RIP Charlton Heston

I was sad to see that actor and activist Charlton Heston died at the age of 84.  He was a man who broke the Hollywood stereotype, and did his own thing, his own way.

The first movie I can recall ever seeing Heston in was “The Ten Commandments.”  It was a staple on Easter week ends, and was a regular thing to watch.  Heston as Moses facing off against Yul Brenner as the Pharaoh.  I then moved on to other Heston movies, from “Soylent Green” to “Planet of the Apes,” to “55 Days at Peking.”  Heston also made some other movies that while I enjoyed them, didn;t get as much “press” as others, like “Khartoum,” and “The Omega Man.”

Charlton Heston broke from Hollywood when it came to politics.  He supported the Civil Rights movement in the 50’s and 60’s when most of Tinsletown couldn’t have cared.  He was an ardent supprter of Second Amendment rights, rising to become President of the NRA for several years.  He supported whomever he thought was the best in his opinion, regardless of the candidate’s party affiliation.  Like many of the characters he portrayed in the movies, Chuck stuck to his guns, even when it went against “popular” or the prevailing attitudes in Hollywood. 

In a way, this may have cost him in his acting career.  In what has become a reverse form of McCarthyism, Hollywood tends to reward those who toe the prevailing ideological line, and black list those who go against them.  Heston could be considered a victim of that.  That is, if he really cared enough about it himself.  Others have not been so lucky as to have a wide variety of things to do outside of Hollywood.

Depsite the lack of the usual Hollywood accolades to his name, Heston became an icon.  And no matter how much Michael Moore cerative edits interviews, or acts the obnoxious ass, or tries to misportray him on film, Heston is still the better man.  Better than most of us, and far better than 90% of those who pass for “greats” in Hollywood today.

God Speed Mr.Heston.

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