Farewell to Another Vintage Gent: Heston dies at 84

April 6th, 2008

charltonheston2.jpgThere will be one more name to add to the annual Academy Awards “Parade of People who have Died,” segment.  Charlton Heston passed away Saturday at the age of 84.

Heston was a childhood favorite of mine.  I spent many a Saturday afternoon, sprawled on the living room floor with my dog watching “Planet of the Ape” marathons.   Or, Ben Hur for the 5,000 time. There was something about his delivery that was always teetering and threatening to fall over into “B”moviedom even when many of his films were clearly “A” list, big budget, Hollywood affairs.    I think what worked in his favor is that he did not tackle roles with a nudge and a wink.   All characters were approached with seriousness.  In fact, many of his films, if not put in the capable hands of the right director, could have easily become disasters because of their grand scale and the subject matters they tackled.

He delivered the highest number of effective lines through clenched teeth this side of ventriloquism, inspiring thousands of impressionists around the world.  Sunday school was never the same, when the idea in your head of what Moses looked like was replaced by the likeness of Heston  Somehow it seemed very strange to see him in such films as “Towering Inferno,” where he was dressed like an everyday person, as one just had come to expect that he was more accustomed to astronaut’s gear, or lace up sandals.

Though we haven’t heard much from Heston since his last public interview when he announced that he had Alzheimer’s, he never left the mind of the public.

In his own words: “I have lived such a wonderful life! I’ve lived enough for two people.”

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4 Responses to “Farewell to Another Vintage Gent: Heston dies at 84”

  1. Karen on April 6, 2008 9:50 pm

    It seems like the greats are all passing on. That is too bad. He was a great actor and seemed like a good person.

  2. Marge on April 7, 2008 9:36 am

    My mother introduced me to Charleton Heston in the movie, “The Private War of Major Benson.” From that point I was hooked.

  3. Gregorio on April 10, 2008 10:54 pm

    Another true American movie actor Icon in the ranks with “The Duke”.

  4. waterrose on April 11, 2008 12:46 am

    Great editorial on an exceptional actor!

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