Charlton Heston - Actors, Life Achievements and Family

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Charlton Heston's Personal Details

Charlton Heston was an American actor best known for playing historical figures and literary characters

InformationDetail
BirthdayOctober 4, 1923
Died onApril 5, 2008
NationalityAmerican
FamousNorthwestern University, Film & Theater Personalities, Actors
City/StateIllinois
SpousesLydia Clarke
Known asJohn Charles Carter
Childrens Fraser Clarke Heston, Holly Ann Heston
Universities
  • Northwestern University
  • Northwestern University
  • New Trier High School
Notable Alumnis
  • Northwestern University
Birth PlaceEvanston
Height191cm
GenderMale
FatherRussell Whitford Carter
MotherLilla Carter
Sun SignLibra
Born inEvanston
Famous asActor
Died at Age84

// Famous Actors

Charlton Heston's photo

Who is Charlton Heston?

Charlton Heston was an American actor best known for playing historical figures and literary characters. Critically acclaimed for portraying Moses in the epic film, ‘The Ten Commandments’, he was honored with the Academy Award for Best Actor for playing the title character in the historical drama film ‘Ben-Hur.’ He became interested in dramatics at a young age and used to act out characters from the books he had read while in high school. His teenage interest in acting took a serious turn when he auditioned for a high-school play and realized that he was meant to be an actor. Naturally bestowed with acting talent, he won a drama scholarship to Northwestern University. After serving in the World War II for a couple of years he began to determinedly work on his acting career. He began appearing on Broadway and soon got noticed for his acting skills as well as his well-built physique and chiseled features. Venturing into Hollywood, it did not take him long to establish himself as a popular character actor. The resounding success of ‘Ben-Hur’ earned him the reputation of being one of the best historical character actors in Hollywood. In addition, he was also a political activist who campaigned for the cause of civil rights with Martin Luther King.

// Famous Alumni of Northwestern University

Childhood & Early Life

Charlton Heston was born as John Charles Carter on October 4, 1923, to Lila (née Charlton) and Russell Whitford Carter. His father worked as a sawmill operator. Charlton was majorly of English, and partially of Scottish descent. He spent a part of his childhood in a rural, heavily forested area, living an idyllic life.

His parents divorced when he was ten years old and his mother eventually married a man called Chester Heston.

The young boy attended New Trier High School where he developed an interest in dramatics. He used to act out characters from books he read, and actively participated in his school plays. As a part of the school’s drama program, he appeared in the amateur silent 16 mm film adaptation of ‘Peer Gynt’, which was released in 1941.

His acting skills earned him a drama scholarship to Northwestern University where he received training under several prominent teachers including Alvina Krause.

Career

In 1944, he enlisted in the United States Army Air Force where he served for two years as a radio operator and aerial gunner. He reached the rank of staff sergeant over the course of his military career.

After being discharged from the army, he moved to New York City in 1946 to pursue an acting career. He made his Broadway debut the following year in ‘Antony and Cleopatra’ and also became active on television during this period. He adopted the screen name Charlton Heston during the beginning of his acting career.

His growing popularity as a stage actor soon led to Hollywood offers and he appeared in his first film, ‘Dark City’, in 1950. His performance caught the attention of prominent filmmaker Cecil B. DeMille who cast him as a circus manager in ‘The Greatest Show on Earth’ in 1952.

In 1953, he starred as Andrew Jackson in ‘The President’s Lady’, the first of many historical roles he would portray. Another one of his historical roles, that of Moses in the film ‘The Ten Commandments’ (1956) would catapult him to the status of an icon in Hollywood.

In 1959, he appeared in yet another historical role in ‘Ben-Hur’ which cemented his reputation as one of the best character actors in American cinema. His success continued throughout the 1960s with films like ‘Khartoum’ (1966) and ‘Planet of the Apes’ (1968).

During the 1960s he was involved in political activism as well and participated in Martin Luther King's 1963 civil rights march in Washington, D.C. He was also president of the Screen Actors Guild from 1965-71.

Even though he sometimes experimented with his roles, for most of the time he played either historical figures or literary characters. He twice played Mark Antony, in ‘Julius Caesar’ (1970) and in ‘Antony and Cleopatra’ (1973), and portrayed John Thornton in ‘Call of the Wild’ (1972), Cardinal Richelieu in ‘The Three Musketeers’ (1973) and its sequel ‘The Four Musketeers’ (1974).

Some of his later film roles include ‘Solar Crisis’ (1990), ‘True Lies’ (1994), and ‘Hamlet’ (1996). He was also a film narrator who lent his voice to Disney's ‘Hercules’ (1997) and ‘Armageddon’ (1998). During his later years he also served as president of the National Rifle Association (1998–2003).

Major Works

Charlton Heston played Moses in the epic film ‘The Ten Commandments’ which was a dramatized version of the biblical story of the life of Moses, an adopted Egyptian prince who leads enslaved Hebrews to deliverance. It was one of his most famous historical roles.

His portrayal of Judah Ben-Hur, a Jewish prince of Jerusalem, in the historical drama ‘Ben-Hur’ is another one of his most popular roles. The film was a huge commercial as well as critical success that garnered several Academy and Golden Globe Awards. Today, ‘Ben-Hur’ is widely considered to be one of the greatest films ever made.

