He died today at his home in Beverly Hills. He was 83.
Sigh... Another great, bigger than life true Hollywood star has left us, and he takes another little piece of my heart with him. Mr. Heston starred in over 100 movies and became an icon based on more than just one film. His most notable roles were Moses in The Ten Commandments, astronaut George Taylor in Planet of the Apes, Detective Thorn in Soylent Green and Charles Neville in The Omega Man (yes, the same Neville as the one in I Am Legend).
There was also Ben Hur, El Cid, and too many other movies to mention.
Later in life he became more well known for his controversial defense of the National Rifle Association and opposition to gun laws. While I'm not a member of the NRA, I do agree with his views on gun control.
He had suffered from Alzheimer's Disease since 2002 and although no details have been released it seems his death was related to that insidious illness. Here is the official statement released by his family earlier today:
"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. He was known for his chiseled jaw, broad shoulders and resonating voice, and, of course, for the roles he played. Indeed, he committed himself to every role with passion, and pursued every cause with unmatched enthusiasm and integrity."
"We knew him as an adoring husband, a kind and devoted father, and a gentle grandfather, with an infectious sense of humor. He served these far greater roles with tremendous faith, courage and dignity. He loved deeply, and he was deeply loved."
"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.' A private memorial service will be held. The family has requested that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Motion Picture and Television Fund:"
22212 Ventura Boulevard, Suite 300
Woodland Hills, CA 91364
My thoughts and prayers go out to the Heston family. We've lost another great one, my friends.