Monday, April 7, 2008

In Memorium: Charlton Heston

Legendary actor Charlton Heston, who starred in some of Hollywood's greatest epics, passed away on Saturday at the age of 84. Although the cause of death has not been cited, Heston had withdrawn from public life after announcing that he was suffering from Alzheimer's Disease in 2002.

The Greatest Show On Earth, The Ten Commandments, Touch Of Evil, Ben Hur, El Cid, 55 Days At Peking, The Agony And The Ecstasy, Khartoum, Planet Of The Apes, Soylent Green, The Three Musketeers, well, the list just goes on and on. Despite criticisms of his politics, both as a Democratic supporter of the civil rights movement & as a Republican supporter of gun advocacy, Heston was an important cinematic figure in American history with undeniable box office success and appeal for many generations of film goers.

Heston said that Planet Of The Apes (1968) was the most physically demanding film he had ever done, because he was sick with the flu during filming. The producers decided to have him act through his illness, even though it was physically grueling, because they felt the hoarse sound of his voice added something to the role of Col. George Taylor. Heston recounted in a diary he kept during filming that he "felt like Hell" during the filming of the scene where his character was forcefully separated from Nova (Linda Harrison), made worse by the impact of the fire hose that was used on him.

Many condolences go out to his family, friends, peers and worldwide fans.

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