if being unarmed is such a morally superior state, why, where it is an option, as opposed to a diktat of the state, don’t the sheep advertise their toothlessness?

  • gram

    Harry >>When you outlaw guns only the outlaws have guns.< >As for modern day actors, can anyone tell me which actor, with the exception perhaps of Anthony Hopkins, plays anyone other than himself in movies today? None of them actually act.<

  • BfB

    Modern Cinema
    Oxymoron

  • Dread Cthulhu

    gram: “So who protects those who don’t want to own a gun? ”

    They are, from a legal perspective, wholly on their own, the words “to serve and protect” being a slogan, rather than any sort of legally-binding commitment. Unless the police have entered into a “special relationship” with an individual, they are under no obligation to protect them.

    gram: “The police are, as someone already posted, are usually 10-20mins away.”

    Unless they are on another call, on their break, etc.

    And do you have any grasp on how much damage can be inflicted on someone in ten to twenty minutes?

    The police are no defense.

  • BfB

    Double standard, bed wetting, thumb sucker, pillow biting, intolerant, socialist, liberal, wankers. Who, in spite of overwhelming evidence, still bang the anti-gun, global warming, pro-‘choice’ mantra. Pounded into their empty heads by rabid ‘educators’ in what was once known as ‘educational institutions’. The results are children with no honor, respect, dignity, responsibility. And certainly no education.
    Tsk, tsk.

  • Fred Phelps, the founder of the Westboro Baptist Church, was also a buig supporter of the civil rights movement. If Heston was a f– enabler, we all know the hot place he and his cold, dead hands are.

  • Harry Flashman

    *Would you impose gun ownership on all?*

    Er, no, did I suggest that I would?

    I believe in the freedom of the individual against the state.

    If a sheeplike nanny-statist believes that because the police are (on a good day) twenty minutes away from their home (on a very good day, have you ever actually had need to call the police?) there is no reason why they should defend their own family then that is their right, I respect their decision and I’ll be happy to send flowers to the funeral(s).

    However if a free born citizen believes that he has the right and indeed duty to defend himself and his family from unlawful attack by whatever means practical without asking a civil servant’s permission first then I respect his decision much, much more.

    *I take it you aren’t actually interested in modern cinema then.*

    Ooooh, do tell, what am I missing out on then? Harry Potter VIII? Ocean’s Thirty Seven? Pirates of the Caribean, the Refloating of the Slightly Less Black Pearl?

    Which of Brad Pitt’s or Renee Zelwigger’s ouevres is a gaping void in my cinematic instruction?

  • The Raven

    Gosh and there was me thinking Charlton Heston had died, and we were paying a small tribute to a past screen legend…

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Harry

    From the last year or so, I would recommend:

    * There Will Be Blood
    * The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
    * No Country For Old Men
    * Once
    * Pan’s Labyrinth
    * Eastern Promises
    * I’m Not There
    * In The Valley Of Elah

    All of which are better than anything that over-rated ham Heston was ever in.

    (Except Touch Of Evil. And Wayne’s World 2….

  • ciaran

    Heston was a very wooden actor.Although in an era of over-rated actors I suppose he was not the worst. Brando gets that award.

  • Gregory

    “Harry takes on Hand Made Boys in the Hood shotting holes in everything around them.
    Sounds great! ”

    Why not, can’t be any worse than walking through Hunts Point at night. He can try Divis when he’s finished cleaning up Merka. He needs to leave Detroit to last.

  • Gregory

    “So who protects those who don’t want to own a gun? “

    It ain’t Darwin.

  • abucs

    Charlton Heston was not as good an actor as Paul Newman IMHO but then who is ?

    Charlton was still a great one though. I reckon he had an interesting and commanding screen presence.

    He could carry the whole movie by himself as with Planet of the Apes and 55 days in Peking.
    two of my favourites.

    Also makes Michael Moore look a bit poor now IMHO.

  • gram

    Harry >>Ooooh, do tell, what am I missing out on then? Harry Potter VIII? Ocean’s Thirty Seven? Pirates of the Caribean, the Refloating of the Slightly Less Black Pearl?

    Which of Brad Pitt’s or Renee Zelwigger’s ouevres is a gaping void in my cinematic instruction?<

  • darth rumsfeld

    chuck once said “They don’t come any more right wing than me”. Admirable sentiments in any human, even if modesty prevents me suggesting there might be some excellent challengers here on slugger

    Unctuous liberal and hypocrite George Clooney mocked his Alzheimers’ disease,yet he’s the media’s posterboy. Heston’s gracious response clearly pointed up the difference between the two

    Michael Moore? Does anyone take the ballon seriously? His ego and his films are almost as bloated as he is.

  • gram

    >>Michael Moore? Does anyone take the ballon seriously? <

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Darth

    Why do you say George Clooney is a hypocrite?

    Ciaran

    Brando was a genius. In Streetcar, Viva Zapata, Julius Caesar, Waterfront, Wild One, Fugutive Kind, it was as though a technicolour actor had burst in on a black and white film.

  • BfB

    ‘Unctuous liberal and hypocrite George Clooney’

    Feckin brilliant!

  • Gregory

    “Lets face it right wingers you’ve lost the argument on gun control. Every school yard slaying in The States just pushes your views further to the margins. ”

    They kill more than drugs? What at the liberal end has went completely pear-shaped?

    Can we say that drugs need to be as eradicated as 9mm squirts?

    G.

  • ciaran

    Billy, at best brando was a pretty boy who used one style for every role. Looking slightly constipated in the process.