Awards & Achievements

Charlton Heston won the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1959 for his role as Judah Ben-Hur in the historical drama film ‘Ben-Hur.’

The Cecil B. DeMille Award was presented to him in 1967 for "outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment".

In 1977, he was awarded the Order of Lincoln (the state’s highest honor) by the Governor of Illinois in the area of Performing Arts.

In 2003, the veteran actor was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush.

Personal Life & Legacy

Charlton Heston married actress Lydia Marie Clarke on March 17, 1944. The couple had two children. Theirs was a happy marriage that lasted for 64 years until his death in 2008.

He suffered from several health problems during the 1990s. He underwent a hip replacement in 1996 and was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1998 which eventually went into remission.

In the early 2000s it was disclosed that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. Heston died on April 5, 2008, after suffering from pneumonia. He was 84.

// Famous Film & Theater Personalities

Charlton Heston awards

YearNameAward

Academy Awards(Oscars)

1960Best Actor in a Leading RoleBen-Hur (1959)

Golden Globe Awards

1962World Film Favorite - MaleWinner

Charlton Heston biography timelines

  • // 4th Oct 1923
    Charlton Heston was born as John Charles Carter on October 4, 1923, to Lila (née Charlton) and Russell Whitford Carter. His father worked as a sawmill operator. Charlton was majorly of English, and partially of Scottish descent. He spent a part of his childhood in a rural, heavily forested area, living an idyllic life.
  • // 1941
    The young boy attended New Trier High School where he developed an interest in dramatics. He used to act out characters from books he read, and actively participated in his school plays. As a part of the school’s drama program, he appeared in the amateur silent 16 mm film adaptation of ‘Peer Gynt’, which was released in 1941.
  • // 1944
    In 1944, he enlisted in the United States Army Air Force where he served for two years as a radio operator and aerial gunner. He reached the rank of staff sergeant over the course of his military career.
  • // 17th Mar 1944 To 2008
    Charlton Heston married actress Lydia Marie Clarke on March 17, 1944. The couple had two children. Theirs was a happy marriage that lasted for 64 years until his death in 2008.
  • // 1946
    After being discharged from the army, he moved to New York City in 1946 to pursue an acting career. He made his Broadway debut the following year in ‘Antony and Cleopatra’ and also became active on television during this period. He adopted the screen name Charlton Heston during the beginning of his acting career.
  • // 1950 To 1952
    His growing popularity as a stage actor soon led to Hollywood offers and he appeared in his first film, ‘Dark City’, in 1950. His performance caught the attention of prominent filmmaker Cecil B. DeMille who cast him as a circus manager in ‘The Greatest Show on Earth’ in 1952.
  • // 1953 To 1956
    In 1953, he starred as Andrew Jackson in ‘The President’s Lady’, the first of many historical roles he would portray. Another one of his historical roles, that of Moses in the film ‘The Ten Commandments’ (1956) would catapult him to the status of an icon in Hollywood.
  • // 1959
    Charlton Heston won the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1959 for his role as Judah Ben-Hur in the historical drama film ‘Ben-Hur.’
  • // 1963 To 1965
    During the 1960s he was involved in political activism as well and participated in Martin Luther King's 1963 civil rights march in Washington, D.C. He was also president of the Screen Actors Guild from 1965-71.
  • // 1967
    The Cecil B. DeMille Award was presented to him in 1967 for "outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment".
  • // 1977
    In 1977, he was awarded the Order of Lincoln (the state’s highest honor) by the Governor of Illinois in the area of Performing Arts.
  • // 1996 To 1998
    He suffered from several health problems during the 1990s. He underwent a hip replacement in 1996 and was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1998 which eventually went into remission.
  • // 2003
    In 2003, the veteran actor was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush.
  • // 5th Apr 2008
    In the early 2000s it was disclosed that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. Heston died on April 5, 2008, after suffering from pneumonia. He was 84.

// Famous American

Charlton Heston's FAQ

  • What is Charlton Heston birthday?

    Charlton Heston was born at 1923-10-04

  • When was Charlton Heston died?

    Charlton Heston was died at 2008-04-05

  • Where was Charlton Heston died?

    Charlton Heston was died in Beverly Hills

  • Which age was Charlton Heston died?

    Charlton Heston was died at age 84

  • Where is Charlton Heston's birth place?

    Charlton Heston was born in Evanston

  • What is Charlton Heston nationalities?

    Charlton Heston's nationalities is American

  • Who is Charlton Heston spouses?

    Charlton Heston's spouses is Lydia Clarke

  • Who is Charlton Heston childrens?

    Charlton Heston's childrens is Fraser Clarke Heston, Holly Ann Heston

  • What was Charlton Heston universities?

    Charlton Heston studied at Northwestern University, Northwestern University, New Trier High School

  • What was Charlton Heston notable alumnis?

    Charlton Heston's notable alumnis is Northwestern University

  • How tall is Charlton Heston?

    Charlton Heston's height is 191

  • Who is Charlton Heston's father?

    Charlton Heston's father is Russell Whitford Carter

  • Who is Charlton Heston's mother?

    Charlton Heston's mother is Lilla Carter

  • What is Charlton Heston's sun sign?

    Charlton Heston is Libra

  • How famous is Charlton Heston?

    Charlton Heston is famouse as Actor