He is known by millions world wide for his magnificent portrayals of remarkable men. As an actor he had reached a level of success and recognition few have achieved and been accorded an acclaim few have received.He has spanned half a century and a lifetime devoted to being the best possible actor, father and husband to his wife Lydia of 64 years. But the most memorable presence as a great actor one will never forget was his performance in the greatest movie, "The Ten Commandments," as Moses.
Heston has played more world known title character personality than any other actor, dead or alive, put together. He defined those characterors by giving them a reality and long lasting memories.
A memory I will always cherish as Charlton Heston is my favorite all time actor and 40 years ago when I saw "Ten Commandments," and "Ben Hur," my all time favorite movies, I dreamed one day of meeting the man they call Moses.
Seven years ago my dream wish had come true as Heston came to King of Prussia for a book signing when I had the pleasure of meeting him. He was a statue of a man who had an olympian presence and was grateful to his fans who came to buy his personal and only book, "In the Arena." I have met presidents, cardinals, politicians, doctors, athletes, top entertainers, singers, war heroes etc. but one of the most memorable persons I have ever met and will always cherish is the man known as Moses.
In shaking the hands of Moses, I call Heston he was my all-time favorite actor and seen most of his movies, that he was the best in "Ben Hur" (for which he won an academy award) and the "Ten Commandments." He said "Thank you very much. May God bless you and may God be with you."
With that blessing from him, I do feel I have been blessed. As my writing over the past eight years has opened doors for me, to unforseen places, met with so many wonderful people, made so many new friends and was blessed to write and recognize so many people, that I now tell people who I meet that they are shaking the hands of Moses and now they are blessed. They ask what I mean by that.
I explain that Charleton Heston was blessed to play the part of Moses and he also blessed the people who worked around him and his fans who loved him. So, by shaking his hands and receiving his blessing, I am too blessed and now as passing the blessing to others.
In 2002 Heston revealed that he had Alzheimer's disease and he was in high spirits, flying and still traveling around the country with his close friend Tony Makris. Heston looked at Makris and asked him whey he was sad and glum. Heston asked him if he felt bad for him and he told him he did feel bad. Heston told him not to feel bad. "I got to be Charlton Heston for 35 years and be Moses for 45 years. That's more than fair," he said.
Heston was raised in Michigan and Illinois and won an acting scholarship in 1941 to Northwestern University where he met his future wife, Lydia.
After World War II service in the Aleutian Islands, Heston went to New York City and won a key part on Broadway's "Antony and Cleopatra" and set off for Hollywood where he got his block-buster break. Heston then met Cecil B. DeMille when he gave him a role in "The Greatest Show on Earth." Heston then won the best actor oscar for the 1959 "Ben Hur."
Heston, who acted well into his 70s, also played on television. He was in "Touch of Evil," and "Dynasty" that was the spinoff of "The Colby's," "Bowling for Columbine." He played many statesmen, president leaders, saints, heroes, the life of Beethoven, El Cid, Henry VIII, Julius Caesar, Michelangelo, Sherlock Homes, Long John Silver, MacBeth to name a few and movies like "Planet of the Apes," "The Big Country", "The Agony and the Ectasy."
Heston was quoted as saying he had been blessed to have a wife and family he adores, to be granted the God-given talent that has enabled him to be so many famous historical figures that gave him a phenomenal career and to be born into a country that allowed him the freedom to follow whatever path he chose, that that he was blessed by God-Moses.
Until next time, Ciao, Joe D'Angelo
PS. In August 2002 Heston released a video statement announcing that he had Alzheimer's disease. On April 5, at the age of 84, Heston passed away from Alzheimer's related complications and was buried in a small, private service and will always leave his legacy with us as his films are timeless.